So here we sit at the quarter post of the season, closers have had some ups and some flops. Staring at you Mr. Axford. Forecasting the next big closer blow-up is no easy business. It’s kind of like yelling Bingo and not really having it, facing the scourge of the geriatric posse that is inhabiting such an establishment. Let me just tell you it’s an awkward walk to get coffee or to your car afterward. So, I am not going to sit here and bold-fully predict the next closer to go down, because I am not Negrodamus or that fake Jamaican psychic. But, I can tell you things that I notice that I don’t like or do like. I like Heath Bell‘s re-established Heath Bell-ness. I am buying Edward Mujica as a one-pitch pitcher. I am worried about Chris Perez‘s career low numbers in categories that aren’t really stats but I pay attention to. Mariano Rivera is the G.O.A.T., period. It somehow took Jason Grilli 13 years to get where he is and that’s arguably the best fantasy reliever in baseball. So hit the red bar and see how far this rabbit hole goes.
Rafael Betancourt – Hurt his groin, Rex Brothers got the save yesterday. It doesn’t sound like a long term thing. Every time I type Rex Brothers name it reminds me of Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. Yeah, don’t ask, it’s a bunch of muppets on ice and playing instruments. Brothers should be owned as a cuff for the time being as Betancourt is no spring chicken or duck, how about of the ornithological variety. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Ryan Madson – Well so much for him coming back and foiling Frieri. He has had a setback and will not throw for X amount of days. I like using undefined variables, because it teaches my math teacher in H.S. a lesson for throwing me out of class for saying math is dumb and we will never use it ever. Ha, take that…Oh wait I did just use it, dang it. I wouldn’t hold onto Madson unless you have several DL spots available as I would want a guy giving me RP stats now rather than later.
Jim Johnson – Blew his third consecutive save on Monday vs. the Yanks. He blew three saves all last year and converted 35 consecutive chances. His first blown save ruined a record for the Orioles; they had previously gone 109-0 when leading after the 7th inning. I don’t foresee him being a candidate for replacement as he has the “In Buck We Trust” stamp encrusted on his pj’s. Just in case your scouring the waiver wire for other options, Darren O’Day would get first shot.
Joel Peralta – In two weeks since last we looked at Holds guys, he has a save and 6 holds in his last 7 appearances. I was a late bloomer too, but my season was over already by the 45th game of the season.
Shawn Kelley – Yeah, that guy. Has the highest K/9 in baseball and the 3rd lowest xFIP amongst qualifers. He has basically taken over for Joba in the house Next to the House that Ruth built. Just to put those numbers in perspective, he has more K’s than Hiroki Kuroda in the last thirty days in half the innings. Look past the ERA and WHIP for a minute and realize those are dominating numbers from someone that you checked to see if there was an obituary for first.
Justin Wilson – A guy who missed on the chart below, don’t skip ahead. Is tied for the team lead in wins (4) despite only pitching in 25 innings this year. Add in his growing hold total – 2 in last 5 appearances – and his lowest Batting average against for a RP and you have a guy who is a win-vulturing, up-and-comer in the hold department. The Burg as a team have the third lowest bullpen ERA in baseball.
As ushh, the chart below is a look at the top MR in baseball by Holds and there situational usage.