Like typical closenado news and happenings, it comes in spurts. The White Sox, Giants, and the Angels all made changes this past week. All changes were needed, but only one team, the Giants, look like they will try something new and not return to the original status quo. Sergio Romo is a proven and decent closer, but he’s overused, predictable, and doesn’t throw very hard. The change to Santiago Casilla and the cast of Affeldt, Machi or any other Giants RP seems to be temporary. Casilla has done well in the past with 25 saves in 2012, and a shiny ERA that hasn’t eclipsed 3+ since 2010. Consistency makes you reliable as a relief pitcher. I stole that from a German beer ad, or at least I think I did…it was in German and me no sprechen di lingie. So to continue the look down the road, take a look at the SF bullpen picture for next year and you’ll notice that Romo is a free agent. So the point is: either Santiago Casilla is the answer there for a one-year stop gap, or should they look to, what is IMO, the best relief pitching group of prospects in baseball. They have three guys who look to be ready (dynasty leaguers go get a pen!): Stephen Okert, Heath Hembree, and my favorite, Ray Black (public advisory over drop pens). So sit on Casilla if you grabbed him. It could be a long ride, but big head Bochy, and the monsters of the SF bullpen have a proven closer that will, for all intents and purposes, be back…maybe. It’s more fun to leave it suspenseful, like Murder She Wrote.
- If there was a prize in the Angels bullpen for usability, it has to go to Kevin Jepsen. With all the shuffling around and exporting of Frieri and the importing of Grilli, Kevin has a 10/0 K/BB rate and has gobbled up 3 Holds in the past two weeks. Remember a pat on the back is only 3 inches away from kick in the ass. [Jay's Note: Uh, what?]
- If it isn’t too late in some leagues, I suggest you picking up Ken Giles. Numbers are good, but watching him is better, so go look under the cushions for loose change and go to a Phillies game or pony up for a TV package. Kid is first chair if/when Papelbon takes the short bus off a short pier. Though I think I messed that up somehow. Stats you want, stats you get: 8 games 13 K’s, BAA .120 or for all you math heads: 3 hits in 28 batters faced.
- In a cool state of facts and stats, Dellin Bettances is on pace for 145 K’s as a reliever in 90 innings pitched. With any luck he can break the top mark in the last 10 years held by the guy that was destroyed by Albert Pujols, Brad Lidge, in 2004 with 157.
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