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The closer news is kind of like that pond back in the woods by Me’ma’s house.  You know the one where you and your first “girlfriend” from Canada used to meet up and read scripture.  Stagnant is the term for all you wordsmith’s out there.  Spring training games just literally got started this week and the battles that are going on for unnamed closer spots; Rangers, White Sox and Astros, are still a hmmm situation.  So until someone actually gets hurt, assassinated, or decides that baseball is no longer fun for him… we are at a stand still.  Updates are always good though, and fun.  It’s like Sudoku or the aggravation of doodling little numbers next to each box, stupid little numbers.  They make it look all messy like a 4-year-old is doing it and you get all self conscious and hide it form the guy sitting next to you on the plane.   It’s okay, admitting it is the hard part.  Just say it to yourself and give yourself a wink in the mirror.  So here is the slightly adjusted list of closers, the addition of Fernando Rodney not only adds legitimacy and tilte to the lefty’s swagger.  So have at the list for this week and hopefully we will have some more news or will make up some stuff that’s more interesting in the upcoming weeks.

 

$12 Salads

You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for ten schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Craig Kimbrel  - (Jordan Walden, David Carpenter, Luis Avilan)

2. Aroldis Chapman - (J.J. Hoover, Sean Marshall, Sam LeCure)

3. Kenley Jansen - (Brian Wilson, Chris Perez, Paco Rodriguez)

4. Greg Holland – (Luke Hochevar, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins)

5. Trevor Rosenthal – (Seth Maness, Kevin Seigrist, Jason Motte)

6. Koji Uehara – (Edward Mujica, Junichi Tazawa)

7. Joe Nathan – (Bruce Rondon, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Krol)

8. Glen Perkins – (Jared Burton, Caleb Theibar, Michael Tonkin)

 

DonkeyCorns

Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination, he removes the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkeycorns.

9. Sergio Romo – (Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, George Kontos)

10. Grant Balfour – (Heath Bell, Joel Peralta, Jake McGee)

11. Casey Janssen – (Sergio Santos, Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil)

12. David Robertson – (Shawn Kelley, Matt Thornton)

13. Ernesto Frieri – (Joe Smith, Dane de la Rosa)

14. Jim Johnson – (Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Luke Gregerson)

15. Rafael Soriano – (Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen)

16. Fernando Rodney – (Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen)

17. Jonathon Papelbon – (Antonio Bastardo, Brad Lincoln)

18. Jason Grilli – (Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Vin Mazzaro)

19. Steve Cishek – (A.J. Ramos, Mike Dunn, Carter Capps)

20. Addison Reed – (J.J. Putz, Brad Zielger, David Hernandez)

21. Jim Henderson – (Brandon Kintzler, Rob Wooten)

22. Huston Street – (Joaquin Benoit, Dale Thayer)

 

Brain Freezes

I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and Carlos Marmol– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Castro in the head with a pick-off throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.

23. John Axford - (Cody Allen, Vinnie Pestano)

24. Neftali Feliz - (Tanner Scheppers, Joakim Soria)

25. Tommy Hunter – (Darren O’Day, Ryan Webb, Brad Brach)

26. Bobby Parnell – (Victor Black, Gonzalez Germen, Scott Rice)

27. Nate Jones – (Matt Lindstrom, Daniel Webb, Ronald Belisario)

28. LaTroy Hawkins – (Rex Brothers, Adam Ottavino, Matt Belisle)

29. Jose Veras – (Pedro Strop, James Russell, Blake Parker)

30. Chad Qualls – (Jesse Crain, Josh Fields)

  1. Drew says:
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    Smokey I know you rank closers, and I know you rank middle relievers… but can we get a combined Saves+Holds rankings list from you?? That’d be bomb

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Drew: stay tuned it’s coming next week with the off week bullpen report. I’ll do a while NSVH buffet.

      • UncleLarryWalker says:
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        @Smokey: But my Holds league drafts tomorrow…

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @UncleLarryWalker: sorry. I’m on twitter if you need a hand @smokeemacpot

  2. anthony says:
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    Deep dynasty league..trade Kendrick for two of Pineda, Moustakas, or Leonys Martin? If so, which two?? Thanks man!!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @anthony: I don’t even know what Kendrick it is and it don’t matter. Take Martin and a bounce back moose taco.

  3. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Smoke: I thrive on the Donkey Corns and Brain Freezes every year..

    You just have to add an extra couple of helpings of Closer on your plate is all – after you’ve loaded up on some of the good stuff first..

    Online Shallow leagues are really akin to All-You-Can-Eat smorgasbords, when ya think about it.

    People who are shy about over-piling their plates there make no sense to me…

    After all, it’s not like the places are darkened rub and tug massage parlors – replete with their parking in the rear and “unseen” entrances -So, no one knows, ya are in there

    At smorgasbords, everyone and their uncle has already seen you waddle in the front door and can see you are a porker, so you might as well pile it all on the same plate, is my take.

    Dainty folks just don’t go to smorgasbords.. Who are those obese folks in there trying to fool.. Heck, they didn’t get that way without stuffing it all inside those puffy gobs of theirs in the first place..

    I’m all for piling on those empty closer calories at draft. YUM YUM!!!

    Could you pass the sugar, extra mayo packets and salt down here, please… And some more ketchup too.. While, your at it… Thanks

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Ghost of the Disappeared: wow that was quite the diatribe. I’m not only confused but had to read it 3 times to make sure there wasn’t an actual question in there. Thanks for the read/comment.

      • Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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        @Smokey: Smoke: You missed nothing.. It was a diatribe – spot on!

  4. robdouth says:
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    Given the news of Carlos Martinez’s porn links on his facebook page. Would you consider him a handcuff for the Cardinals…

    Also does the now widely known strength of his forearms make him a better MR fantasy value?

    Love those Cards, but couldn’t help myself on this one.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @robdouth: yea his timeline is eerily similar to mine. Lol. I still think he starts. Motte is a great dl stash until may when he’s ready. Siegrist is the MR you want for holds.

      • robdouth says:
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        @Smokey: Do you think Motte seriously gets the job back after coming off the DL, or is it more likely he is traded to someone who needs a closer or gets put into the setup role?

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @robdouth: no unless Rosenthal gets snipered.

      • robdouth says:
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        @Smokey: Also, I just have to let you know that I loved you as the principal on Boston Public.

  5. Jon says:
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    Who is this year’s Kenley Jansen – a guy who doesn’t start with the job but could end the year as a donkeycorn or $12 salad? If you want to throw more than one name out, that would be even more awesome. My leauge carries 5 RPs but we don’t do holds, so I’m always looking for the best next-in-lines.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jon: Cody Allen, Brandon Kintzler joking Soria. Three guys that jump out as guys that could make a leap.

      • Chris says:
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        @Smokey: You must be joking.

        • Shake N Bacon says:
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          @Chris: Who were you thinking of then? Don’t just leave an empty critical comment.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Chris: funny auto-correct of Joakim. Lol

    • Fungazi says:
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      @Jon: Cody Allen

    • Eddy says:
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      @Jon:

      I’d throw Rex Brothers in there. Hawkins was shaky in NY last year but it was Citi Field. This time in Coors I’m not so sure. Brothers has always been pretty lockdown when he’s been needed.

  6. Scott says:
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    Any chance you could project stats for middle relievers in the next post too? Gray posts some expected stats for the closers but my league does NSVH so it’d be great to have some ball park figures for IP, ERA, WHIP, and K for the middle relievers that grey isn’t ranking (which is basically all of them). Thanks.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Scott: will give some limited NSVH projections next week in the bullpen report. Won’t be Everything you asked for but should give you a good idea of who’s who and what’s what.

  7. Nate Jones could kick all those other closers asses. Just saying

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @J-Shizzle: best closer name that sounds like a rapper name.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Smokey: he’s NATE JONES! NATE JONES! NATE JONES!

  8. The Thumb says:
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    I have my 10 team sv+hld draft this weekend. As someone who almost totally ignores closers until about the 170s, who should I target? I’m aiming at Feliz, Scheppers, Siegrist, Melancon, Clippard, The Beard, Benoit, and Joel Peralta right now. Anyone stand out that I should strongly consider?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @The Thumb: all great names. Melancon is a monster in NSVH love Siegrist this year as a sneaky end game play.

  9. The Thumb says:
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    Do you think Girardi hands Kelley last years DRob role until Kelley fails? Or is it a matchup play? DRob has been such a monster in holds leagues for the past 3 years.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @The Thumb: that’s the plan with Thonton grabbing Logan’s innings. Preston Clairborn is the sleeper to jump up

  10. Chris says:
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    IF you could pick 1 hitter 1 pitcher and 1 sleeper you are excited about this fantasy baseball season in a 5×5 12 team league…Who would they be?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Chris: Beltran, Jose Fernandez and Cameron Maybin

  11. Tehol Beddict

    Tehol Beddict says:
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    FINALLY, SOMEONE IS ON THE SAME PAGE AS ME!!! i said this on these posts all last year that Jansen was a no doubt top 3 closer. Glad you came around now that we know the right man is now closing. Brandon League should be put out of his misery

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: league should be euthanized.

  12. Peter says:
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    What are you thoughts on no-closer strategy? Do you know anyone who has had success with that kind of drafting.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Peter: I usually roster 1-2 to help out with era and whip. I’m sure others have used this theory. Seems to do ok.

  13. 2 Giant rings says:
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    My buddy the Brewer fan insists that KRod will be 2nd in line to Henderson.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @2 Giant rings: if that happens the Brewers are punting.

  14. 2 Giant rings says:
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    In a deep 20 team league what do you think of the strategy to draft 4 late RP (kintzler, soria, Allen, brothers) who could get a CL gig later as apposed to going the safe route with one or two solid closers? Four good RP would really help with peripherals and not taking closers in the first half of the draft helps out everywhere else. Risky sure, but is it stupid?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @2 Giant rings: not an awful strategy. I would feel comfortable having one definite closer on my roster and having three of those guys

  15. Uncyclopedios says:
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    Modest proposal: Include an ongoing ‘Top 5 candidates’ list with each Closer Look. For example, current list might be 4 above plus, say, Melancon….

  16. costaricanchata says:
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    somewhere in my readings , i came across an
    Expert league of Extraordinary Gentlemen (or something like that)
    and noticed you were one of the participants .

    am always interested in leagues with better players ,
    and was wondering if you’ll be reporting on it .
    in any event , good luck !
    (and can you provide a link ?)

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @costaricanchata: thanks. No link its on espn. I’ll try and squeeze a write up in if time allows before regular season starts.

  17. Bob says:
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    Salads, donkeycorns, etc are tired…just sayen!

    • DonSlaughtOnslaught says:
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      @Bob: Hush your mouth!

  18. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    Hey Smokey,

    Who are your top 3 guys for holds if Clippard, Melancon, Peralta and McGee are off the board? I’m not looking for any potential saves here, but good ratios and some K’s would help. Herrera, Doolittle, Gregerson?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: Guys like Mujica, Siegrist, Benoit , Kintzler, Doolittle, Tazawa, David Carpenter, Tanner Scheppers would all be my next group.

  19. The Vaporizers says:
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    Hey Smokey, not sure if you will see this this late, but I was wondering if you know of any Middle Relievers that will get holds and will have SP eligibility? These pitchers have a ton of value in my daily league. Drew Smiley was one of the top guys last year that fit this description…

  20. AdamH says:
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    Hey Smokey,

    In a deep 16 team dynasty points league. Filling up the back end of my relievers with good middle guys… how would you rank these guys?

    Brad Brach
    Gonzalez Germen
    Rob Wooten
    Michael Tonkin
    Ian Krol

    Thanks!

  21. Sean says:
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    Who are the best middle releivers when it comes to a high k% but also with strong ratios? I’m in an innings cap league so these guys have great value. What do you think of Kelvin Herrerra since Hocheaver is now out for the year? I’m in 12 team roto standard yahoo leagues

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