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If you cheated and looked ahead before reading, shame on you! But, for those who didn’t, I am attaching my cart to Francisco Rodriguez. Not only has he done nothing wrong (which seems impossible for closers nowadays), but looks in no danger of getting the rug ripped out from under him. The team is winning, the bullpen is toight like a tiger, and Jimbo Hendo looks to be doing a swell job as second fiddle. Not only would I marry K-rod right now, he can also fart in my dinner… tonight. (Ed. Note– Protip: I wait until at least the second date before letting farts in my food.) I mean what he is doing is pretty remarkable– most saves in April, EVER. It reminds me of the good times when I played the jug in the band The Dixie Cups. For a barely drafted guy who wasn’t even the teams first choice for saves… and to also be giving your team a saves boost for basically nothing, you should wanna carry his luggage. So keep reading to see what other closer goodies I got for ya… or just skip to the comments and tell me something awesome.

  • Grant Balfour, if you haven’t noticed, has been a non-factor in the save stat category thingy.  Since my last closer ranks, he doesn’t have a single save. Not one. That’s zero, or nil for our Fútbol fans. Tampa, as a whole, is also dead last in save opportunities with only five all season.  I’m not Pythagoras, but that’s freaking awful, divided by Pi R squared.
  • Joe Smith has taken over for Ernesto Frieri, and Scoscia doesn’t know which way is up.  He is a catcher who backs his pitchers, I will give him that. Smith has had as many saves as Frieri, only he did it in two days, not three weeks. Not being scored upon since tax day is aiding his closing fortitude, but I don’t forsee him getting a very long leash, so don’t put all your eggs in the generic-sounding closer.
  • I have to admit that I may have given less credit than credits due to LaTroy Hawkins. I viewed him as a stop-gap for Colorado, and all he’s done is go 8-8 in save chances, while everyone else around him has blown four saves.  If he K’d more, I would kare more, but he doesn’t. That, and he is on so many unpronounceable old people pills.

Marry

What’s better than having the comfort of having a great stand-by at home? Nothing. It helps you, it lives for you and gosh darn’it, you can do with it as you please, under the jurisdictions of the law. It’s got a nice pre-kids body and a penchant for baking. So we have the roster stalwarts that you want to have and hold for this season forward.

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

2. Kenley Jansen – (Chris Perez, Chris Withrow, Brian Wilson)

3. Greg Holland – (Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Aaron Crow)

4. Trevor Rosenthal – (Carlos Martinez, Kevin Siegrist, Jason Motte-DL)

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

6. Francisco Rodriguez – (Jim Henderson, Tyler Thornburg, Will Smith)

7. Glen Perkins – (Jared Burton, Casey Fien, Caleb Thielbar)

8. Joe Nathan – (Joba Chamberlain, Al Albuquerque)

 

F#ck

These guys are fun, and maybe some day you’ll want to marry them, but right now they have their flaws and you’re not sure if you wanna take them home to mom. So you give them the special booty-call ring designation on your phone, and you get everything that marriage can’t give you. Stats are the important thing here, and lots of them, no obligations. No alimony attached, just straight unadulterated stats.

9. Sergio Romo – (Santiago Casilla, Jean Machi, Javier Lopez)

10. Jonathan Papelbon – (Antonio Bastardo, Jake Diekman, Mike Adams)

11. Addison Reed – (J.J. Putz, Brad Ziegler)

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

13. Steve Cishek – (A.J. Ramos, Mike Dunn)

14. Huston Street – (Joaquin Benoit, Dale Thayer, Alex Torres)

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

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

17. Tommy Hunter – (Darren O’Day, Ryan Webb, Brian Matusz)

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

19. John Axford – (Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw)

20. Joakim Soria – (Alexei, Ogando, Neal Cotts, Jason Frasor)

 

Kill

Should be self-explanatory. There is no comfort in this grouping, along with the fear of looking suspicious when buying a new shovel and some lyme when all that you wanna do is plant a new butterfly bush. The jib? The newly injured replacements are here or just they’re just the unproven. All should be laid to rest, unless desperation or injury becomes you. Don’t get comfy, death or stat-suicide may be closer than it appears.

21. Mark Melancon – (Tony Watson, Justin Wilson)

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

23. Sergio Santos – (Steve Delabar, Aaron Loup, Casey Janssen-DL)

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

25. Joe Smith – (Ernesto Frieri, Michael Kohn)

26.  Jonathan Broxton – (J.J. Hoover, Sam LeCure, Manny Parra)

27. Matt Lindstrom -(Daniel Webb, Scott Downs, Nate Jones-DL)

28. Kyle Farnsworth – (Diasuke Matsuzaka, Jose Valverde, Scott Rice)

29. Hector Rondon - (Pedro Strop, Jose Veras)

30. Josh Fields, Chad Qualls, Anthony Bass

  1. Regan says:
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    I think Hawkins deserves a promotion to the bottom of the 2nd tier. What will be less painful, having both Farnsworth, Lindstrom on one team or sticking a sharp object in my eye socket?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Regan: Yea he is right on the verge of it, just his age and ability to go back to back alot hurts him. He is def distancing himself from anyone in the Rox bullpen though.

      • DJ says:
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        @Smokey: what about ottavino?

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @DJ: I was more talking about Belisle and Brothers, my love for Adam runs deep like the minds of minolta

  2. wynams says:
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    Melancon at 21? Yeah he sucked at this fill-in closer thing last year #eyeroll

    • Hawk says:
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      @wynams:

      Probably because he’s been the closer for 5 days and hasn’t had an opportunity yet

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @wynams: He blew 4 out of 23 chances when he took over last year, including 3 of his last 4 down the stretch. He is only filling in Grilli will be back in the role soon that’s why the lower ranking

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Smokey: these rankings also have to do with a guy’s ability to A. get saves, B. keep job, while also C. have good stats. clearly Melancon is not strong at A lately, B not much, leaving C (which he likely will)

  3. Ty Wiggington says:
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    Like the K-Rod ranking. Ride it while it’s hot.

    Question: Should I flip Darvish for Tanaka and Rendon in a keeper league (with no restrictions, no salaries, etc.)?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Ty Wiggington: if your weak at MI and tight with K SP’ers, I would say sure.

  4. Mike says:
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    Is Strop still worth owning? Sergio Santos doesn’t look like he’ll keep his job when Jansen gets back and I need the best 2nd tier option for saves once that happens!

    • fausto says:
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      @Mike: as someone that owned strop( and dropped him to stash polanco)you will pray the cubs dont get save chances. Grab rondon of available.

      • Mike says:
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        @fausto: I kind of figured that this was the case. It’s a deep league though and every primary closer listed above is taken (and many of the parentheticals).

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Mike: Depends on league size for Strop, I would lean no let someone else have the Whip disaster. Janssen is going to get his job back eventually, just not positive its the day he is elig to come off DL.

  5. fausto says:
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    Janssen takes the job back when/if healthy? I don’t own him but Its sad that im playing matchups with santos and his 81.00 era 9.00 whip by tuesday night. That’s fun to pitch down esp when bumgarner puts emphasis on the bum in his last name vs sd.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @fausto: Janssen does eventually just not the first day off DL unless Santos is injured also.

  6. Chris says:
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    Hello Smokey,

    Another team sent me Verlander for my Cueto and Kazmir?
    I’m considering since the health on both my pitchers are always an issue. Plus I know Kamir is not this good.
    What is your take? Make the trade or hold?
    Thanks,

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Chris: Everyone on Oakland isn’t supposed to be this good, it’s quantity over quality. If innings/start limits are in play than I would think about it. Verlander isn’t Verlander of old right now, but still pretty darn good.

  7. gareth says:
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    I’m not in a holds league, but looking at grabbing a guy as a speculative closer in waiting while helping me with my teams peripherals.

    On the nats, is tyler clippard or drew Storen the better option for this?

    Is Joel peralta a better option than the two nats relievers?

    Ultimately looking to get my k’s up, era down while getting the odd vulture win.

    If you can think of other top relievers who are good for this (and hopefully available) let me know.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @gareth: Peralta, hard with out a list to give ya names.

      • gareth says:
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        @Smokey: here’s a list of available relievers in my league:

        Duke, Capuano, clippard, storen, peralta, petit, theyer, abad, bastardo, Shaw, affellt, Ziegler, Neshak, otero.

        Im particularly looking for high k per nine guys.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @gareth: still Peralta

  8. Sad Keanu says:
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    Would you pick up Hunter over Balfour?

  9. costaricanchata says:
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    the performance of huston street , it seems ,
    would suggest a higher ranking .
    is this a performance-based list , or one based
    on expectations and personal bias ?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @costaricanchata: I base it on 2 week speculation, but he did jump 4 spots this week and his improved K rate isn’t going unnoticed by me at all.

  10. Smalls Killer says:
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    Good write up bro.

    So I traded Soria. It was an easy choose what he offered. . SAGNOF! Then I dropped Hammel gie Walden to throw in my RP spot for the fervent peripherals. (QS but Also K/9 cats)

    Would you drop him for Rondon who just became available & who could actually contribute saves as well (maybe) or keep Waldon and his good stats & wait for someone better with a new opportunity?
    It’s a 12t roto and my only other closer is Meloncon (and Grilli on DL)

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Smalls Killer: If you only have 1 closer you kinda have to chase the saves with Rondon

  11. ashtray says:
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    Is Rondon so low due to uncertainty over closer role? Performance? Lack of save oppurtunities? All of the above?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @ashtray: Well a week ago Strop was the guy now he is, it’s prolly a mix of everything you said but mostly new to the job and inexperience in it

  12. fri-guy says:
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    Folks, I need some help….I have the luxury of having both Segura and Castro in a dynasty league. With both being 24, I have to move one but am struggling with which one. Help?

    H2H 5×5, OBP/R/RBI/S/Ks, 12 team dynasty, no difference in cost to keep either as long as i want.

    Thanks!

    • gareth says:
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      @fri-guy: both segura and Castro have lost a little shine to them. You’d be selling low right now. I would hold onto both until one of them gets hot for an extended period. Starlin Castro has actually been surprisingly decent so far after a terrible 2013. If people start believing and segura is healthy and playing well I would trade Castro down the road. Hold for now though.

  13. Mike says:
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    Dynasty league.. H2h, 5×5 league.

    Trade Shelby for Greg Holland?

    My starters are pretty deep. Jose, Stras, Tanaka, Cashner, Richards, Peavy, Shelby, Tillman, Salazar, Porcello, McHugh…. Cobb @ Taijuan Walker on DL.

    Closers are Balfour, Sergio Santos, Broxton and Hector Rondon…. Janssen on the DL.

    Both Holland and Shelby are 20th rounders

    What do you think?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Mike: yea pretty legit at starter I would do it

  14. fausto says:
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    Dilemma. Who to drop for a streamer? My current cl are j.smith/frieri, j johnson, santos. ..hate having the handcuffs on frieri but I could see him getting the gig back. Who do I drop for a streamer? Frieri seems the obvious here. Im assuming johnson gets his spot back at some point. Weekly league 5×5 h2h. Im giving up w’s/ k’s holding all these “maybe guys”…

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @fausto: Well if it plays out like I think, Janssen takes his job back making Santos useless, JJ gets the full time gig no committe, and Smith and Frieri do what they are doing and Frieri gets the job back. So if you drop Frieri when all this happens you will only really have 1 closer in Johnson and he is no given. So as unfortunate as it sounds for your wins, if you want saves later you may need to stay put.

  15. Dan says:
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    Where would you slot Jansenn when he comes back (assuming its in a few weeks without setback?) I just traded Jared Weaver for him in a standard 5×5, which helps me take Kershaw off my DL without dropping any other players.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Dan: Well assuming Grilli is back the also, right around 20 or so until he proves worthy of jumping up

      • Dan says:
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        @Smokey: Fair trade to give up Weaver for him? Seriously lacking at closer right now

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Dan: slightly, I would think you could get a healthy guy for Weaver unless your league hates him

          • Dan says:
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            @Smokey: Tough league to trade in. Have Kershaw, Hamels, Hudson, Sabathia, Chavez, Eovaldi, Skaggs, Kluber, and Alex Meyer and Marcus Stroman (keeper league). Like my upside plays a little more than Weaver. Plus I had to do something relative quickly before Kershaw came back Monday. Thanks for your thoughts. Great stuff as always.

            • Smokey

              Smokey says:
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              @Dan: I mean don’t get snowed over for saves, Janssen is still a week away and prolly another week or 2 after that so ur already going to have to wait for saves in that scenario. I would honestly see what you could get for Hamels, might be someone who bites on the name and get a more established top 8 guy.

  16. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Trade Adam Jones for Strasburg, Verlander, Bumgarner or Price in a H2H points league?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @malamoney: nah, id be patient

  17. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    in league with RW and holds keep both barrett and a.torres or drop either for z.duke (seems to have no upside but is good so far this year) or bastardo? torres is NOT doing like last year this year (back to his walk problems, i don’t care what his ERA says), and barrett is good, but doesn’t get many appearances (although does get high leverage slots when tied or losing small)

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: NL only league so other options include guiterrez/ziegler/neschek/pimentel/morris/a.j.ramos in case you like any of them over a.torres/barrett.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Bastardo over Barrett

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ramos over Torres

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Grey: Grey subbing in on bullpen page. party time, bonus.

  18. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    noticing you still have bastardo (and diekman, which is stranger) over adams, but since adams has been back he’s been more often the later game guy? plus depth chart sites (good ones) have adams closer to papelbon than bastardo too.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: I think that they wouldnt put Adams in a high leverage situation just yet. If Paps went down Bastardo would get the first call Adams has 4 plus innings on his new shoulder. He needs to build up good core innings before being thrust up to closer in my eyes

  19. Shake N Bacon says:
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    Whose a better stash for saves ROS

    Rex Brothers
    Ryan Cook

    My immediate response is Brothers, but man he has looked bad this year. They are easing Cook back and they have Gregerson and Johnson probably in line in front of him.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Shake N Bacon: yikes, I would say Cook. I havent liked anything I have seen from Rexy at all.

      • Shake N Bacon says:
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        @Smokey: I’ve also been stashing Nate Jones on my DL but once Harper got hurt, I had to use it for him. I’m cutting bait on Jones now. There’s no information out there on when he might even start throwing again. Do you think he gets a chance to save a game this year? I’ve got Webb stashed as well, hoping he takes over the job at some point. Chasing saves can be brutal!

        Thanks for the reply!

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Shake N Bacon: think Webb gets a shot before Nate

  20. Tom says:
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    Drop Lindstrom and grab Jim Johnson now or keep a “sure” closer.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Tom: Keep the sure thing…for now at least

  21. Jason says:
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    What is the upside of keeping Rondon on my roster, 15 saves and a question of whether he holds the job all year? Wily Peralta is available in a deep 12 teamer and Rondon is my only droppable player. I own Nathan, Soria, Rodney, but still manage to lose saves each week.

    Thanks!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jason: Basically yea 15-18 saves, He looks the part to me as of now, better than Strop. Nathan hasn’t been accumulating like he should.

  22. Fletch says:
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    Limited Transaction league. I have 4 free agent moves left (used #1 on Springer). Chapman was dropped. He’s worth the risk right?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Fletch: absolutely

  23. Scarecrow Greinke says:
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    Joe Smith was just snatched up. Looking for another bullpen arm in my Saves + Holds league with K/9. Who do you like most out of this list?

    Jonathon Broxton, Adam Ottavino, Will Smith, Ryan Cook, Brett Cecil, Junichi Tazawa

  24. Smalls Killer says:
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    Hey Smokey, I think I got to drop a closer so I can activate Kershaw on Monday and keep me a streamer spot open.. At least until Cobb returns. I figure Romo is an obvious keep. Then I have Johnson, Meloncon & Santos(lucky me I had him benched for his implosion the other night) – is that who you would cut loose? Can only start 3 unless an RP has qualified as a SP and I have none. Extra category is K/BB ratio is it helps

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Smalls Killer: Santos out of the guys you have listed

      • Smalls Killer says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks

  25. goodfold2 says:
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    holds and RW and k/9 as cats who to replace santos with?
    neschek/dunn/choate/salas/outman/varvaro/leone/qualls/thielbar/wilson (PIT)/webb/maness/o.perez/germen/tonkin/maronde.

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