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Friends
How many of us have them?
Friends
Ones we can depend on

So it dawned upon me that, in the Whodini song, “Friends”, can be replaced by any good word, from your favorite lady parts to my personal favorite, relievers.  That’s the hard part, reliability.  The reliability of a great conversation with say, and in this instance, a Bartender.  Who just happens to be in the news again this week.  Tom Wilhelmsen is back, as was inevitable.  I mean, come on, Ollie Perez, really? Really?  Eric the Wedge has seen the light and by hallelujah from up above realized the error of his ways.  Now, he wasn’t laying blame on anyone, though I think it may have been Radames,  at least that’s what my boy Bishop was sayin’.  So, not if, but when he gets back, what has he learned, walks need to come down, K’s need to come up.  Shot specials or a bucket special wouldn’t hurt either.  Tom Will needs to forget that month long stretch where he was about as good as a 12-pack of Schafer light.  I have some confidence, but the chances will be limited as the Marginers have only had 1, yes I said 1, save opportunity in the last 14 days.  Hooray for stats. Stick around for some other tidbits and rankings.  Oh and Enjoy the glorious celebration of our nation’s birth.

Heath Bell – Was shown the door on account of a returning Putz.  Gibby then went all “I’m the guy who limped around the bases” and said Bell will return to the role of closing in the desert.  Funny, I thought that guy would have been named Moses.

Aroldis Chapman – Anyone else notice that a consensus top 5 closer has been awfully quiet lately?  Yeah, the K’s have been there, but 9 whole innings in the last 30 days.  That’s not getting much production from your “best” pitcher, quotations are like tooth picks here.  Useless and annoying when you don’t use them to there proper capabilities.

Steve Cishek – The hottest name in trade rumors this side of Kevin Gregg.  Miami is going no where like a refugee raft with a hole in it.  So showcase away Stevie, a contender is awaiting.  10 saves in the past month out of 11 chances. In case you’re keeping track that’s the same amount as Grilli and Sergio Romo. Combined.

$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, Luis Avilan, Cory Gearrin)

2. Mariano Rivera (-) (David Robertson, Boone Logan, Shawn Kelley)

3. Joe Nathan ( +1) (Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Ross, Neal Cotts)

4. Rafael Soriano (+2) (Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard)

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

6. Jason Grilli (-1) (Mark Melancon, Justin Wilson, Tony Watson)

7. Jonathan Papelbon (-) (Antonio Bastardo, Justin De Fratus)

8. Addison Reed (+1 ) ( Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton)

9. Jim Johnson (+3) (Tommy Hunter, Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz)

10. Glen Perkins (+4) (Jared Burton, Casey Fien, Brian Duensing)

 

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.

11. Sergio Romo (-2) (Jeremy Affeldt, George Kontos)

12. Edward Mujica (-1) (Trevor Rosenthal, Michael Blazek, Randy Choate)

13. Grant Balfour (+2) (Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle)

14. Ernesto Frieri (+1) (Scott Downs, Kevin Jepsen, Michael Kohn)

15. Greg Holland (+1) (Aaron Crow, Tim Collins)

16. Casey Janssen (+1 ) (Steve Delabar, Aaron Loup, Brett Cecil)

17. Kenley Jansen (+5) (Brandon League, Paco Rodriguez, Carlos Marmol)

18. Fernando Rodney (-) (Joel Peralta, Jake McGee)

19. Bobby Parnell (+1) (Brandon Lyon, LaTroy Hawkins, David Aardsma)

20. Huston Street (+7) (Luke Gregerson, Dale Thayer)

21. Rafael Betancourt (+7) (Rex Brothers, Matt Belisle)

22. Kevin Gregg (+2) (James Russell, Blake Parker)

23. Chris Perez (+5) (Vinnie Pestano, Cody Allen, Joe Smith)

24. Steve Cishek (+6) (Mike Dunn, Chad Qualls, A.J. Ramos)

25. Jose Veras (+1) (Jose Cisnero, Travis Blackley, Wesley Wright)

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.

26. Koji Uehara – (-3)(Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller)

27. Joaquin Benoit (-8) (Drew Smyly, Al Alburquerque, Bruce Rondon)

28. Heath Bell (-7) (J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, Brad Ziegler)

29. Francisco Rodriguez (-4) (Jim Henderson, Jon Axford)

30. Tom Wilhelmsen (-12) (Yoervis Medina, Oliver Perez, Carter Capps)

  1. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    Maybe it’s just me but, it seems like there are a lot less Brain Freezes this year. I mean, you’ve only got 5 guys in that category, and of those guys I’m really only afraid of Heath Bell and the Bartender giving me 1/3 IP and 5 ER. Everyone else seems fairly, safe this year.

    This is like the exact opposite of last year where I was afraid of getting that line from about two thirds of the closers in the league.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: it’s the success of the guys replacing the previous guy. But I do agree. As I do the lists it’s harder to knock guys for being lackluster.

  2. Larry says:
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    Im not sure anyone would take Reed, Nathan, or Frieri over Holland. Holland has a 15K/9, which is better than Kimbrel

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Larry: I love Holland and it’s not for the space cake. He was already replaced once this year and come back with a flurry. He has steadily climbed into the top 15 now. Which is saying a lot from when 6 degrees of Kelvin was all the rage.

  3. gareth says:
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    Holland should be top 10, easily.

    Benoit and uehara are not brain freezes. They are both proven relievers playing on contending teams. Early closer results from both have been encouraging.

    If anyone is a brain freeze its huston street. Hes been shaky all year. K rate, era, health (obviously) all poor.

    Frieri is too high. He’s too inconsistent. His k rate is great but he is prone to mektdowns. Marmol light.

    Safnof!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @gareth: Holland is climbing and team success is helping a ton.

      Frieri may be all those things but has no one pushing him.

      Years and Benoit are replacing a guy who replaced a guy. How much confidence should I have the first time they ate actually ranked in this way.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @gareth: agree with gareth here. esp benoit, he has nobody breathing down his neck and has been absolutely wonderful for a long time. Uehera could be low end of donkeycorn’s, due to being new at closer job. Bell should seriously be at the bottom, as he will lose this job either soon (read next 5 days); or late, (2 weeks?). Street should be in middle of Brain Freeze list as he’s been garbage or hurt all year. Wilhelmsen has now had like 11 or 14 consecutive outs with only allowing 1 single, so he should gain ground if anything. Frieri shouldn’t be 14 overall, more like 22nd or so.

  4. gareth says:
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    Meant SAGNOF. Safnof sounds like a bulgarian bond villian.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @gareth: sounds like a bootleg character from street fighter

  5. Frank White says:
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    Hey what’s up… I’m in a 10 team mixed h2h points league. I try to have as many pitchers as I can cause that’s where allot of the points come from but I decided a week ago to have 1 less starter to get a 3rd closer. I got Mujica, Henderson and Gregg. Do you think I should keep all 3 or should I drop one to get another starter??

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Frank White: all three are getting saves just relaxin and enjoy stats for a little.

  6. mike says:
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    Just completed a trade what do u think? I got ryu and plouffe for aramis Ramirez and josh johnson

    • gareth says:
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      @mike: you lost the trade.

      • gareth says:
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        @gareth: by needs I mean, who gets / needs the catcher,

  7. Brooks Jacoby says:
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    Julio Teheran, Hyun Ryu, Huston Street for Yadier Molina and Glenn Perkins, which side?

    • gareth says:
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      @Brooks Jacoby: depends on needs. Its really not a difference maker either way.

  8. madden_curser says:
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    Holland closed out June with some impressive totals. He made 13 appearances (13 innings), notched nine saves and posted a 1.38 ERA with a 24:3 K:BB for the month and now has a 2.10 ERA with 50 strikeouts over just 30 innings. He’s now struck out the side an impressive six times this year. With the Royals playing competitive ball these days, Holland should be viewed as a high-end closer thanks to his high level of job security and impressive strikeout rate.

    • gareth says:
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      @madden_curser: holland closed my indians out last 2 days. Hes one of my closers, and even the indians announcer said he was one of the best in the american league. Sad we lost but sooo happy to have THAT dude closing on my fantasy team.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @gareth: i was lucky to waiver him last year about 2 weeks before the broxton trade (i had broxton all year before that). He was mostly great last year as well. Went too high for me this year, so i got perkins, with very similar stats to Holland, slightly less K’s.

  9. Cole says:
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    Looks like Henderson is going to take on the MKE closer job upon K-Rod’s trading. Axford has been way better, but he’s lucky to see the 8th right now. No way Henderson is traded though, super cheap for a while. Ax might be moved (if anyone wants him) though, since he’s the most expensive arm they have in the pen at $5 mil.

    • Evan says:
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      @Cole: Axford will be dealt for sure, he’ll be closing or 8th inning duty for a contender.

  10. Jiggy Nits says:
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    Should I dish Betancourt for Garza in an NL only ROTO? I think its a good trade except risk of Garza being dealt to AL. What say you?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jiggy Nits: Betancourt could get dealt as well. If need sp help it’s a good gamble.

      • Jiggy Nits says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks! I pulled the trigger… Garza to an NL team friendly park like Dodgers or Giants would be a huge win. Appreciate the advice.

  11. Brooke says:
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    Hey Smokey, given the choice you’d rather have 16 other closers over Kenley Jansen? He’s a top 5-6 closer the way I see it. Just sayin…

    • Evan says:
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      @Brooke: Plus the dodgers have been playing pretty well lately, so should see a lot more save opportunities!

    • gareth says:
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      @Brooke: sagnof.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Brooke: 16 rp prolly not.l, but it all depends on stats and how the Dodgers are playing. Next time around he is in the top 8 if all things stay coprsetic.

  12. roo says:
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    Best MR not named Rosenthal,Robertson, Melancon, Smyly for ratio help? Looks like Crain is hurt.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @roo: how about Delabar. Great K numbers great era. Not the bet by any means but def pitching well

  13. papasmurf says:
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    I heard Hochevar’s gonna be tried out as a setup man? Similar to Matusz and Tommy Hunter.

    SP-eligible setup man alert for HLDs leagues, especially yahoo.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @papasmurf: he has been gettIng some late looks and has rebounded similarly to Cecil as a retread sp for rp.

  14. rwr1977 says:
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    Is this a vetoable trade? Holland for Josh Hamilton? The team giving up Hamilton is in last place in a 12 team roto league and the team giving up Holland is in 3rd place and has horded closers and has 20 more saves than the next closest team. I am thinking I would vote against it anyway but I really want to because I hate when people hoard closers for trade bait. It’s a strategy but just seems obnoxiuos to me so it makes me want to see it backfire on them. All that being said I still want to be fair. What does everyone else think?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @rwr1977: depends on need. I wouldn’t want Hamilton at all.

  15. zgsnyc says:
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    how the eff is koji uehara so low? i mean, he closes for the top scoring team in mlb, has lights the eff out numbers, and has been sparkling since he took the gig. also, he has no real competition for the job going forward- i said real competition, andrew bailey and tazawa do not qualify as real competition. so, smoke dog, please please PLEASE explain how you have steve friggen cishek, among others, ranked ahead of koji. koji of the .81 whip and 51 ks in 35 innings. seriously, justify your love.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @zgsnyc: Cishek’s numbers over the last month are border line elite closer type stuff. Koji is a great reliever and in a week he will have more closer counting stats and a stronger grasp on the Sawx closing gig. It’s not a knock against Koji at all just cishek over the last 30 days has more stats that count.

  16. Steve Stevenson says:
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    So you still have Russell ahead of Parker if Gregg is traded? I’m looking to grab trade candidates’ backups for the next couple weeks, and have room for 2 out of Russell, Bastardo, Brothers, Gregerson and Ramos. Which 2?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: Bastardo and gregerson for now. Until a trade happens and the closing trade dominoes fall we will get a better idea.

  17. Drongo McReddickbeard says:
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    OK Smokey, I’ve got a beef. At this point Mo and Grilli have each blown a save, Perkins has 2 BS, Arnoldis has 3, the idiot savant Papelbon 4, and JJohnson has coughed up a huge 5. Salads. How far back to you have to go for a Balfour blown save? Keep going, way back into last year. You aren’t just copying “Eno Sarris” ratings are you? That’s a real no respect donkeycorn. Maybe he’ll be a salad if he hits 70 straight..

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Drongo McReddickbeard: I love Balfour and the BS are a factor for the other guys being moved up and down. Balfour may be the best value pick this year with Perkins. And he is moving up the list steadily. Will be a cusp salad next time for sure with what he has done.

  18. danny almonte says:
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    Holds league, Pestano was dropped, I just let him clear waivers and snatched him. Is he ok? I know he’s been a little more rough than we’re used to

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @danny almonte: he has been effective but not what we expected still a usable rp in m

  19. Clint says:
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    I’ve been scouting some pre-trade deadline stories and it seems no one has a guess what will happen to the Cubbies closer roll when Gregg gets traded as inevitable as it seems. I’ve seen Strop, Russell, AND Parker mentioned as snatch and grab candidates these days. Can you elaborate on your view of the pecking order, Smokey?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Clint: Russell il he gets traded (could even be before Gregg), Blake Parker and the dark horse is Frank Batista a RP in AA.

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