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In school they teach, or try to teach, in most of our cases for the ADHD crowd, the essentials of a good curriculum. Reading, Writing and arithmetic. We can apply that to the closer situation in Arizona.  Addison Reed is the closer, but for how much longer?, is the key conundrum. He see’s the writing on the wall, but he also has the backing of his manager throughout the season (and again on Tuesday), and has since blown 2 more saves. Though the way the D-Backs are going, would it be optimal for them to ground an asset, or a “sort of asset” now, and then try and go a different direction later via trade?  Cuz let’s be honest, they aren’t going anywhere, and have capable arms in the majors and minors to jump in if necessary.  Now the math part, well that is why we do fantasy baseball, it’s all about the numbers.  Which, in Addison’s case, really sounds like a totally hot chicks name, prolly drives a Jeep Wrangler, wears her dad’s old jeans as cut-offs, basically a goer if you catch my drift.  [Jay’s Note: I really don’t.] Where was I and why am I all sweaty?  Oh…numbers.  Reed’s K’s are up and walks are down from his career numbers… but but but Smokey, those are good things.  Right?  Well, technically yes, but when luck runs out you go to Zig-Zags, and by that, I mean Brad Ziegler, (the next guy up in the event of  a change). Yes, even with the escape-goat win on Wednesday.  I mean, Addison has done really nothing wrong besides blow 5 games, and sometimes looks about as hittable as Rihanna.  So sit on Addison, but cushion the blow with B-Rad, and for dynasty lookers, take a look at Jake Barrett.  Let’s see what other geniuses of truth happened in the last week or two.

 

  • The Rays have had a sudden resurgence in the standings, and it has had a direct reflection on their bullpen numbers as well.  They have had 7 saves in the last 14 days, 5 by new closer Jake McGee  His 5 saves ties him for the most during the span, tied with a slew of others.  So first is good, tied to others is bad, unless in a 3-legged race.
  • Trevor Rosenthal is turning into a Whip-opatomus.  Hence his dip in the rankings.  Every outing is shakier than Alex P. Keaton.  For example, he has had 11 consecutive appearances allowing a runner on base, 5 of which were multiple base-runners.  Every other is nice and neat, like an OCD person’s sock drawer, minus the 2/1 K/BB, and for that Trevor, no allowance.
  • The White Sox situation is about as easy to predict as an octopus saying he will put his best foot forward.  Jake Petricka and Zach Putnam are the guys to own, and their upcoming TeenNick show, Jake and the set-up man looks to be a horrendous flop.  Needs more Joe Penny.  It’s a completely situational thing, and if you have better options to occupy your roster, I will sign your permission slip for your mom.
  • Mike Dunn is the king vulture so far this year.  He is such a good racketeer, that he leads the Marlins in wins with 7.  Way to go stickers for everyone.

 

 

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 – (Jordan WaldenShae Simmons)

2. Kenley Jansen – (Chris PerezBrian WilsonJ.P. Howell)

3. Greg Holland – (Wade DavisKelvin HerreraAaron Crow)

4. Aroldis Chapman – (Jonathan BroxtonJ.J. Hoover)

5. Koji Uehara – (Junichi TazawaEdward MujicaAndrew Miller)

6. Glen Perkins – (Jared BurtonCasey Fien)

7. David Robertson – (Dellin BetancesAdam WarrenMatt Thornton)

8. Huston Street – (Joaquin BenoitDale Thayer)

9. Sean Doolittle – (Luke Gregerson, Danny Otero, Ryan Cook)

 

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.

 

10. Francisco Rodriguez – (Will SmithBrandon Kintzler)

11. Fernando Rodney – (Danny FarquharYoervis MedinaCharlie Furbush)

12. Steve Cishek – (Mike DunnA.J. Ramos)

13. Trevor Rosenthal – (Pat NeshekSeth ManessJason Motte)

14. Rafael Soriano – (Tyler ClippardDrew Storen)

15. Cody Allen – (Bryan ShawJohn Axford)

16. Mark Melancon – (Ernesto FrieriTony WatsonJustin Wilson)

17. Zach Britton – (Tommy Hunter, Darren O’Day)

18. Joakim Soria – (Jason FrasorNeal Cotts)

19. Casey Janssen – (Steve DelabarBrett CecilAaron Loup)

20. Jonathan Papelbon – (Ken GilesAntonio Bastardo, Justin De Frautus)

21Joe Nathan – (Joba ChamberlainAl AlburquerqueIan Krol)

22. Chad Qualls – (Kyle FarnsworthJosh Fields)

 

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.

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

24. Joe Smith – (Jason GrilliKevin JepsenMike Morin)

25. Jake McGee – (Joel Peralta, Grant Balfour, Brad Boxberger)

26. LaTroy Hawkins – (Rex BrothersAdam Ottavino)

27. Jenrry Mejia – (Jeurys FamiliaCarlos TorresVic Black)

28. Hector Rondon – (Neil RamirezPedro Strop)

29  Santiago Casilla – (Sergio Romo,  Jeremy Affeldt, Jean Machi)

30. Jake Petricka / Zach Putnam

 

 

From Around The Web

  1. Charles says:
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    Thanks for the Closer Report. Always looking forward to reading it. My 12 team points league allows 2 closers. I have KRod and Melancon as my mains and Casilla on my bench. But lately the Pirates haven’t been generating save chances getting whooped by the Cards. Meanwhile Casilla has quietly gotten 3 saves this week.

    Should I swap Melancon and Casilla the thinking is that SF will generate more saves than Pitts? Or am I over managing and should just leave Melancon in?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Charles: keep Melancon. Def overthinking put down the caffeine.

  2. TG26 says:
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    What are your thoughts on Ken Giles? With Papelbon possibly being dealt to you see him as the closer in waiting?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @TG26: love me some Giles. If paps gets traded I could see it be a committee at first until he shows what everyone else who has seen him pitch already knows. That he is better option them Bastardo.

  3. Gweilo says:
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    Why is this column still going?

    The categories are the most juvenile, objectionable, and I can go on….

    I’m a liberal guy, but I think Smokey is an asshole for his naming of categories.

    I know you’ll get your dime Grey, because I ventured into this part of your blog, but it won’t happen again.

    • Clint says:
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      @Gweilo:

      In case you didn’t notice, most closer articles in fantasy name their tiers in some way, shape or form. Rotoworld does it all the time, for example. If it bothers you so much, why use Razzball for advice at all? Stop trying to shut something down the majority of their readers appreciate.

      And trying to diminish your smears with “I’m a liberal guy, but…” is cowardly and juvenile in and of itself, man.

    • gareth says:
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      @Gweilo: I’m a liberal guy, but I think Gweilo hasn’t quite figured out the whole constructive criticism thing.

      Nice call on Rosenthal, Smokey. I grabbed neshek after he was officially named the back up closer because of Rosenthal’s excessive pitch counts and frequent usage. Great work as always!

      • Smokey

        Smokey says:
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        @Gweilo: @Clint: @gareth: so says the liberal with a slang nane for non Asians. I’ll buy you a beer and we can discuss other things that are more pertinent in the world.

        • Julio White says:
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          @Smokey: cool as a cucumber like always, smokester. love your closer report.

          just a couple house cleaning things

          – you can probably push Putz out of the Snakes’ order, as he hasn’t been with the team for a couple of weeks now.
          – familia is dealing with some arms issues that Collins is calling a “red flag” so you might want to shake up that mets pecking order.
          – based on usage it looks like putnam may be ahead of petricka – might be something to look at.

          Keep up the great work!

          • Smokey

            Smokey says:
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            @Julio White: thanks for the read…yea missed on Putz

    • Huge Tracts of Land says:
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      @Gweilo: 100% agree. I cringe to read the category headers. Name the categories after something else–anything–fruits, Monty Python movies, Australian beaches, Broadway stars (“I’m looking to upgrade from a Midler to a Minelli”), but the ones you have are flat offensive and have no real connection to a hierarchy. I believe the M,F, K categories are from a game played by…junior high kids??? Can’t we get beyond that here? Really drags Razzball into the slime. I hate it.

      • Huge Tracts of Land says:
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        @Huge Tracts of Land: I think what bothers me most is this: Razzball has always been clever and quirky. These categories are not only NOT clever, but have devolved into mildly suggestive of violence toward women. (marry, f, and KILL? WTF?) Try going back to clever. It’s a lot more interesting to consider why a closer is more comparable to a T-rex than a diplodocus or a Passat rather than a Beetle or Tiguan.

        And @Clint, its not about the advice offered, it’s about how that advice is presented. Your “‘Merica, love it or leave it” attitude is deplorable. Just because the categories stink doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate Smokey’s advice or work. His judgment I don’t agree with, but his advice is appreciated.

        • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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          @Huge Tracts of Land: devolving should be appreciated. “make the MF’ers glad to mutate”. i don’t know about junior high kids, but it’s in step brothers. and yes those were adults playing childlike roles. ok, great movie. don’t be frightened of ideas reminding you somehow about unpleasant stigma like spouse abuse.

          • Huge Tracts of Land says:
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            @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: What??? I should embrace completely abhorrent ideas in order to read about a closer situation? Should we call the closer rankings “k*kes, n*ggers, w*ps, and t*welheads” etc.? Sorry, that’s a load of sh*t.

  4. Clint says:
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    You mention Dunn. Grey mentioned in his daily notes that Cisek’s almost falling apart lately. Would Dunn’s win success behoove a change to him there or are they sticking with Steve-o?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Clint: I don’t see it barring an injury or trade.

  5. Hi Smokey: In a deep league I’m desperate for saves and have cobbled together a group of the worst closers that have me moving up the standings in that category: Dollittle, McGee, Smith, Casilla, and Ziegler.

    My questions: If I need a roster spot, Zielger’s the drop, right? And in the meantime, am I better off speculating on Putnam or, say, one of the backup relievers in Boston (in case Uehara is traded)? Would you suggest switching out any of those other guys?

    Thanks!

    • @Enrique: FYI: Not dissing Doolittle … just the other guys.

    • gareth says:
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      @Enrique: I’m in the same boat. The trade deadline should be interesting. We may see street, uehara and possibly other guys dealt to contenders.

      I would hold (for now).

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Enrique: I would hold onto Zeigler for now. The white sox sitch looks like garbage undesipherable garbage.

      • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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        @Smokey: where exactly are you getting the idea that mcgee/casilla/smith aren’t somehow good pitchers (maybe simply because they didn’t start the year as closers?). because they simply are. mcgee and smith were both no worse than 2nd best RP at their teams’ last year and have been the best at their teams’ this year. casilla has been the best RP at SF all year.

        • @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: I don’t mean they aren’t good pitchers. I mean I think their chances of staying in the role are tenuous for whatever reason. I think of the group I have Doolittle is the only one with a strong hold on the job.

          I guess I could have said “…I wasn’t dissing Doolittle’s situation, just the way each of the other guys’ manager sees him…” But I didn’t know there would be a test at the end.

  6. gareth says:
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    By the way if uehara is traded then the options are really not good. Mujica has been terrible this year and tazawa has really fallen off lately. Miller is the best set up guy, but I don’t see them putting him in the 9th.

    We’d end up seeing two matching sox (the red and white kind) in regards to messy closer situations.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @gareth: will be interesting to see what they do if they shake things up. No clear option that has the stats this year to say he is next.

    • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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      @gareth: you might be right about miller not going into the 9th, but he’s been awesome this year.

  7. uncdrew says:
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    I’m torn. How do I rank these schmucks:

    Ziegler
    Petricka
    Nesheck
    Giles

    I still have like 53% of the MLB season left, and need saves.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @uncdrew:Petricka, Ziegler, Giles, Neshek.

  8. Arte's Johnson says:
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    Thanks for the Closer Report, Smokey. Great stuff as always! BTW, I think you can safely drop Delabar from the Toronto depth chart at this point…

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Arte’s Johnson: I will always hold out hope for Stevie D…thanks

  9. No Soup for Yu says:
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    Hey Smokey I’ve got to questions for you about 10 team league with S+H as a category!

    1. Which SP eligible player do you like better for holds/ ratios Mejia or Mcgowan?

    2. Pick four of these RP for s+H and ratios ROS Clippard, Watson, Mcgee, Walden, Gregerson, Casilla, Neshek, W Smith (who already ruined my matchup this week), C Allen, T Watson, Betances

    3. Thanks man!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @No Soup for Yu: McGowan
      Bettances, Clippard, Neshek, Walden then Allen/McGee

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Smokey: mejia is closer, and as such is the least likely pitcher to get holds. he is the only SP eligible closer though, big deal in leagues with say 2 RP slots. his owner would be only owner with possibility of 3 closers a day.

  10. Joeg414 says:
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    Been offered Casilla for my Blackman, but even with Cargo coming back and Ozuna on my bench. I turn it down. But I still need Saves ; I just picked up Tazawa (cutting Grilli). How did I do?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Joeg414: good job turning down trade. Tazawa is speculating at best, anyone else of note avail?

      • Joeg414 says:
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        @Smokey: N.feliz, Mujica and other some deep set up guys like O”Day that’s about it.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Joeg414: Soria has been getting alot of trade speculation in Tex so Feliz may get a chance if that happens. But it’s still very speculative.

          • Joeg414 says:
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            @Smokey: trying to deal Chisenhall for Nathan

            • Smokey

              Smokey says:
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              @Joeg414: I like it as long as you have 3b covered

              • Joeg414 says:
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                @Smokey: yes, I got Longo and Adams as corners . Thanks for all the feedback tonight.

  11. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    i’m telling ya burton hasn’t been ahead of fien in probably nearly 2 months now. burton gets most of his usage when they are losing these days. theilbar might even be better off listed ahead of burton, or soon should be.

  12. james says:
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    just wanted to note, a rise in K rate is not always a good thing, simply since it is normalized against innings instead of batters faced. I a pitcher is always going of the K, but gives up 2 hits in the inning and gets 1k, he struck out 20% of the hitters and is still a at a k/9 of 9. IF a pitcher throws a perfect game with a 20% he only has 5.4k. So his k/9 is 5.4.

    See how it can look ridiculous when a pitcher has an elevated Whip (so sees more hitters per inning). I like the idea of a strikeout % better, but i have no idea if i correlates to success any better… and would have no idea what i was even looking at. K:bb normalized part of this, as most high WHIP guys with reasonable ERA have terrible k:bb since they walk a lot of guys (a walk only puts a guy on first, rather than a hit who could go anywhere), but it does not weed out the guys who simply either give up a hit or get a K.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @james: Good point, I do look at k% and k/9 when looking at RP, but thanks for the note and the read.

  13. JP says:
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    Smokey-I am out of the running this year and have no viable closers on my roster currently. It is a 6×6 roto keeper league. I have acquired several daft picks and am looking to deal for a closer for a run at it next year. So the nearly impossible question is what are your thoughts on Cody Allen for 2015 and beyond. The Allen owner is willing to move him I like him and his numbers and I won’t be paying for a name or a team as much as a couple other closers he has. I don’t see much of a push from anyone else in the system in the immediate future. Can you give me some insight and a loose projection on his standing going into next season assuming no injuries top 10? Thank you.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @JP: He is right in that top 8-10 group if I am looking at next year, based on him having the job from day one. His K/9 and K% numbers are all top 20, he is middle of the road in walks but in the same category as other better closers. Your right that internally there aren’t any options there to usurp him, not for at least 2 years. He also wont start making a ton of money until 2016 so the road ahead of him is paved as the Indians gut for saves as long as he can continue doing what he’s doing.

  14. Troy says:
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    Belisario is droppable, right? Options for holds on the waiver are Morin, Herrera, Cotts… is LeCure droppable for any of them either?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Troy: like cotts and Herrera better than LeCure. Belisario is very droppable

  15. Sean says:
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    What happens with Washington’s closer situation next year. I’m in a traditional NL only Roto league and have Aaron Barrett for $1 and Tyler Clippard for $3 next year.

    You think Soriano will get resigned?

    Do I bother trading for Storen?

    Or am I good with the other two?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Sean: Clippard is going to make a ton if FA as a super 2 on last year of arb. So he is basically going to get paid like a closer, so I think they may go with him rather than invest an additional 10 mil on a experienced closer. I wouldn’t be surprised if they bring back Soriano for one year on a decent deal. If no Soriano resigned, Clippard closer, Barrett set-up. So I think you are set next year

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