For a quick recap of closers potentially on the move with the trade deadline looming, here’s the Bottom of the Ninth post from two weeks ago.
Houston Astros: In an even earlier post, I covered the Astros closing situation. For a not-so-quick recap, Brett Myers is due $10 million in 2013 if he closes 45 games and doesn’t end the year on the DL. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tim Lincecum has a 6.07 ERA. Seriously, we’re in July and Lincecum’s ERA is six point oh seven. There’s ugly. There’s brutal. There’s murderous. There’s the guy with the goiter down the street from you that you talked to at a red light once and now he wants to hang out. Please, blog, may I have some more?
With about a month before we hit MLB’s July 31st trade deadline, let’s take a look at a few teams with closers who may be moved by that time.
Colorado Rockies: At 37 years old, Rafael Betancourt clearly isn’t the long-term option for the Rockies, but he has been extremely effective since being acquired from the Indians in 2009 (this season’s excellent 2.67 FIP and 4.14 K/BB are his worst rates since donning a Colorado uniform). Please, blog, may I have some more?
It hasn’t been easy owning Matt Wieters this year. After a monster April (.279 / 6 HR / 15 RBI), he had an Arencibian May (.188 / 2 HR / 7 RBI). All the while, catchers on the waiver wire like A.J. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oakland Athletics: After surrendering 3 baserunners and 3 runs in a blown save Friday, Brian Fuentes is out of the 9th in Oakland. He no longer misses bats; he owns a solid 9.38 career K/9 with a 11.3% swinging strike rate, but his 2012 numbers check in at a much less impressive 6.45 K/9, supported by a diminished 7.0% swinging strike rate. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kendrys returns (or is the verb singular there?) this year, but can’t play every day, and when he does, he needs to DH. So, since Mark Trumbo fields about as well as Dalton Trumbo fielded commie accusations, it seemed like Trumbo (Mark) would be benched a lot. In years past, Scioscia would’ve went with some variation of a light-hitting middle infielder with a good glove — “You can’t teach moxie! Moxie’s innate! Chone Figgins had so much moxie. He could’ve played 3rd base, 2nd base and waitressed at a diner from midnight to 8 AM.” That’s a direct quote from Scioscia’s autobiography, “Crouching Angel, Hidden Drag Bunt.” But maybe Scioscia learned himself something because Trumbo is playing every day, and hitting well. Yesterday, he went 2-for-3, 2 runs, 6 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homers. Right now, Trumbo’s hitting .326. That’s probably through his ceiling for average, through the ceiling above it and out the roof. He could hit 50 to 60 points below that. There’s still plenty of value here. He’s on his way to 30-plus homers, solid counting stats and 10-plus steals. Basically, what you hope you get from Pujols at this point. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Scott Downs – And just when you think The Sciosciapath has his harsh mellowed over the closer sitch, he goes and flips the script. Colvin and CarGo, two lefties, were due up in the ninth, so I’m guessing he went with Downs there for that reason. I’d continue to hold Frieri, but obviously Downs isn’t out of the picture completely. He’s kinda photobombing the closer picture, actually. Please, blog, may I have some more?
New York Yankees: On Friday, Jon Heyman reported that Rafael Soriano will remain the closer, even after David Robertson returns from his oblique injury in a week or two. I was a little harsh in my assessment of Soriano two weeks ago, as his May K/BB was a solid 3.67, vastly superior to his awful 1.17 ratio in April. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s what’s gonna happen. You’re gonna be out at a family BBQ for Memorial Day. Your weird uncle that has coke bottle glasses is going to ask your girlfriend if she’ll pass the potato salad just so he can get a glimpse of her bra when she moves her arm, and then your friend is going to text you, “Anthony Rizzo called up! I grabbed him… Lqqk who sucks –> You! Say hello to your mother for me.” First thing you’re gonna think is, why are you friends with this guy? Bad enough he’s an ass, but he uses Q’s for O’s. Second thing you’re gonna think is, why you didn’t grab Rizzo and stash him a week ago? He is absolutely raking in Triple-A: .359 average, 13 homers in 37 games. LaHair’s obviously not getting benched, but he can slide into the outfield and Rizzo will be playing 1st base for the Cubs by June 5th. You can wait until June 4th if your league needs Nerf to supply the balls, but, in most leagues, you better grab him soon. In the meantime, let’s start calling Rizzo “The Scer.” You know, if Phil Rizzuto was The Scooter. Okay, maybe that doesn’t work. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Dale Thayer – Street’s closed, use alternate route. I’d consider going down Thayer. Street’s supposed to open again in a few weeks, but city planners and construction have already closed this Street 15 times in the last few years from just wear and tear. Chances are it’s up and running again are never definite. Please, blog, may I have some more?
When Heath Bell looked like garbage on Sunday, Frank Francisco returned serve with three of his own runs. It was like watching a tennis match between Jon Lovitz and that guy from Felicity. Rather than getting the hook by his manager, Frank-Frank was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. The ump should’ve told him, “With your stuff, I wouldn’t have the balls to throw strikes either.” Jon Rauch is next in line here, but, before the ink can dry on his neck, he could lose the job too. Though, I would grab him, in the non-sexual way. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Ike Davis – Sat out yesterday with flu-like symptoms. Like. Oh. My. Gahd. I hopes it’s not Valley Fever. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I liked me some Brandon Morrow, but I’m thinking of the old Morrow (not Edward Murrow) that had no control and sat down hitters like he was a furniture salesman whose favorite line was, “Try it out.” I talked briefly in our last podcast about Morrow. Rudy tends to think Morrow is a new and improved pitcher. I think Rudy’s standing too close to a newly-glued diorama. I just want to get out the facts about Morrow that we think we know compared to what we do know. FACT: He’s never had control. NOT FACT: Without control, he’s now able to pitch the ball exactly where hitters can make contact, but not get a base hit. FACT: His FIP is saying he’s getting lucky. NOT FACT: He can leave more runners on than other pitchers. FACT: His career walk rate is 4.39. NOT FACT: This year he can continue to shave more than two walks per nine off his rate. FACT: He pitches in the AL East. NOT FACT: He has a parakeet named, Chisel Jaw, that he dresses up in WWII pilot gear with a mini parachute. FACT: He’s injury prone. NOT FACT: Whenever he orders halibut, he shrugs and says, “I don’t know why I’m ordering this. Maybe just for the halibut.” FACT: He’s at the peak of his value. NOT FACT: He liked Jordin Sparks’ latest album on Facebook. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Steve Cishek – Ozzie wrapped a towel around his neck, had Joey Cora spray him with some water so it looked like he just stepped out of a sauna and said Heath Bell’s still his closer. Two things I don’t agree with there. First, Heath Bell’s terrible no matter how many times Ozzie says he’s the closer. Second, if you spray olive oil instead of water, it holds the look of perspiration much better. Please, blog, may I have some more?