It’s the AL Central’s turn to be featured in my “reliever names that might make you vomit” series. These are some of the least stable bullpens in baseball. There’s a good chance someone from one of these teams becomes a difference maker in your saves chase, so listen up!
- Chicago White Sox – Jace Fry. Outside of Fry, the Sox would do well to move most of their relievers that can close should the fall out of the race (they’re definitely going to be out of it early). Fry was able to overcome the disadvantage of being born left-handed to snag four saves last season. If the firesale heats up I’d get to my wire and roster Fry.
- Cleveland Indians – Danny Salazar. Might this finally be the year Cleveland throws in the towel on Salazar as a starter? Their rotation is still stacked, with more young names on the horizon. Salazar has always had the dynamic stuff that would play superbly out of the pen. He’s still on the 60 day-IL, so you can stash him as an added bonus.
- Detroit Tigers – Daniel Norris. Norris is primarily a fastball-slider guy, which would make it an easy transition to the bullpen. He’s never stuck as a starter despite flashing talent here and there. Joe Jiminez is the next man up should Shane Greene falter, but he’s struggled at times as well. Starters turned relievers are my favorite closer dark horse if you haven’t noticed.
- Kansas City Royals – Brad Keller. Has anyone ever been an opening day starter and the team leader in saves? Brett Meyers maybe? Keller isn’t a particularly good pitcher but Kansas City isn’t overflowing with options in their rotation or bullpen at the moment. Sometimes attrition is the best path to saves for a durable arm.
- Minnesota Twins – Fernando Romero. Here’s a starter that’s already being converted to a reliever. He’ll open the year in Triple-A since he’s never pitched out of the bullpen. There’s a somewhat long list of candidates in front of Romero to get a bite at the Twins closer gig but none are that imposing. Romero has that hard and wild fastball that hitters hate seeing for just one at-bat.