Pittsburgh Pirates: Surprisingly, Juan Cruz toed the rubber in the ninth to earn the save for the Pirates Tuesday night. Initially there was no word as to the why. Eventually, we heard that Joel Hanrahan tweaked his hamstring on the last pitch of his outing against the Giants on Sunday. Hanrahan says he’s not going to be able to go until Friday or Saturday, at which point he could be put on the DL retroactively until Sunday. Cruz could find his way to a few save chances in the interim and there’s certainly potential for this hamstring issue to linger. For a nano second, circa 2008, Cruz was one of the better relievers in baseball but injuries and walks got him down in a major way. So far this season, Cruz is flashing a great K-rate and has limited his walks. If he can do that, he’ll remain a solid reliever. Evan Meek came in for the hold in the seventh so there appears to be no short term plans for the Pirates to use him to save.

San Francisco Giants: For some time, it appeared Santiago Casilla would be the closer in Brian Wilson’s absence and he got the first chance and didn’t disappoint, with Sergio Romo getting the hold. Casilla is a fine reliever who walks a few too many batters to be an incredibly comfortable ninth inning guy. Still, he has the job and it’s possible the Giants prefer to have Romo used in higher leverage spots throughout the game. I’m not rushing to get Casilla in a trade or if there are any FAAB bids/waivers still remaining though. For one reason, there’s Heath Hembree who was drafted and groomed to replace Wilson. Hembree has posted impressive K-rates in the minors, but has paired them with somewhat high walk rates. Still he has far better stuff than Casilla and isn’t the future always now? If you’re scoring at home: Casilla has decent stuff, but walks a lot of guys, the Giants have a closer prospect waiting in the wings, and Sergio Romo is really good .

Houston Astros: No matter what they say, it’s a matter of when, not if, Brett Myers is traded. As attrition and injuries mount, many teams will need one of those newfangled reliever-starter hybrids. He won’t command much, but any sort of prospect/money back is worth dealing him for. In Myers’ first save of the year, Wilton Lopez pitched most of the eighth. Lopez is off to a fine start, not walking a guy in 7.1 IPs, and is a great long term handcuff. He has exhibited solid control (1.69 BB/9 rate in the majors) and K-numbers. He’ll be good for a 3.25 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 50 K’s the rest of the way.

Minnesota Twins: Presumptive closer, Matt Capps, hasn’t looked great. Meanwhile, “closer-in-waiting” Glen Perkins was shut down due to a forearm issue. He had an MRI on Monday which showed only inflammation. Reportedly, his forearm feels better and he could rejoin the Twins any day now. That said, his absence has given Capps a little rope and we can’t be sure Perkins will remain healthy. He is still a handcuff in leagues where every single save matters, but in shallower leagues, it’s best scouting for saves elsewhere.

Chicago White Sox: Grey is all about Hector Santiago losing his job, and quickly. With anymore outings like Santiago’s last save opportunity (he allowed two homers and a walk), Grey could be right. That said, Santiago has a fine WHIP (1.25), has recorded six K’s in four IPs, and has only walked one batter. In addition, Robin Ventura had this to say: “But you know, the way I look at it is how he bounces back. I have confidence in taking him right back out there and letting him do it (Tuesday) night.” Ventura has staked one of his first “major” decisions on Santiago and will be slow to give up on the experiment. Meanwhile, Jesse Crain has pitched a ton in the eighth inning lately, with Addison Reed and Matt Thornton working the seventh. If you’re handcuffing, Crain looks like the next in line.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Javy Guerra finally blew his first save of the season, he’s now 5/6 in save opportunities. He has walked three batters in 6.1 IPs while striking out 6. With so few innings, it’s hard to judge whether he is taking a step forward in K’s, taking a step back in control or both. I’ve never believed in the underlying skills and know Kenley Jansen is the far better pitcher. What’s nice about Jansen is that he doesn’t have to get saves to be valuable in most any format, so rostering him for the long haul works. If you desperately need saves, it’s going to take a few more disastrous outings from Guerra to get Jansen close to closing, so you might need to look elsewhere. And, even if there are some disastrous outings, if he keeps saving at an 80% clip, I doubt he’ll lose the job.

Miami Marlins: Two times the finally in Thursday’s review, as Heath Bell finally recorded a save. His ERA sits at 9.00 and he has a 2.75 WHIP, but he has a one in the save column. He’ll have to be horrendous for about a month before a phantom DL stint removes him from the closer role.

Washington Nationals: I’ve nothing to add to Grey’s Buffy Fan Fiction: “HanK-Rod has a zero ERA and strikes out everyone; Lidge puts runners on every game and it gets harrowing!”

42 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TheNewGuy
TheNewGuy
10 years ago

Hey Al if you’re still answering questions got one more for ya.

Currently have Dunn and Gaby platooning at CI (10 team, OBP league). Do you see Dunn turning things around and at least providing 25+ homer pop?

If not theres a team in my league who’s shopping Goldschmidt and Freeman and said he could use a closer, I was considering entertaining a deal like S Santos for Freeman.

Albert Lang
Reply to  TheNewGuy
10 years ago

@TheNewGuy, I think it’s a tad early to give up on Dunn, but it’s not looking good. Personally I didnt draft him because I didnt want to deal with a slow start. Freeman, oddly, doesnt have Dunn’s ceiling, but his floor (18 HRs ROTW) is far higher than Dunns (10 HRs ROTW)

TheNewGuy
TheNewGuy
Reply to  Albert
10 years ago

@Albert, Ok thanks. Will give it a little while longer, but if he doesn’t show any signs of recapturing his power stroke, does Freeman for Santos sound ok to you (or Motte if he won’t take Santos)?

As well as I’ve started in this league, do feel you need a decent 1B (have EE at 1st currently….I know but the rest of my lineup rocks). And I have 4 closers currently (with a claim in on brox thanks to you).

Albert Lang
Reply to  TheNewGuy
10 years ago

@TheNewGuy, Oh, that’s a fine and equitable trade. The value of closers is so fluid and different in many leagues. I see little difference between santos and motte.

Check the stats on May 1, see where you are and then determine. you can easily win most leagues with lackluster 1bs.

TheNewGuy
TheNewGuy
Reply to  Albert
10 years ago

@Albert, Thanks man. Always get a good detailed response from you, it must get a little lonely around here, you deserve more questions than you get (Grey’s great too but his posts seems to pull in all the crowds).

Great call telling me to drop and forget about Melancon a while back too! After I dropped him one guy claimed him in my league…and had him active for that abomination of a performance against the Rangers…ouch :)

Albert Lang
Reply to  TheNewGuy
10 years ago

@TheNewGuy, Appreciate the kind words! My questions definitely do fluctuate more than grey’s, but had 100 or so for the column last week, which is hard enough to handle!

Re: Melancon: I’m as guilty of this as everyone. We all looked at Bailey, knew he would get injured and then Melancon would get the chance. I bet if Melancon was the guy we also would have said he was a candidate to lose his job — his stuff jsut isnt AL East type stuff, certainly not like Sergio Santos. We all just kind of glossed over that. Whoops!

radiohead
radiohead
10 years ago

What do you think of dealing Minor, F. Francisco and Helton for Holliday? 10 team NL-only and I can pick up Harang and Burnett after the deal.

Albert Lang
albert
Reply to  radiohead
10 years ago

@radiohead, its a great deal for you. You’ll have to find 25 saves somehow but the offensive gains offset that. I jump at that chance

Fenway Parkes
Fenway Parkes
10 years ago

I’ve been holding Farnsworth on my roster (Carpenter’s taking up my DL spot), and I’m thinking of dropping him for Hen-Rod or Jimmie Johnson. Thoughts please?

Albert Lang
albert
Reply to  Fenway Parkes
10 years ago

@Fenway Parkes, drop Carp, DL Farns. Pick up Johnson. Henry Rod should be owned also

anchovies
10 years ago

in need of a spot sp this weekend. couple guys dangling on the wire. any of these worth picking up/losing zack c. for (only guy id risk losing right now)

drabek v kc
niesse v sf
gee
zito v nym
lilly v hou
harrison v det

westbrook, happ. cahill….phew.

thanks as always.

anchovies

jabroni
jabroni
10 years ago

CBS points league– with the top waiver spot tonight do I go Luke Scott or Justin Smoak?

Also, which catcher: Ramos, Thole, Lucroy, Hundley, or Suzuki?

Real McCoy
Real McCoy
10 years ago

Real serious offensive issues here. 10 team H2H and only have 47 runs, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 1SB, .280 AVG after 2 weeks (pitching is keeping me in it)

Cozart, Aybar, or Furcal rest of season??

Also have Berkman who is out AGAIN!! Options to add (Reimold, Schafer, Scott, D. Young, JD Martinez, Jon Jay, Shane Roberson, Bourjos, Rios, Wells, Torii Hunter)

Which 2 would you immediately plug into your starting lineup?

Real McCoy
Real McCoy
Reply to  Real McCoy
10 years ago

@Real McCoy,

Also Ramos, Iannetta, or AJ for rest of season?

Deadwoods
Deadwoods
10 years ago

Which closer would you drop based on their skill and chances to close: Aceves, Sean Marshall, Blafour, Jim Johnson or Casilla. Thanks.

Deadwoods
Deadwoods
Reply to  Albert Lang
10 years ago

@Albert Lang, Here’s my dilemma. I’m in a 10-team points-league and I used auto pick during the draft because I was away. But I somehow told Yahoo not pick any pitchers, so all my pitchers are off waivers. I’m getting hammered in the pitching categories and have, for the most part, been streaming pitchers weekly, especially decent two-start pitchers

So my question is: do I carry five closers or drop one so I can stream more pitchers? Or do I keep the closers and drop a couple hitters so I can stream more pitchers? My lineup is below (it doesn’t help that half my hitters are in a slump!) Thanks.

* C – Chris Iannetta
* 1B – Eric Hosmer
* 2B – Ian Kinsler
* 3B – Álex Rodríguez
* SS – José Reyes
* LF – Ryan Braun
* CF – Adam Jones
* RF – Nelson Cruz
* Util – Jay Bruce
* Util – Brandon Phillips
* BN – Zack Cozart
* BN – Billy Butler
* SP – Brandon McCarthy
* SP – Kyle Lohse
* RP – Jim Johnson
* RP – Grant Balfour
* P – Philip Humber
* P – Ryan Dempster
* P – Matt Harrison
* P – Jonathon Niese
* BN – Alfredo Aceves
* BN – Santiago Casilla
* BN – Sean Marshall

Albert Lang
albert
Reply to  Deadwoods
10 years ago

@Deadwoods, I’d get busy dealing. Offer closers paired with anything to get SPs. Don’t be afraid to lose trades either. I cantimagine given how many closers you have that others aren’t hurting. I’d try to move cozart ASAP as well. Keep up the streaming and just make offers. When you do a 2-1 that’ll create a roster spot for you to stream. I wod start as many RPs as you can also, so be wary of dealing RPs that are SP eligible.

Sound good?

Deadwoods
Deadwoods
Reply to  albert
10 years ago

@albert, Great! Thanks a lot!

Ned Shakeshaft
Ned Shakeshaft
10 years ago

From what I’ve seen of Nathan he looks like Dead Closer Walking. Adams almost had to come in last night to save ol’ Joe from his latest Kazaam.

Giacomo
Giacomo
10 years ago

Which side do you like better? Hanley / Josh Johnson or Andrus / Haren?

TheNewGuy
TheNewGuy
10 years ago

Ha bet you love having the closer assignment piece this year Al, what with all the closer shituations going on.

Guy in my leagues just dropped Jonny Broxton and his big ass, you trust him going forward? Could drop a bench bat (Torii) to put a claim on him, or could even drop a semi-closer in Lidge (Hank rod getting the job permenantly you reckon?) or a crappy one in C Perez (wish I hadnt drafted that schmohawk).

Would you claim Brox and if so, who ya dropping?

Thanks

TheNewGuy
TheNewGuy
Reply to  Albert Lang
10 years ago

@Albert Lang, Yeah pretty much. I drafted him as my 5th OF but have been rolling with Greys boy Reimold now…plus there are replacement level OF’s like Scott/Boujos/Wells etc on the wire anyway (only 10 team league).

Think I’ll try and claim Big fat Brox for Torii then. Holland’s still out there on the wire too so should I be keeping an eye on him- much chance they make a change anytime soon?

EK
EK
10 years ago

Pls rank these SPs 5×5 roto:

Vogelsong
Buehrle
McCarthy
E. Santana
Bard
Danks

Thanks

Ralph
Ralph
10 years ago

How concerned should I be about Nathan? He’s given up some runs, but his FIP and K/9 are right in line with his pre-2010 form. How would you rank him compared to Santiago?

EK
EK
10 years ago

Pls rank:

Capps
Aceves
Casilla
H Rod

EK
EK
Reply to  EK
10 years ago

@EK, pls throw in Rodney & J. Johnson as well.. thx

wynams
wynams
10 years ago

Capps actually nailed a save opportunity in Yankee Stadium last night (4/18)

wynams
wynams
Reply to  Albert Lang
10 years ago

@Albert Lang, was commenting on article “Presumptive closer, Matt Capps, hasn’t had a save opportunity in nearly a week.” being incorrect, but whatever floats your boat mang