I kicked off the bullpen parade last week with the AL East. It’s a safe place for us reliever analysts with mostly secure jobs and quality arms. The tradeoff for that comfort is following it up with the AL Central. The odds are far better that all five of these projected closers will be changed out than none of them being replaced. There isn’t a ton of depth either. I suppose that’s what happens when you refuse to spend money. Let’s push through this muck like a swamp on dagobah and hope a little green man imparts us some wisdom in rearranged syntax. Did no one else take a hit of acid for this? Just me? Ok. Fire up the Rage Against the Machine and on to the pens.

Chicago White Sox Razzers
Closer Alex Colome – We’re entering a new decade but people will still overlook Colome despite the fun new date. I’ll spare you the column B joke. He’s consistent if something less than flashy. Image result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Steve Cishek – The veteran sidewinder is just changing neighborhoods in Chicago. He’s been a reliable back end reliever for a long time now. Probably a better real-life pitcher than fantasy asset. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Useful Arm Aaron Bummer – We’ll see if the LOOGY has any ill effects from having to face at least three batters now. He’s still a ratio life preserver for me. Image result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzball
Saves Dart Kelvin Herrera – There are not many bullets left in the former fireballer’s arm. So much will depend on whether he continues to adjust to pitching with less velo. Image result for razzball

 

Cleveland Indians Razzers
Closer Brad Hand – It was a rough end to 2019 for Hand investors. His poor performance was injury related. There’s the rub, though. Will he be healthy coming into 2020? If yes, you’re getting stellar ratios with a pace for 100 Ks. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Emmanuel Clase – Cleveland thought highly enough of Clase to make him the main return for Corey Kluber. Clase boasts an extremely effective 100 MPH cutter. We’ll find out if he’s the real deal after only 23 major league innings. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Useful Arm James Karinchak – The Indians love their nasty relievers. Karinchak posted a K/9 in the 20’s during his 30 minor league innings in 2019. It remained a respectable 13.50 in 5.1 big league innings. The control needs work but dude’s a buzzsaw. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Saves Dart Nick Wittgren – It’s hard not to see one of the other guys above taking over at closer if Hand cramps up. He does have more experience and has been with the Tribe longer. Image result for razzball

 

Detroit Tigers Razzers
Closer Joe Jimenez – At his best, Jimenez is a strikeout artist who keeps the ball in the yard. He’s not always at his best, though, as a 2019 HR/FB of 18.3% shows. Still, he’s only 25. The Tigers won’t win many games but that didn’t stop Shane Greene from being the most valuable reliever in 2019’s first half. Image result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Buck Farmer – Farmer posted a 2019 ERA of 3.72. If saves were ever added to his stat line that plays. Image result for razzball
Useful Arm David McKay – This is getting down to the end of the useful range but McKay posted a 14.63 K/9 in the minors in 2019. If he figures out how to limit runs he could be a handy Ks source. Image result for razzball
Saves Dart Jose Cisnero – The Tigers perennially have some of the least bullpen depth. Jiminez is prone to cold spells, however, and someone needs to man the ninth. Cisnero notched 7 saves at triple A last year and didn’t look lost in 35 MLB innings. Image result for razzball

 

Kansas City Royals Razzers
Closer Ian Kennedy – The industry collectively has very little trust in Kennedy as a closer. When you take a look at what’s behind him it’s possible that’s a mistake. How much leash will he have to chew through to get Tim Hill on the hill in the ninth? Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Scott BarlowScott Barlow is fine as a reliever. That’s about as warm as my endorsement gets. If you add some saves in, however… Image result for razzball
Useful Arm Tim Hill – Hill’s use would come in the way of saves. He’s not a great bet as a left-hander, though. Image result for razzball
Saves Dart Kevin McCarthy – He’s not going to be of any use to you without saves. Image result for razzball

 

Minnesota Twins Razzers
Co-Closer Taylor Rogers – The thing with Rogers is that he’s two different pitchers when he pitches fresh versus in back to back games. That, along with him being a southpaw has the Twins deploying him as a co-closer most of the time. I personally love it. Let him be effective and trade-off 10 less saves. Image result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzball
Co-Closer Sergio Romo – The ageless Romo is still likely to figure into the saves convo for Minnesota. They want a righty to compliment Rogers and brought back the bearded one. Saves ain’t got no face, ya know? Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Useful Arm Tyler Duffey – A 2.50 ERA over 57.2 innings and a 12.8 K/9 works for me. Maybe he’ll even get a crack at that righty co-closer gig. Image result for razzball
Saves Dart Trevor May – It’s weird that May has pitched pretty well in relief for two seasons now but can hardly get a look in the ninth despite a revolving door at closer. He’s got good ratios and a solid K/9 at 11-12 the last two seasons. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball

 

 
  1. BB says:
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    Bummer pitched 67.2 innings in 58 games last season, facing 168 right-handed hitters and 94 lefties – not exactly a LOOGY.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Yeah, I felt like it was a bit of a stretch writing it but wanted to easily denote his dominance agianst LHBs. Chalk one up to my laziness.

  2. big league wood says:
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    Looking for 2 MRs in a 30 roster 15 Team Roto league. Allows for Monday and Friday pitcher and hitter moves. Who are my guys ???

    • big league wood says:
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      Was thinking Pomeranz and Iike those 2 Indians

      • Roto-Wan

        Roto-Wan says:
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        That’s a pretty broad brush. My general advice is to not over pay for the sexy names like Anderson. You can find this year’s version for free. The guys in the useful arms section are generally going to fit that. Is there a category you want to focus on?

        • big league wood says:
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          In past RCLs, I was able to run out MRS to boost stats. With this format, it seems MRs have value, as do maximizing starts with streamers. With 30 roster spots, it seems like having 2 MRs to always stay in line-up makes sense. 2 defined closers, 1 MR with innings/ratio stabilizer and 1 MR with Ks and closer upside. Agree on the Anderson comment. Seems like Pomeranz could throw innings.

          • big league wood says:
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            Those Twins guys are probably available at last 2 picks while the Indians guys will go earlier…

            • Biff Malibu says:
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              Twins are all the farther one needs to look when approach is value. Romo comes discounted due to no set role. T duff threw filth in second half. Even “mother” may I has two solid years of positive data. Each one fits into a grouped role with established closers or elite setup pitchers

              • Roto-Wan

                Roto-Wan says:
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                And all of the Twins righties have an open path to saves.

  3. Jeff Spicolli says:
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    What about Graterol? Any hope for saves in 2020? Long term prospect or nothing at all? Same for Alcala?

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I feel like they’ll use Graterol as a bulk reliever and occasional opener for the first month or so. Then possibly look to stretch him out for the rotation. I think Alcala has a steeper climb.

  4. Boogy says:
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    Do you expect to see more established closer roles (or less) with the new rp rule?

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Maybe slightly more stability. There aren’t many lefty/righty specialists closing, though.

  5. Harley Earl says:
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    Noticed what you said about Aaron Bummer and totally I disagree.

    Bummer made 58 appearances last year and pitched 67 2/3 innings. In fact, 21 of his 58 appearances went 1 1/3 inning or more. Nine of his appearances were for 2.0 innings. Only 12 of his appearances were for less than one inning, and of those 12 appearances, only three were for 1/3 of an inning.

    He’s hardly a LOOGY if you know what the acronym stands for, which is One Out Left-Handed Guy.

    Bummer also had 27 Holds, ranking him among the top 10-15 in Holds in all of MLB. He was a very valuable set-up man with incredible ratios. I highly doubt the White Sox are suddenly going to demote Bummer in favor of Steve Cishek. If anything, Bummer has a chance to move into the Closer role if there’s an injury or trade. Just because he’s left-handed doesn’t mean he can’t close or set up. Taylor Rogers is a pretty fair example of that.

    Just my opinion. But I think there’s some sneaky/hidden value in Bummer’s arm that you’re missing out on.

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