As pitchers and catchers report we’re beginning to be graced with some reassurances as to who certain teams will use at closer. Those are always nice. Just remember managers don’t feel beholden to what they say in February and situations can change. Not unlike myself and fellow analysts. “I don’t recall recommending Jose Leclerc as a top 10 2019 closer, Senator.” We’re all playing a guessing game. My best advice is to invest lightly and spread your exposure over as many arms as possible.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

Cincinnati Reds Razzers
Closer  Raisel Iglesias – We’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop on Iglesias for a couple of seasons now. He’s still hanging onto that closer gig and has decent strikeout stuff. For all the other foibles that happen in Cincy, they’ve brought in some excellent pitching coaches. Maybe that unlocks something for him. Image result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Michael Lorenzen – One of the current two-way hopefuls. He’s not that notable as a pitcher or hitter, however. He’s a reliable arm and could snag the rare save. Image result for razzball
Useful Arm Robert Stephenson – If you’re looking for cheap Ks Stephenson is your man. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Saves Dart Pedro Strop – They brought in the former Cub as a free agent signing. I thought Strop was going to lead Chicago in saves last season. Poor health got in his way. Maybe he’s the next man up for Cincy in the ninth. Image result for razzball

 

 Chicago Cubs Razzers
Closer Craig Kimbrel – This probably doesn’t end well for Chicago. They signed an aging, under-prepared closer and it blew up on them. Now they’re stuck with the contract. I will say that Kimbrel has fooled us before and gone all Undertaker.GIF. I’m only buying at a steep discount. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Rowan Wick – Wick was one of the few bright spots for this bullpen. He had a sub-3 ERA and 9.5 K/9. Those aren’t enough to break the bank but can play in deep formats. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Useful Arm Jeremy Jeffress – When his power sinker is working he’s a very good reliever. His feel for the pitch comes and goes, though. Keep an eye for him to surge when it’s going his way. Image result for razzball
Saves Dart Brandon Morrow – Maybe Morrow and Kimbrel form some sort of closer Voltron and have one healthy pitcher for twice the price! As bad as the ride was in 2019 he could very well fall into the closer role in 2020. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball

 

Milwaukee Brewers
Closer Josh Hader – It was a weird season for Hader. He was still a super dominant high leverage pitcher but suddenly had a long ball issue. Were teams stealing signs? Was it a juiced ball in a hitter’s park? Who the hell knows. He’s nasty and has one of the longest leashes in baseball. I give him the rare 5 Razzers. Image result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Freddy Peralta – If Peralta is tabbed for the pen and can’t beat out his very modest competition than he’s done in the major leagues. It’s tough living as a fastball only guy but we’ve seen it work for relievers before. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Useful Arm Ray Black – The dude has wicked stuff. He’s a feel good story, too. I’ll be rooting for him in an uphill battle to be relevant. Image result for razzball
Saves Dart Corey Knebel – Indications are that he’ll be ready in the early season. It’s going to take some time to get his command back. The team would seemingly love to have him return as a righty complement to Hader. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball

 

Pittsburgh Pirates Razzers
Closer Keone Kela – Kela was unsurprisingly named the closer.  Best case for Pittsburgh he’s good and generates some trade value. Health and consistency have been Kela’s stumbling blocks. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Kyle Crick – Crick getting punched in the face by Felipe Vasquez looks a lot different now. He was up and down as a pitcher in 2019. I’d think Crick gets the first crack at closing if Kela goes down. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Useful Arm Michael Feliz – The guy can strike people out. That’s never been in question. He needs to continue honing his command. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Saves Dart Richard Rodriguez – Another Pirates reclamation project, Rodriguez failed to deliver on the hype of 2018. That doesn’t mean he’s not a decent arm and possible closer when the inevitable midseason issues go down. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball

 

 St. Louis Cardinals Razzers
Closer Giovanny Gallegos – We don’t have official word that GG is the closer but most drafters are operating under that assumption. I’m fine with it at his price. He was very good in 2019 and boasted an excellent K-rate. If he’s that pitcher he should rise to the top of this hierarchy. Image result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzball
Setup Andrew Miller – Miller has lost some part of the magic that was Andrew Miller, Super Reliever. Overuse and pitching with max effort are probably to blame. He managed to right the ship somewhat last season, though. With the new three batter minimum, I’d expect him to back into more saves this year. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
Useful Arm Carlos Martinez – He wants to start. The team prefers him in the bullpen. They’re conceding a shot at the rotation to start the year. I don’t mind drafting him. You’re either getting a top of their rotation arm or a probable closer. Image result for razzballImage result for razzballImage result for razzball
Saves Dart John Gant – Gant was everything the Cards needed last season. He pitched multiple innings, high leverage spots and saved a handful of game. The team seems to trust him and that matters. Image result for razzballImage result for razzball
 
  1. Snacks Zillion says:
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    This clears up some questions I had, very cool. Where would you grab C Martinez in a 12 team 5×5 daily? Thanks!

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      You can get himn close to pick 200. If you like him 180 leaves plenty of room for profit still.

  2. ozone ranger says:
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    Rowen Wick has some Wick-ed (that was cheap) stuff. He’s a definite dark horse for the CL role in Cubbieland. My outrageous prediction is he finishes with more saves than Kimbrel.

    Hader is a freak of nature, but his HR issues last year were due to him throwing nothing but his ridiculous fastball. Needs to mix that slider (for strikes) in more. I watched him K Acuña, when Acuña was in super hot beast mode, by throwing more strike sliders than fastballs. Had Acuña way off balance.

    St. Louis is an unknown. Miller has the pedigree, Gallegos has the stuff of a closer and Carlos Martinez is better than both of them, but his role is yet defined. Jon Gant is the ultimate Swiss Army knife of pitching.

    Pittsburgh is Kela until he is traded, then Crick, but absolutely Feliz is the future closer at some point. I’d own Feliz alone for his insane K rate.

    Iglesias is the closer, but I like Stephenson to eventually take that role. His transition to the bullpen has been a winner. That slider of his is silly. Strop and Lorenzen are both interesting to observe, but for completely different reasons.

    “My best advice is to invest lightly and spread your exposure over as many arms as possible.”

    No truer words of advice have been written. That is always the answer to the proverbial “How should I draft closers?” question.

    Another excellent write up, Roto-Wan, of the yearly frustrating chase for saves.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Agree on all.

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