Forget about raising the Jolly Roger, let’s just salvage the poor thing.  The closer there, Felipe Vazquez, or the artist formerly known as “One Inning Willy” is struggling.  Which sucks for me personally because I tabbed him and the suspended one preseason to be the valued goods in the ranks of relievers.  Welp, you can’t predict injury, criminal activity, or attrition.  Judging that one closer is bad compared to if one is good, the eye test always wins out.  But Vazquez has been bad, and with an injury asterisk.  Blowing 4 saves in the last 10 games is just bad karma regardless of if your name is Mariano or not.  Bad luck, sure.  Injured…?  More likely, which is bad.  The propensity for him to be a every day or two out of three closer may be changing within the near future, not only to ease his pain with the stress of pitching the ninth, but to get a second look at one of the viable arms that has the look on paper of a closer.  That triumvirate of Michael Feliz, Edgar Santana and Richard Rodriguez have pitched spotty the last few times out, but should be owned in deeper leagues where saves are like the Sahara.  Cuffing yourself, even though the news on Felipe has come back clean, is the best advice I can give as a bullpen junky.  Just in case is better than a dollar short.   Other bullpen and closer bits of tid on the way.  Cheers!

  • It’s Kyle Barraclough for the win.  Ziegler has been removed as closer, but for how long?  Well, Donnie Baseball said “Until the I before E rule gets reversed, and he wants to spell ‘cheif’ and ‘wiegh’ his own way”.  Drew Steckenrider has an ERA over 5 the last 12 outings so he has not helped his cause.
  • The Rays are going committee to start and end the game.  This was almost the lede for this week, but I thought the Pirates are more of an SOS situation.  Romo is the closer only because it makes him look sexier for trading.  Chaz Roe is the vet with savvy, and Jose Alvarado needs to shake his manager that he is more than a Lefty guy.
  • Alex Colome still has value, and could be dropped but he won’t hurt you with K’s and off day saves.  Seattle’s pen is super deep after Edwin and Colome with Nicasio, Vincent and a sneaky sneaky Ryan Cook.
  • Mark Melancon is basically back, so if you waiver-wired your way into saves with Strickland, trading low for MM isn’t the worst idea.  It is Strickland’s job, but with a shaky week that just happened, changes happen quick.
  • Is there an argument to be made that Bud Norris is the best free agent pitching signing this past offseason?
  • Kenley is right as rain again.  Six saves, and a K-rate back above 12 in last 14 games.
  • Sleepy reliever of the Week – Tanner Scott 13+ K rate, unfortunately he plays in the land of lumpy crabs.


$12 Salads

You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for ten schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Craig Kimbrel –  (Joe Kelly,  Matt Barnes)

2. Edwin Diaz – (Alex Colome, Juan Nicasio)

3. Aroldis Chapman – (David RobertsonDellin Betances)

4. Wade Davis – (Bryan Shaw,  Jake McGee)

5. Kenley Jansen – (Josh FieldsPedro Baez)



Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination, he removes the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkeycorns.

6. Sean Doolittle – (Ryan MadsonBrandon Kintzler)

7. Cody Allen – (Dan OteroTyler Olson)

8. Brad Hand –  (Craig Stammen, Tyler Yates)

9. Brandon Morrow – (Pedro Strop,  Steve Cishek)

10. Kelvin Herrera – (Kevin McCarthy, Burch Smith)

11. Brad Boxberger – (Archie BradleyYoshihisa Hirano)

12. Corey Knebel – (Josh HaderJeremy Jeffress)

13. Blake Treinen – (Yusmeiro Petit, Lou Trivino)

14. Jeurys Familia – (Robert Gsellman, Jerry Blevins)

15. Raisel Iglesias – (Jared HughesAmir Garrett)

16. Felipe Vazquez – (Richard RodriguezMichael Feliz)

17. Bud Norris  – (Jordan Hicks, Brett Cecil)



These guys are the men that make the save market go round. They punch in, punch out. Have the job, no real threat to speak of, and are basically just there to collect great benny’s so they can take care of their crippled brother. Who is only really crippled because he is scared of the sun.

18. Ken Giles – (Chris DevenskiBrad Peacock)

19. Hunter Strickland – (Tony Watson, Mark Melancon)

20. Keone Kela – (Jake DiekmanJose Leclerc)

21. Shane Greene – (Joe Jimenez, Buck Farmer)

22. Fernando Rodney – (Addison ReedZach Duke)

23. Brad Brach  – (Mychal Givens, Richard Bleier)



Brain Freezes

I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and Carlos Marmol– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Castro in the head with a pick-off throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.


24. Kyle Barraclough – (Drew Steckenrider, Brad Ziegler)

25. Arodys Vizcaino / A.J. Minter / Dan Winkler

26. Seranthony Dominguez / Hector Neris / Luis Garcia

27. Tyler Clippard / Ryan Tepera / Seung-hwan Oh

28. Sergio Romo / Jose Alvarado / Chaz Roe

29. Blake Parker / Jim Johnson / Justin Anderson

30. Nate Jones / Jace Fry / Bruce Rondon

  1. Chris says:

    Why so low on Vizcaino? I’d have him ranked about 10 spots higher.

    • LenFuego says:

      @Chris: Yeah, I agree. I own him and I certainly like him better than anybody in the “Employed’ category above him and better than one or two in the “Donkeycorns” category too.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Chris: just one save in last 11 games played and still has Wink and Mint breathing all over him. A good two week stretch with 3-4 solid save chances makes a huge difference for me.

  2. Scott says:

    Who is your guess to be next man up in pit? Crick worked the 8th the last games river pitched.

    • batflix says:

      @Scott: if Felipe can’t get it together or is hurt
      they will go full committee imo… with Crick perhaps getting the first shot in the near future

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Scott: could be any of the five back end guys. Hurdle likes one guy that’s the only problem here but I don’t think he exists with this lot. Could be Glasnow for all we know.

  3. LT Murray IV

    Tehol Beddict says:

    Why do I own Romo?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Tehol Beddict: because you secretly think it’s Tony Romo

  4. batflix says:

    T.Glasnow seems to be getting eased into more high leverage situations , and he’s pitched well lately
    worth keeping an eye on

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @batflix: very true and Krick is becoming more viable than the three amigos

      • c says:

        @Smokey: yes, Crick has.

  5. Mr. A Knife says:

    16 team roto dynasty with holds K/9 and K/BB added and net saves over saves. have these: kimbrel, rivero, yates, green, morrow, neris. since neris surely isn’t a stand alone closer anymore and honestly i need holds much more than saves anyway, drop neris for any of: steckenrider, c.martin, lyons, trivino (the putting challenge), lorenzen.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Mr. A Knife: I could see a move to Steckenrider

  6. Alex says:

    Is Clippard the clear-cut guy in Toronto? I own Tepera but Clippard is available.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Alex: I think Tepera is more the win and would ignore Clippard and try to vulture someone else like Jimenez

  7. AJ says:

    What’s your feeling on Minter one term? I’m in a solds league and I’m wondering if he’s worth carrying. He’s been pretty meh. I was actually offered Hader for him in the offseason and turned it down. Ironically, he was supposed to be doing what Hader is.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @AJ: similarly hyped for sure. I’d rather own Winkler over him.

  8. Jimmy Jack James says:

    Thanks Smoke

    I just acquired Parker in a trade – i can only pick up one of either Anderson or Johnson as a handcuff if sorts. Which would you grab or is the correct answer neither, get a better player instead.

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