Roto-Wan is recovering from the toddler flu. I’m his semi-conscious fantasy lobe here to deliver you the best closer rankings I can with the limited blood sugar I’ve been able to hoard. Tiers will be sick day daytime TV-themed.
- The Rays were finally forced to call on Jose Alvarado Wednesday. He had barely pitched the last two weeks. That seemed like a pretty clear injury signal. Then they go and use him for 1.1 innings. That doesn’t seem like usage of a pitcher you’re worried may be hurt. It could have just been arm fatigue. We’ll continue to monitor the situation in Tampa with a puzzled look.
- Some owners may have prematurely jettisoned Matt Barnes when it looked like he was going to handle the tougher stretch of batters in the seventh or eighth inning. Ryan Brasier is having some struggles, however. That’s led to some Barnes saves and waiver wire dashes. I’d usually prefer the better reliever in a timeshare and that’s no different here.
- Julio Urias got the call for the ninth when Kenley Jansen had pitched three straight days. Urias goes straight to the top of my closer-in-waiting speed dial. Jansen seems right currently but 2018 was a bumpy ride for the reliever. Urias excellent velocity and swing and miss stuff makes him a natural replacement at closer. That’s especially noteworthy with Joe Kelly and Pedro Baez being career setup men.
- The Mariners may actually miss Hunter Strickland. Every week seems to bring another challenge at the end of their bullpen. Anthony Swarzak is currently working his way out of save opportunities by blowing three of his last six. If Strickland was cut in your league he’s as good of a stash as you’re going to find.
- A bullpen role has suited Junior Guerra well. The Brewers will look to find a right-handed complement to Josh Hader for saves somewhere. Doubly so with Hader showing his mortality lately. Guerra picked up his second save of the season. His role is far from set in stone with Jeremy Jeffress still working back into form. Junior could get looks in the ninth as the season wears on, though.
The Price Is Right
The King of all daytime TV. The Bob Barker version was better, but Drew Carey is a decent host. TPIR is a perfect blend of low-level thinking and moderate excitement.
- Edwin Diaz (Jeurys Familia)
- Kirby Yates (Craig Stammen)
- Felipe Vazquez (Keone Kela, Richard Rodriguez)
- Blake Treinen (Fernando Rodney, Lou Trivino)
- Roberto Osuna (Ryan Pressly, Hector Rondon)
- Kenley Jansen (Joe Kelly, Julio Urias)
- Brad Hand (Nick Wittgren, Adam Cimber)
- Josh Hader (Junior Guerra, Jeremy Jeffress)
- Aroldis Chapman (Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton)
Syndication Pick’em: Friends/How I Met Your Mother/Futurama
It’s familiar, formulaic, and comforting. The kind of background noise that’s great for napping to.
- Sean Doolittle (Kyle Barraclough, Trevor Rosenthal)
- Will Smith (Mark Melancon, Tony Watson)
- Jose Alvarado / Diego Castillo / Emilio Pagan
- Shane Greene (Joe Jimenez)
- Jordan Hicks (Andrew Miller)
- Wade Davis (Seung-Hwan Oh, Scott Oberg)
- Ken Giles (Joe Biagini, Ryan Tepera)
Anything On Food Network
There’s little chance you’re applying anything from a cooking show in your state. Still, it’s comforting to know that Alton Brown can electro-fry a turkey using jumper cables clamped to the breasts.
- Ryan Brasier / Matt Barnes (Tyler Thornburg)
- Alex Colome (Kelvin Herrera, Nate Jones)
- Blake Parker / Taylor Rogers (Trevor May)
- Hector Neris (Seranthony Dominguez / Pat Neshek)
- Greg Holland (Archie Bradley, Yoshihisa Hirano)
- Hansel Robles / Ty Buttrey (Cody Allen)
- A.J. Minter / Luke Jackson (Chad Sobotka)
- Raisel Iglesias (Jared Hughes, David Hernandez)
Why would you want to watch someone else argue with their spouse about home repair?
- Shawn Kelley / Chris Martin (Jose Leclerc)
- Mychal Givens / Paul Fry / Richard Bleier
- Steve Cishek / Brandon Kintzler / Carl Edwards Jr. (IL: Pedro Strop, Brandon Morrow)
- Ian Kennedy / Wily Peralta / Brad Boxberger
- Anthony Swarzak / Roenis Elias (IL: Hunter Strickland)
- Sergio Romo / Drew Steckenrider / Adam Conley