It’s America’s birthday! That means baseball, fireworks, and processed meat products. It’s been a rocky week for many closers. The Star Spangled Banner plays in my head as I recap the bombs these folks gave up.
- We’ve got a save, a non-save meltdown, and a blown save out of Craig Kimbrel. He gets bumped down tier at minimum. Maybe he needed more than two weeks of minors work after all. He’ll have to figure it out on the job now.
- Greg Holland lost the strike zone entirely earlier this week. That’s been a very bad sign for him in recent seasons. If he doesn’t regain control quickly I’d bench him and roster a backup.
- We waited a while to get Jose Alvarado and he melted down his second time out. Kevin Cash was napping in the dugout apparently and let him get teed off on to the tune of six runs. Emilio Pagan just became a must own with Deigo Castillo on the IL.
- Nathan Evoldi was mentioned as a possible closer upon his return. He’s a two-pitch guy so it makes some sense. I wouldn’t go overboard with a bid or cut, though. It’s a long ways from an ideal solution for the messy Boston pen.
- Don’t go dropping Liam Hendricks just yet. Blake Treinen took the loss in his first appearance back. Hendricks has remained dynamite in the meantime. It’s a co-closer situation for a while.
- Carlos Martinez finally has a fit at closer with the Cardinals. He’s had some success there. It may be best for them to just commit to him as their longterm option with Hicks rehabbing from TJS through next season.
The thud and burst of a good mortar is the creme-de-la-creme of fireworks.
- Kirby Yates (Craig Stammen, Trey Wingenter)
- Felipe Vazquez (Kyle Crick)
- Kenley Jansen (Pedro Baez)
- Aroldis Chapman (Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton)
- Josh Hader (Junior Guerra, Jeremy Jeffress)
- Edwin Diaz (Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman)
- Blake Treinen / Liam Hendricks (Lou Trivino)
- Brad Hand (Nick Wittgren, Adam Cimber)
- Roberto Osuna (Ryan Pressly, Hector Rondon)
A personal favorite. They’re loud and bright and kind of dangerous. Everything an adolescent wants in a firework.
- Sean Doolittle (Wander Suero, Tanner Rainey)
- Will Smith (Tony Watson, Sam Dyson)
- Shane Greene (Joe Jimenez)
- Craig Kimbrel (Steve Cishek Pedro Strop)
- Alex Colome (Kelvin Herrera)
- Hector Neris (Jose Alvarez, IL: David Robertson)
- Blake Parker / Taylor Rogers
- Greg Holland (Archie Bradley, Yoshihisa Hirano)
They have their place in a fireworks pack but are more filler than substance.
- Luke Jackson (A.J. Minter, Anthony Swarzak)
- Jose Alvarado / Emilio Pagan
- Carlos Martinez (John Gant, Andrew Miller)
- Ken Giles (Joe Biagini, Daniel Hudson)
- Raisel Iglesias (Michael Lorenzon, David Hernandez)
- Shawn Kelley (Chris Martin, Jose Leclerc)
- Hansel Robles / Ty Buttrey (Cam Bedrosian)
You just hold them and hope not to get burned.
- Wade Davis / Scott Oberg
- Matt Barnes / Brandon Workman / Ryan Brasier / IL: Nathan Eovaldi
- Sergio Romo (Adam Conley, Nick Anderson)
- Mychal Givens / Miguel Castro / Richard Bleier
- Ian Kennedy (Jake Diekman, Wily Peralta)
- Anthony Bass / Roenis Elias (IL: Hunter Strickland)