The pieces are all set, and it’s like the beginning of checkers… Before you secretly cheat while your cousin isn’t looking, you should know that 28-of-the-30 teams have labeled a guy to be their respective closer. Now, for some, that’s like being labeled the “Hand of the King” and with bad pitching performances, their heads will soon be on a pike out side of Comerica. Yeah, that was a shot at you Joe Nathan, we are all whistling happy trails under our breath as you slowly ride of into the sunset Shane style.
The only two remaining teams, Dodgers and Rays, have either no options or too many decent options and the manager is being all selective about it like he’s picking out an Easter bonnet. Let’s tackle the Dodgers first, shall we? They have a bunch of also-rans, and for a team that signed an infinite number of starting pitchers, failed to truly address the back-end of their pitching staff, which for a team with a payroll in excess of 240 million… is just awful. For giggles, I did some research and the Dodgers this offseason signed starting pitchers with over 300 career wins and brought in a recently returned from zombie-hood Mike Adams. That move alone screams desperation and the entire organization is wishing Kenley a speedy recovery.
As for the Rays, the Manager seems about as indecisive as a girl looking to pick out a prom dress. First he laid claim to Brad Boxberger, only to follow that up the next day by saying it’s a group thing, instantly getting Tehol’s attention until I later informed him it involved pitching. My honest opinion about this is he wants all his relievers to feel important, like when we got stickers in school…everyone got one. Even that kid who ritualistically peed his pants. By saying everyone has a shot, well, it doesn’t damper their performance. Hell if you were told by your boss that you may have a more prominent position in the company, wouldn’t you wanna show up? The short answer is yes, unless you’re a huge ass kisser and dating his daughter. [Jay’s Note: Isn’t that an Ashton Kutcher movie?] The good and bad news is that Jake McGee is coming back sometime in May, and it makes the situation very fluid, but based on last years numbers and the usage of Box this spring, my tendencies lead me to believe that he will be the main go-to guy. If at all possible, have 2-3 closers set before you approach either of these two situations, because the season will have 3-4 changes before June and the waiver wire is your friend. So lets see what else is brewing in the land of savedom.
- Remember when I said if you draft Dellin Betances, you shouldn’t wait to draft Andrew Miller? Well, I am here to say I told ya so. Because I told ya so. The funny thing is if Miller wasn’t in the picture, the guy that Girardi is madly in love with and I think bought him a corsage is David Carpenter. Now, I am not coronating him the king of anything besides Girardi’s love, but in deeper leagues he is a name to monitor if Dellin’s velocity and schwag is off.
- The long awaited Astros closer debate was settled, I lost. I had Qualls as the incumbent to stay there until he faultered and have Luke Gregerson take over. To start the year Luke gets the keys to the bullpen car, but for how long? He of the career 19 saves and 5 BS in save-only situations. I weeded out the blown Holds because they are the same thing for stat purposes. So the leash is there for him to strangle himself.
- In the land of sox that happen to be red, Koji Uehara is starting the year on the DL from all indications. Lucky for them they have a cuff du-jour there who has but on the big boy pants before in Edward Mujica. It doesn’t look to be a long term injury, but if you wanna jump on the early saves and have the roster space by all means.
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.
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.
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.
30. Edward Mujica – (Koji Uehara(INJ), Junichi Tazawa)