So the inevitable return of Wade Davis came, and just like we expected in typical awful luck scenario, he came into the game for the save.  Which any Kelvin owner was dreading, clutching their fists, and shaking it widely. “Curses” they screamed.  I have to admit, I didn’t think that the first day off the disabled list he’s be thrown right into the fray.  He experienced two set-backs and wasn’t really his normal dominant self in the minor rehab appearances that I noticed.  I get that a guy who has the previous experience and job should get the job, but the Royals were cruising along with Herrera in the big boy chair.  In fact, he was darn near flawless minus one hiccup, garnering 7 straight saves and 9 appearances in 15 with a clean no-hit inning.  I mean, I am no manager, hell I am an admitted couch potato… But I do know closers and that my friends is getting it done.  The Royals are still in the thick of the playoff hunt and I think the worst thing to do for them is to change the end game.  Davis is going to be dominant in the closer role or set-up role, and he has the goods to be great at either.  Now, it may take one more ineffective appearance from him to show it, but I think Herrera is still very much in the foray for save chances in KC.

  • Another week, another closer change in L.A., Salas was shipped to the Mets and now it looks like JC Ramirez and/or Deolis Guerra will get the look.  Just sucks that Cam is injured this was his clear opportunity.
  • Guy I used to sweat has been promoted with the roster expansion, and that man is Shea Simmons.  Deeper leagues should take notice, as he is straight dirty.
  • Avoid the Red Sox setup men at all costs.  Does the term Clay Buchholz setup man curl your toes?
  • Only two full-time closers haven’t allowed an earned run over the last 30 days: Ryan Madson and Tyler Thornburg.
  • The end of the year, I tend to look for guys that will be vulture win candidates rather then save or hold guys.  Though they tend to be hold guys by default sometimes.  Guy to look for are guys on teams where teams starters go questionable amount of innings on certain days through their rotation.  Guys I like for the upcoming week; Jesse Chavez, Scott Feldman, Matt Strahm and Jose Ramirez from the Braves


Closer d’Etat  (Top set-up guys next up for saves)

A new feature that I have been looking to add is the top set-up guys who are either pitching well or are right behind the closer.  Getting the off day save for a shaky closer or someone who can jump in for a downed king of saves.  Never hurts to bag an extra reliever for your bench at best they either don’t play, you bench them or the do well.  No one ever does bad for someone we all roster…


$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. Aroldis Chapman – (C.J. Edwards, Joe Smith)

2. Zach Britton – (Mychal Givens, Brad Brach)

3. Kenley Jansen – (Adam LiberatoreJoe Blanton)

4. Dellin Betances – (Tyler Clippard, Adam Warren)

5. Craig Kimbrel – (Brad Ziegler, Matt Barnes)

6. Jeurys Familia – (Addison Reed, Fernando Salas)

7. Mark Melancon – (Shawn Kelley, Blake Treinen)



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.

8. Edwin Diaz – (Tom Wilhelmsen, Nick Vincent)

9. Cody Allen – (Andrew MillerBryan Shaw)

10. Roberto Osuna – (Jason Grilli, Joaquin Benoit)

11. David Robertson(Nate Jones, Dan Jennings)

12. Francisco Rodriguez – (Justin Wilson, Shane Greene)

13. Seung-hwan Oh – (Kevin Siegrist, Jonathan Broxton)

14. Ken Giles – (Will HarrisPat Neshek)

15. Tony Watson – (Neftali Feliz, Felipe Rivero)

16. Ryan Madson – (John Axford, Ryan Dull)

17. Jeanmar Gomez – (Hector NerisCesar Ramos)

18. Santiago Casilla – (Sergio Romo, Hunter Strickland)

19. Sam Dyson– (Jake Diekman, Matt Bush)

20. Kelvin Herrera/Wade Davis – (Joakim Soria, Pete Moylan)

21. Alex Colome – (Brad Boxberger, Xavier Cedeno)


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.

22. Jim Johnson –  (Mauricio Cabrera, Shea Simmons)

23. Fernando Rodney – (Kyle Barraclough, A.J. Ramos)

24. Adam Ottavino – (Carlos EstevezBoone Logan)

25. Tyler Thornburg – (Corey Knebel, Carlos Torres)

26. Brandon Kintzler – (Ryan Pressley, Taylor Rogers)

27. Brandon Maurer (Ryan Buchter, Brad Hand)


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.

28. Tony Cingrani / Raisel Igelsias  – (Michael Lorenzen)

29. Daniel Hudson – (Jake Barrett, Randall Delgado)

30. JC Ramirez / Deolis Guerra – (Mike Morin)

  1. Eric says:

    Damnnnnn Smokey!

    I’m in a 12 team H2H 12 offense/defense category league where streaming pitchers has become the key to success.

    For the majority of the season I have been rostering 4 closers:

    Colome TB
    Dyson Tex
    K-Rod Detroit
    Casilla SF

    With the playoffs about to start I need to open up a roster spot to become more aggressive on streaming starting pitchers so I actually need to drop one of these closers. I know it sounds crazy but I have to do it. Which one would you drop?

    Please advise.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Eric:yikes tough call, I would say the guys on non play off teams would go first but I hate dropping usable players so my vote is for Colome

      • Eric says:


        Thanks Smokey!

  2. Bill says:

    Smoke, love your columns but, the $12 salads, donkeycorns, etc gotta go. they have become very tired. Also, Burgos the last 10 games has an ERA of 14.6 and a whip of 2.25. But he does have 12 strike outs over those 8 innings. He probably should be removed from your closer d’etat section.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Bill: Thanks man, I hear ya. I tried something different and it was squashed so I use the bequeathed stuff….gotta list guys on situations that are favorable for a spot save or change and the D-Backs def are in that group

  3. Tony says:

    Why is Enrique Burgos a Closer d’Etat? He’s been absolutely terrible lately. Was he accidentally left on from the last edition, or do you think his bad form has been a fluke?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Tony: just on sheer turnover and happenstance the d-backs have gone through 5-6 different guys. Delgado could get a nod there too. The amount of saves or chances won’t be great but just a name.

  4. For an Armenianless Vacation Come to Akron says:

    20 teamer with holds, relief appearances, relief wins, K/9 as added stuff. h2h. playoffs next week. i got jeffress to NA (didn’t do it before since i’d have to activate cobb, but he did well enough that i’m willing to cut liriano forever now). dynasty. who’s best here (they all appear to be 7th inning or so):
    jennings WSOX
    layne NYY
    abad BOS
    lyles (now a holds guy) COL
    estevez COL (doing better again)
    e.escobar ARI (he’s actually been their best guy for a while now)

      • For an Armenianless Vacation Come to Akron says:

        @For an Armenianless Vacation Come to Akron: i realize we’re getting so bottom of the barrel here that i’ll likely just stream them based on teamonator or such, but just checking in case you actually like some more than others. no moves limits.

  5. Steve says:

    As a strategy, would you hold 5 closers if you could only play 4, just to deny your competition?

    I have Oh, Giles, Rodney & Dyson with Davis on the DL. If I drop any of them, there’ll be a feeding frenzy at the thin position.

    What to do?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Steve: yea I would hold it would rather have saves not count on my roster then against me in some capacity.

  6. Brent says:

    I’m getting close to the games started limit in my league. Can use more Vulture win candidates, and keep them coming, got all of September to go and the win category might decide this thing. THX!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Brent: vulture wins are tough to predict, even more so with expanded bullpens. With the ones I mentioned look at Chacin in LAA, Hand in SD, Otero with Cle

  7. Bye Felica says:

    You losing Kelvin for Otto?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Bye Felica: if purely chasing saves sure

      • Smokey

        Smokey says:

        @Smokey: sorry hit the button too soon, but i would prefer his rates over Otta save potential

  8. Steve says:

    Hey Smokey,

    Who is the best RP with SP eligibility I can slot into my pitcher spot to get sneaky IP and ratios while my regular starters are off?

    Ace RP

    Thanks man!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Steve: tough don’t know who is available or league settings, but Hand, Devenski, Taylor Rogers all come to mind

Comments are closed.