As the weather turns hot so do the seats of shaky relievers. It can be risky to jump ship early on someone that’s been good to you but a shrewd move can pay off big time in the summer. I often tell myself, “Carl, live in the future, dammit!” Don’t ask me why “Carl” is how I refer to myself in the third person.
- Mark Melancon remains a step ahead of the league. He ditched spider tack weeks ago and is now using beetle spunk. It’s the only explanation for a guy that projected to be mediocre, yet leads the league in saves. In actuality, he’s likely locating his stuff as well as ever with a near career high in GB% and career low in FB%.
- The Reds are optimizing the adage if you many of something you really have none. Their bullpen is filled with quality arms. Without that clear-cut go-to closer, things have been messy. Lucas Sims is starting to show the strain of the role. Tejay Antone just returned from the IL but also blew a save (and poached a win).
- Tampa Bay can’t catch a break in their back end either. Name a reliever for them and they’ve blown a save or took a loss in the past week. Nothing like some extra ambiguity in the murkiest of bullpens.
- Richard Rodriguez continues to be a sharp closer. That almost certainly means he’ll be relocating prior to the trade deadline. Two possible paths exist here. He could go to a contender that needs a clear closer and earn many more save opps. He could also go to a team with an already strong closer and become a setup man, which seems the more natural fit for him.
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.
Craig Kimbrel (Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin)
Aroldis Chapman (Chad Green, Jonathan Loaisiga)
Kenley Jansen (Blake Treinen, Victor González)
Mark Melancon (Emilio Pagán)
Alex Reyes (Giovanny Gallegos)
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.
Will Smith (Chris Martin, A.J. Minter)
Edwin Diaz (Trevor May, Miguel Castro)
Diego Castillo/J.P. Feyereisen/Pete Fairbanks
Hector Neris (José Alvarado)
Matt Barnes (Adam Ottavino, Darwinzon Hernandez)
Richard Rodriguez (Kyle Crick)
James Karinchak/ Emmanuel Clase
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.
Greg Holland (Josh Staumont/Scott Barlow)
Lou Trivino/Jake Diekman (Yusmeiro Petit)
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.
Kendall Graveman (Rafael Montero)
Yimi Garcia (Dylan Floro, Anthony Bass)
Michael Fulmer/Gregory Soto/Jose Cisnero
Paul Fry/Hunter Harvey/Cole Sulser/Tanner Scott
Joakim Soria (Stefan Crichton)