Why does it seem like there’s always more closer situations in flux in the first week than at any other time?  Well, whether that’s true or not, this year was no different.  Don’t even try to think about what that actually means.  Here’s your sumary: By Thursday there were already three new closers, then Sunday we had two old guys getting worked like speed bags at your local gym.

Sunday Blowups: Part 1, Fernando Rodney. He pitched one inning and allowed 4 earned runs, 4 hits and 2 walks in a non save situation.  Danny Farquhar is the next in line and he should be owned in most 12 team leagues already, but if he isn’t, go get him.  Part 2, LaTroy Hawkins: He has had two minor blowups (5 earned runs between the two) in the past week, both in save situations.  Adam Ottavino might be available in your league and he’s an immediate add if you can spare the roster spot although there is no guarantee he will be the next closer.

And here’s the relatively old news.  Jenrry Mejia first got injured then got suspended leaving Jeurys Familia as the closer.  Familia might only have the job while Bobby Parnell is out which might only be another week or two.  Miguel Castro has taken over for Brett Cecil, at least temporarily.  Cecil is worth holding on to.  Joe Nathan was placed on the 15 day disabled list and he could be out for precisely that length or slightly longer. Joakim Soria is the interim closer.  Had Nathan been demoted due to performance, Soria’s transcendence might be more permanent but as is it looks like he’ll only be the guy for as long as Nathan is injured.  Chris Hatcher was supposed to be part of a closer by committee for Los Angeles.  He got the Dodgers first save of the year then blew his second attempt.  Then on Sunday he gave up 3 runs in mop up duty.  That leaves Joel Peralta to get the bulk of the 9th inning work until Kenley Jansen comes back from his foot injury in about 4 weeks.

Three of the four next in line pitchers that I rated at “6” or better for their situation score in last week’s SAGNOF Special have seen their fortunes improved already.  Those three are Farquhar, Soria, and Ottavino.  The fourth is Joe Smith who is the next in line behind oft-injured Huston Street.  Let my system work for you.  Summarizing, the top  setup men (based on pitcher skill plus situation/opportunity to step in as closer), in rough order, are now: Danny Farquhar, Wade DavisKen Giles, Adam Ottavino, Joe Smith, Sergio Romo, Tony Watson, Jordan Walden, Darren O’Day, and Pedro Strop.

 

It was a relatively boring week on the speedsters front.  Micah Johnson started in all but one game so far and the one he missed was due to a lefty being on the mound.  Later in the week he started a game against a lefty.  Going forward I actually expect him to sit most of the time versus lefties.  He is the owner of ZERO stolen bases, having once been caught because he took off too early and having once been picked off.  So both times it was the pitcher who dealt with him.  According to my amateur eye he’s looked ok at the plate.  He’s worth holding onto but he’s not a must own, it all depends on how strongly you feel and what else is available in your league.

Jace Peterson‘s situation and prospects are similar to Micah Johnson’s with the differences being Micah Johnson brings a little more batting average skill but Peterson is batting second as opposed to ninth for Micah.  He managed to steal one base while starting in all but one game for the BravesJose Ramirez is the slightly more established of the two shortstops (though Jace is also 2B eligible) and I prefer him to Jace.

Michael Taylor has been playing every day and he could still 25+ bases and he has a bit of power.  He’s off to a good start production wise but the peripherals tell another story because he’s striking out way too much; the strikeouts are why Steamer only projects him for a .225 AVG.  Be wary.

Rajai Davis has not been playing enough and that’s all Anthony Gose‘s fault.  Gose is, of course, a bit of a speedster himself and between the two you would almost have to own Gose at this point because he’s starting twice as often.

Billy Burns was sent down to the minors to make room for newly acquired Cody Ross.   Eric Young Jr started in 4 of the 6 games played so far by the Braves and I would expect that to continue.  He’s certainly not very own-able, but he is very stream-able for leagues with daily changes.

Jake Marsinick just might be the least sexy name on this list.  He’s stolen two bases already although he doesn’t play everyday.  He projects as something like a 12 home run 25 stolen base player if he were to get full playing time and his average will only make you cringe slightly, think .240 or so.

Speedsters to consider adding include: Jake Marsinick, Micah Johnson, Jace Peterson, Anthony Gose, and Michael Taylor.  Speedsters to drop include Billy Burns, Eric Young Jr., and Rajai Davis.

 

 

  1. TJ says:
    (link)

    Drop Brett Cecil for Farquar? I already also own Miguel Castro.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @TJ: That’s a tough one. The Rotowire news on Cecil, well you probably know already as a Cecil owner, but it seems to insist they are going to essentially ease him back into the closer role. I’m not so sure.

      I honestly don’t feel comfortable giving you an answer on such a close call but I’d lean towards Farquhar.

      • TJ says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: No worries. I am a consummate save chaser and just missed out on Ottavino, so I didn’t know if Farhquar was worth a shot. Cecil has great stuff though, so I don’t mind holding on for a little bit.

  2. Great White North says:
    (link)

    For short term value, Jim Johnson or Latrine Hawkins?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Great White North: The good news on Hawkins is it hasn’t been because he’s walking or not striking out batters. I think his bad stat line has been in large part luck driven. I’d stick with him depending on how badly you need saves because he might keep his job.

      • Great White North says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: Thanks going to try and pick up stinky.

        I have a waiver in to pick up Latrine, dropping Johnson. I am high on Johnson, think he may be sneaky value all season and a possible closer at the trade deadline, but Hawkins is closing now. I move shit around a lot, so don’t mind owning Hawkins for only a short time. Johnson will probably still be there if and when Hawkins implodes. I really like Johnson for some stupid reason, but he has been in and out of my roster SAGNOF style. Just wanted some expert advice. I make a lot of moves, trying to maximize every open pitching slot 5 days a week, bats on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We shall see how my strategy plays out in the two RCLs I am in.

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:
          (link)

          @Great White North: Well I have an advanced tip for you then: You might try streaming middle relief because I speculate it’s uncommon for certain middle relievers to go more than 2 games without pitching. Last year I noticed that was the case for Pat Neshek. It seemed like if he had two games off in a row he was almost guaranteed to pitch the next game (and by the way I’m not sure if that’s a Neshek thing or a Cardinals thing). I may try to do some research on the subject (streaming middle relievers) but it would be a pain…

          • Great White North says:
            (link)

            @RotoLance: Now you are talking cray-cray. I have been thinking in this direction, but my baseball IQ may not be high enough. As I stream, I do look at the last time one of the arms threw an inning, but for now have just been rotating in the closer-hopefull setup guys.

            As a side note (ESpN newbie), is it okay to be under the 9 required pitchers for a day in ESPN. I just streamed in some SAGNOF steals in one of my RCLs, but will only be carrying 8 arms for Tuesday. Will ESPN lock my team for the day or am I good?

            • RotoLance

              RotoLance says:
              (link)

              @Great White North: No. There is no pitcher minimum just because the slots are there.

            • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
              (link)

              @Great White North: around the exact time you typed this hawkins lost it.

  3. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
    (link)

    RCL ownership on some of these player: Michael Taylor 59%, Micah Johnson 58%, Jace Peterson 50%, Anthony Gose 97% (surprising). By the way those numbers aren’t part of the article because the RCL ownership numbers happen to be updated Monday morning and my article needs to be written by then.

  4. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
    (link)

    Farquhar 54%, Ottavino 91%, Joe Smith 46%, Walden 32%, Watson 66%, O’Day 41%

  5. HighHeat says:
    (link)

    Out of Castro, Suria ,Familia and Doolittle. Would you drop any of those for Farquhar or Ottavino?
    Thanks

    • Grindrguy says:
      (link)

      @HighHeat: Doolittle for sure. Late May at the earliest for his return, and by then one of the others will have either been moved back to setup or established themselves as the closer

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @HighHeat: I would probably hold off for now, but watch Castro, Soria and Familia’s situation closely to try to get a read on what’s going to happen. Do you not have a DL spot for Doolittle? If not I might be most tempted to drop him. Clippard is a very good reliever and it’s possible they could form a committee when Doolittle finally does come back in maybe 6-7 weeks.

      • HighHeat says:
        (link)

        Hawlkins just lost closer. You think Ottavino is the man.? I do have Doolittle on my DL with Garrett Richards. Rendon is floating on my roster. That’s why I was thinking Doolittle to free the spot. Dr4op Doolittle for Ottavino? Thanks for all your help.

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:
          (link)

          @HighHeat: It turns out it’s Rafael Betancourt at least for today. So right now we aren’t even sure whether it will be Ottavino, Betancourt or Hawkins long term. It’s a tough situation to evaluate. Rendon should be back soon, right? If so I think I’d just hold off on making a move.

  6. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
    (link)

    Jose Ramirez should have been on the list of guys to consider adding. Whoops.

  7. Sir says:
    (link)

    Would you add Michael Taylor over Travis Snider or Colby Rasmus? It looks like Span could be back with the Nats sooner rather than later.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Sir: Probably not. The one short term thing Michael Taylor has going for him is he’s playing every day, but Snider and Rasmus do make a pretty good fantasy platoon. I think maybe the question is do you drop Snider AND Rasmus for Taylor plus someone else as I wouldn’t want to split up the platoon.

  8. abax says:
    (link)

    Would you rather have Chris Hatcher or Farquhar in a holds league?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @abax: Farquhar

  9. Golfnut says:
    (link)

    I currently have Soria, Familia, Boxberger, Uehara…….Do I drop the box for Farghar?

  10. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
    (link)

    I think Jake McGee’s return is still too far away to do that. I would rather wait a week or two then settle for Joe Smith or someone. But if Farquhar is announced as the new closer later today this advice isn’t going to look so good…

    • JAL says:
      (link)

      @RotoLance: Sorry if I missed something, but other than Rodney getting shelled, what makes you think Farq taking closer role is imminent? Thanks!

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
        (link)

        @JAL: I would advise people in 12 team roto leagues to pick up Farquhar whether his taking over the role is imminent or not. I don’t necessarily think it’s imminent. I just think it’s somewhat likely to happen at some point and that it _could_ be very soon.

        • JAL says:
          (link)

          @RotoLance: Thanks Lance. Also, while we are here, while Ottavino better pitcher, Betancourt worth picking up in 12-teamer if you really need the saves? They aren’t always linear over there and Ottavino could be the 7-8th inning stud still…

          • RotoLance

            RotoLance says:
            (link)

            @JAL: Good call, this just in. “Betancourt will close for the Rockies on Monday if a save situation arises, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports.”

            Note: later on in the blurb it’s described as TEMPORARY break for Hawkins. But who knows. I would like to note that I did allude in the article to the fact that Ottavino wasn’t a sure thing…

            • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
              (link)

              @RotoLance: unlike with cecil, hawkins sucks though.

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
        (link)

        @JAL: I’d like to say one more thing here.. in my previous post (linked to above) I went over my methodology and ranked many of the next in line guys according to that methodology. Farquhar came out on top. So that brings to mind the fact that whenever am writing a new post I have to balance repeating alot of my older material for the people who might not have read it with not wanting to bore the people that _have_ read it. I’m new at this so that’s something I’ll be working on.

        • DMT says:
          (link)

          @RotoLance:

          Maybe a link to your 1st article that described your methodology?

  11. JR says:
    (link)

    Please rank these reliever/closers in terms of picking up for ROS : Grilli, Casilla, and Ottavino. Thanks!

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @JR: The more I see from Grilli the more I like him.
      Grilli > Casilla >> Ottavino. Grilli over Casilla because I think he’ll do better in every category except saves, so that’s a good tradeoff. Gotta prefer the guys that are closers now as opposed to the guy we are speculating on.

  12. Abe Froman says:
    (link)

    Reports are circulating that LaToilet Hawkins has been demoted. Drop Gregerson or K-Rod for Ottavino, or hold?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Abe Froman: It’s actually Betancourt for now, not Ottavino. The Rockies are reportedly giving Hawkins a break from closing. I would think you have to hold on to the guys that have a more permanent job in either case.

  13. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
    (link)

    Looks like it’s Rafael Betancourt over Adam Ottavino (for today at least) to close for the Rockies while Hawkins gets a break. Sorry for recommending Ottavino, I think everyone kinda assumed he would be the next guy.

    • ashtray says:
      (link)

      @RotoLance: “Closer experience”

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
        (link)

        @ashtray: For better or worse it indeed looks like that’s where they went with that decision.

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
        (link)

        @ashtray: Well actually I should say IF that’s their decision. I’ve been trying to say it might be just for today. I know I said that in one of these replies. :)

  14. nightpandas says:
    (link)

    Drop Hawkins for Cecil or Farq?

    (15 teams, I have Allen, Jansen and McGee as well)

    • nightpandas says:
      (link)

      @nightpandas: Ottovino and Betancourt gone already…

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
        (link)

        @nightpandas: Drop one deposed but could be reinstated closer for another deposed but could be reinstated closer or someone who could eventually take over? Yikes, tough one.

        I guess I like Cecil better than Hawkins right now.

  15. HighHeat says:
    (link)

    Ottavino pitched Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps that’s why Weiss said Betancourt Monday.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @HighHeat: Yeah very possible. I commented earlier “for today at least” and it’s quite possible it’s just a today thing. Thanks for the reminder.

    • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
      (link)

      @HighHeat: other reports said exactly that was the reason. otto also went 3 innings in those last 2 days.

  16. HighHeat says:
    (link)

    Thanks for your help!!!

  17. B says:
    (link)

    No mention of Logan as a shot to close? I thought I read somewhere that he was to be the primary setup man a few days ago. And yesterday’s game, Ottavino came in before Logan (not sure if that implies anything). Logan pitched 2 of last three days and Ottavino 2 in a row so Betancourt may be just getting in tonight to rest the other guys. Not sure just wondering. The next few days may tell us more.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @B: You’re right, it’s a puzzling situation right now.

  18. Joe Shmoe says:
    (link)

    Sir Rotolance,
    Where does Ramos fit in? Is there an heir apparent for Miami?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Joe Shmoe: With Cishek struggling he probably deserved a mention so chalk that up to a mistake. I left him out of my previous article (which ranked some of the next in line players) intentionally because his Steamer projections are icky: 3.81 ERA, 1.35 WHIP. So he’s not really worth owning unless he’s improved or you think he’s about to become the closer.

  19. SallyCips says:
    (link)

    Nobody good available to close for Seattle tonight. Forbush Man to the rescue.

  20. JJ says:
    (link)

    Hate to sound like a broken record but….would you drop Cecil for Farquar or Ottavino?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @JJ: You _could_ take a chance on Ottavino for a day or three because hopefully by then we will know more and if it doesn’t work out maybe you can drop him for one of the other two.

  21. Colonel Angus says:
    (link)

    Couple quick questions. I was once happy with Jose Iglesias but is he worth more than Jose Ramirez? I hate that he bats 9th and I just don’t really believe in him. Also, would you rather have Gose or Lamb?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Colonel Angus: I prefer Jose Ramirez to Iglesias. Ramirez has an edge in SB while Iglesias should in theory hold the edge in AVG. When Lamb comes down to earth he should have overall value similar to Gose. I guess I prefer Gose but it mostly comes down to what category / position helps you the most.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Colonel Angus: You might consider giving Alex Guerrero a look in leagues where you can afford to… I own him in both RCLs I’m in.

      • colonel Angus says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: Guerrero is a good story right now but I’m afraid once Turner and Uribe feel better he’ll be back on the pine. My team consists of a bunch of doubles hitters (Machado, Marte, Myers, etc) but no consistent power. Trumbo is my power but so far he’s homerless. I just added Teixiera to my utility spot. Should I consider trading Paxton for Chris Carter while he’s cheap? I seem to remember him starting out extremely slow last year as well.

        • colonel Angus says:
          (link)

          @colonel Angus: That was a stupid question. Carter sucks.

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:
          (link)

          @colonel Angus: For me anyway, there was basically no cost to adding Guerrero either temporarily or in case he sticks. He can’t outperform Turner or Uribe? Is it a defense thing?

          • colonel Angus says:
            (link)

            @RotoLance: Crazy as it sounds, I believe coaches are loyal to their vets. Why the hell is Victorino starting over Castillo? Why does Aaron Hill keep getting draws at 3rd over Lamb? It drives me nuts!

            • RotoLance

              RotoLance says:
              (link)

              @colonel Angus: Guerrero just hit a pinch hit home run.

          • goodfold2 says:
            (link)

            @RotoLance: last year reports were guerrero’s D was bad.

  22. Swfcdan says:
    (link)

    I don’t think Rodney’s going anywhere, sure he had a bad stretch last season too and they stuck with him. Unless his velos down or hiding an injury.

    Really need saves bad in one league where I drafted Benoit and Qualls…ugh! Already stashed Ottavino, beaten to Betancourt (wtf?), now do I really need to stash Axford too? Wouldn’t put it past Weiss going there stating closer experience and some crap.

    • Swfcdan says:
      (link)

      @Swfcdan: Oh and amazed you haven’t listed AJ Ramos there, Cishek hasn’t posted a scoreless frame yet, and Ramos has a 0.00ERA. Sure Cishek struggled early last year but Ramos could do a great job if given a chance temporarily and might run with it.

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
        (link)

        @Swfcdan: That’s valid. But Cishek has been the closer there for what, 2-3 years. Here’s what I said in an earlier comment “With Cishek struggling he probably deserved a mention so chalk that up to a mistake. I left him out of my previous article (which ranked some of the next in line players) intentionally because his Steamer projections are icky: 3.81 ERA, 1.35 WHIP. So he’s not really worth owning unless he’s improved or you think he’s about to become the closer.”

        My previous article https://razzball.com/sagnof-special-saving-stealing-sleepers/ explains how I rank each next in line guy according to 1. his ability and 2. his situation. I want to own guys that will help me whether they are the closer or not but that also have a shot to become the closer. Read that previous article for a more detailed explanation. Thanks.

        • Swfcdan says:
          (link)

          @RotoLance: Thats cool Lance I’ll check it out thanks, wasn’t meaning on giving you a hard time, more the managers seem to be giving us all hard times right now and some closers too. Think this is the time most save changes are made so we gotta be alert now. Reason im struggling for saves so badly in one league is because there was crazy closer inflation at the auction, guys like cecil and other crappy closers (Mejia) were going for around 10 bucks each! So I missed out on most of them, maybe it could be for the best if I can hawk saves for nothing now. Never seen anything like it before, one team just decided to stockpile closers and has 8 now.

          • RotoLance

            RotoLance says:
            (link)

            @Swfcdan: Don’t worry, I didn’t think you were giving me a hard time.

            The good news from that guy stockpiling is you should be ultra competitive with only 3 closers if it’s a 12 team league and somewhat competitive with only 2.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Swfcdan: All that we know was Betancourt was the guy for last night. I don’t think there’s yet been an indication on what will happen going forward. Plus it was originally reported as just a break from Hawkins, yeah I know it often turns into a season long break. Ottavino makes a good guy to hold at least for the next few days until we figure out what’s happening.

      Rodney’s age is something of a concern as well. Increased chance for injury.

      • Swfcdan says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: Yeah im just wondering therefore is a stash on Axford worth it, if there’s a chance he could get the role I will. Easy to say wait until the change is made but in tough competitive leagues nearly always someone hears before you, thats why I stash in advance. Got me Castro so far at least!

  23. papasmurf says:
    (link)

    I am not so sure about Farquhar. He got used for 2 innings in the 6 and 7 the other day and I had read something about the coaches trying to correct something with him.

    Medina may be the next if a change was made now.

    Also, do you know what’s the deal with Evan Marshall? 7 hits allowed in 3 IP and he’s not getting the grounders. Velocity seems ok so I hope it’s just a minor mechanical issue.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @papasmurf: Thanks for that info on Medina v Farquhar. All we can do is guess which guy is the most likely. I’m not really sure if there is anything to Farquhar’s struggles, all I know is the projections tell me he should be stellar. The projections could easily be wrong.

      No idea what’s wrong with Marshall but a .500 BABIP isn’t helping. Going back to the projections, they are very mediocre for him, 3.46 ERA, 1.26 WHIP.

  24. Battle Ox's says:
    (link)

    would you drop Balfour or Qualls for joe smith

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Battle Ox’s: Yes, I like Smith more than both of them but Balfour is the first guy you should axe.

  25. Scott says:
    (link)

    Wow, Ottavino looked good out there.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Scott: The Rockies probably thought Hawkins did too, 6 pitches 3 outs. No Ks… to me that’s luck. Ottavino the guy to own in that bullpen right now. Betancourt and Hawkins might be guys to hold on to if you are desperate.

Comments are closed.