h2h Corner ~ the Closer Carousel

As Kevin Nealon said, “yeah, lot of pressure. You gotta rise above it. You gotta harness in the good energy, block out the bad. Harness. Energy. Block. Bad. Feel the flow, Happy. Feel it. It’s circular. It’s like a carousel. You pay the quarter, you get on the horse. It goes up and down and around. Circular. Circle. With the music. The flow… all good things.”

It is no different than with a majority of major league closers. Sure some are like violent roller coasters (Armando Benitez) and some are like the teacups (Mariano Rivera), but most are in the muddy middle. Thus introduces your weekly reliever mash-up.

Relievers you should be jumping on (in order):

Colorado RockiesHuston Street has never been durable, which is why the fantasy community was quite concerned when Street visited Dr. James Andrews. However, according to Trevor Renck of the Denver Post, “Street received positive news from Andrews, and [the] visit shouldn’t be interpreted as a setback.” The hope is that Street is back in early May. In the meantime, Franklin Morales has instant value. While he allowed some well-hit balls, he secured the save against the Brewers on opening day. Morales should be rostered in all leagues. Someone to keep an eye on is Rafael Betancourt – if Morales struggles, Betancourt could see a few save chances.

Toronto Blue Jays As h2h Corner noted in March, Jason Frasor has the controls of the carousel for the moment. Unfortunately, he blew a save against the Rangers in spectacularly awful fashion (0.1 IPs, four hits, and two runs). Meanwhile Scott Downs pitched a seamless eighth. Given that Downs got the eighth inning duties, it looks like he is a notch above Kevin Gregg in Cito Gaston’s closer house. Any Frasor owner should have Downs at this point. They should also keep an eye on Kevin Gregg.

St. Louis Cardinals – Tony LaRussa has a lot of confidence in Ryan Franklin, even if the fantasy community does not. Franklin probably has a good bit of rope. However a few more outings like opening day (three hits, two runs) during a close game and LaRussa might be rethinking things. Of note is that Kyle McClellan, not Jason Motte, worked the eighth inning. It appears McClellan might be next in line for saves. Of course, neither McClellan (one hit, one walk, and one unearned run) nor Motte (0.2 IPs, one run, three base runners) pitched well. Still, if I own Franklin, I’d find a way to own McClellan.

Baltimore OriolesMike Gonzalez hasn’t pitched well for the Orioles – not in spring training, not, unfortunately, when it matters. Last night, Gonzalez blew his first save chance as an Oriole (0.1 IPs, three hits, one walk, two runs and one K). Given his contract and that you can’t overreact to one day, Gonzalez is in no jeopardy of losing his job…yet. Still, if I own Gonzalez in a deep league, I’m handcuffing him to Jim Johnson.

Milwaukee Brewers – The ageless one, Trevor Hoffman, had a bit of a rough outing (two hits, one run), but escaped with the save (those three run leads are hard to protect). While Hoffman is in no danger to lose his job, it wouldn’t hurt to have his probable replacement waiting in the wings (plug for the closer chart below).  He is getting up there in years and at some point he will decline – you might as well be ready for it.

If there is a fluke injury to a closer, please refer to the handy dandy closer chart below.


All stats as of April 6.

FB101’s 411: Kevin Nealon has always been funny. Monitor the closer situations in Toronto and St. Louis. Franklin Morales better be owned.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jesse Mendelson on April 8, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I agree all around. Frasor got a clean save last night after Gregg came in the 6th inning. Looks like Frasor, then Downs, then Gregg.

    And Street’s not throwing yet – Morales is the man.


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