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):
Chicago White Sox – In case you missed it, Matt Thornton earned his first save of the season this weekend, going 0.2 innings against a switch-hitter and lefty. At the moment, it seems Ozzie Guillen is channeling his best Bobby Cox – platooning strong lefty and righty bull pen arms to mix and match high leverage save situations. Clearly, Bobby Jenks is not the HCIC (head closer in charge), but he is a righty, so he should see more save opportunities. If he converts, he’ll ease back into full HCIC mode. Until then, the super-useful Thornton remains a good add.
Colorado Rockies – Manny Corpas may have just gotten a longer leash as the Colorado interim closer. According to Tracy Ringolsby with Inside the Rockies, Huston Street had to leave a minor league rehab start after only five pitches due to a groin injury. He has been rehabbing right shoulder inflammation, so the two injuries are not related. However, this has certainly pushed back the timetable on getting Street to the majors. Those who speculated on Corpas last week should enjoy a handful more save opportunities.
Philadelphia Phillies – In case you thought I was joking when I suggested you grab Jose Contreras last week, I wasn’t. According to Matt Gelb at the Philadelphia Inquirer, pseudo-closer Brad Lidge has landed on the DL again – this time with inflammation in his right elbow. The move is retroactive to May 10, so Lidge is eligible to come off the DL on May 25. However, there are no guarantees that he’ll be available then. Contreras makes an important add in all leagues. In deeper leagues, look to grab JC Romero as he’ll earn some spot save duties when Contreras cant go, or perhaps, against a lefty-heavy line-up.
Baltimore Orioles – We all knew the Alfredo Simon save train had to jump the tracks at some point, didn’t we? If we did, we were correct, as Simon blew a two run lead by giving up four runs to the Cleveland Indians. Simon now sports a nifty 4.32 ERA, which better matches his scary 1.92 WHIP. There is no need to panic yet, as, according to Britt Ghiroli, Simon “will remain the team’s closer.” However, “I can’t say I’m going to use him the next 10 times out [in a closing situation],” Trembley said. Those in deep leagues should jump on Koji Uehara, who has been manning the eighth while Michael Gonzalez has been injured. Speaking of Gonzalez, there is still no timetable for his return.
FB101’s 411: It’s a toss up this week, with adds. If you’re scoring at home, I’d pick up Thornton, Corpas, Contreras and then Uehara. Corpas over Contreras is a coin flip until we know more about the Street and Lidge injuries. Street has been less healthy though, so I give the slight nod to Corpas.
For immediate closer-handcuff situations check-out the nifty super-hero simile laden chart below.
All stats as of May 16.