Archive for the ‘Player News’ Category

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.” Continue reading

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.” Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold) All-Stars

Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.

That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.

As noted by the recent news that Katy’s latest single is “three parts pop and one part rap,” it is never too early to sellout (I’m looking at you Snoop Dog). The lay observer of pop culture would be shocked that the king of Gin & Juice would lower himself to vodka soda posh standards. However, if you carefully followed his career, you would have seen his reality show and presence on an (admittedly awesome) PCD song (for those not in the know, Pussycat Dolls). Continue reading

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):

Baltimore Orioles – The Baltimore Sun has called Alfredo Simon the Orioles “anointed closer.” That’s good enough for me. Well, not exactly, what’s good enough for me? Simon’s last three appearances were all in “closer” situations. The 29-year-old three-year veteran has not allowed a run in three innings, while securing two save opportunities. He has struck out five batters, walked four and given up two hits. He’s not great, but he’s closing (Always be Closing). I wouldn’t drop Koji Uehara, Cla Meredith or the other bullpen rascals until we’re sure Simon’s says save. Well, actually, feel free to drop Jim Johnson.

Texas Rangers – Everyone seems to have the impression that Frank Francisco has pitched fantastic since he lost the closer role. Well, that’s not really the case. Since Neftali Feliz picked up his first save (April 12), Francisco has pitched seven IPs, given up five hits, walked five, and struck out five. I think the Rangers are trusting Feliz a bit more, bunt it’s clear Francisco will get save opportunities.

[UPDATE] Last night, Francisco came on for a save opportunity in the eighth with two outs. He got one out, but had a disastrous ninth (two hits (one HR) and a walk). Never fear, Feliz came barreling out of the pen to secure the Rangers victory.

Philadelphia PhilliesRyan Madson did his best Gus Frerotte impression – kicking a chair and breaking a toe. Madson is now sitting on the DL. This would seem to be perfect timing for Brad Lidge as he comes of the DL, right? Well, in his first appearances (0.1 IPs), he gave up two hits (one HR), and one run. The good news? It wasn’t a save opportunity. In fact, according to MLB.com, it appears, Charlie Manuel is easing Lidge back into the role. That means that Jose Contreras is the interim closer. Is he more useful than Alfredo Simon? Not quite, but he isn’t worthless.

[UPDATE] Lidge pitched well last night against St. Louis, striking out two. All it should take is one or two good outings to get Lidge back on the carnival carousel ride. Contreras’ value will be short lived.

San Francisco Giants – Over the weekend, Brian Wilson was held out of a save opportunity because he has a strained right groin. Bruce Bochy asked Sergio Romo to face right-handed batters before asking Jeremy Affeldt to get a lefty. The injury seems minor, but until he is healthy, Romo and Affeldt should be owned in leagues where every saves matter. Romo will likely be given more opportunities (as he is a righty), so he’d be the first grab here.

Colorado Rockies Jack Moore at FanGraphs has a great write-up on Jim Tracy’s bull-pen maneuvering over the weekend. Basically, Tracy brought in his closer, Franklin Morales, to pitch an “important” situation with two runners on in the eighth. Morales struck out the two batters he faced to protect the four-run lead. Then, Tracy brought in Manny Corpas (remember him?) to finish the game. Corpas gave up a homerun to Aubrey Huff, but otherwise closed out the game. It is possible Corpas, not Rafael Betancourt, is the proper handcuff for Morales, who is the handcuff to Huston Street . Tracy likes having the flexibility to use Betancourt throughout the game. Anyone trolling for saves with Betancourt might want to cut bait for Manny Corpas.

Without further ado, your bullpen hierarchies:

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All stats as of May 3.

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h2h Corner ~ An Impromptu Brewer Closer Carousel (UPDATED)

According to James Quintong, Ryan Doumit became only the second player to hit two HRs off of Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman in one season. The other was Dante Bichette.

Hoffman now has four blown saves in his last seven appearances. That conversion rate makes the Orioles bullpen look like Mariano Rivera.After yesterday’s blown save, Ken Macha gave Hoffman a vote of confidence. However, at some point (likely soon), the Brewers are going to give Hoffman a break from closing – either by a fake DL stint or some other means. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ the Closer Carousel (Updated per Orioles)

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, Jose Mesa) and some are like the teacups (Mariano Rivera), but most are in the muddy middle. Thus introduces your weekly reliever mash-up. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Another Impromptu Closer Carousel – Blue Jays, Angels & Orioles

As no doubt you’ve heard, it was not a good day to be a left-handed closer in the American League. Both Brian Fuentes and Mike Gonzalez have hit the DL. Continue reading

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-up.

Relievers you should be jumping on (in order):

Texas Rangers – is Neftali Feliz the next Jonathan Papelbon? While both pitchers profiled to be plus starters (given their ability to throw multiple pitches for strikes), both were tabbed for relief roles early in their careers. In addition, both profiled to be eighth inning guys until veterans got hurt/crapped the bed. At the moment, Feliz is only the temporary closer for the Rangers. According to Ron Washington, Feliz is “our closer until I get Frankie back there…Frankie will be the closer of the Texas Rangers.” However, don’t be surprised if Feliz takes the job and runs with it (so far he is 1/1). He has exceptional talent and it will be hard to remove him if he fires off several save conversions in a row. He probably isn’t available, but if he is, grab him.

Cleveland Indians – Shockingly, Chris Perez was asked to do the unthinkable over the weekend: get a four-out save. Unfortunately, Perez was not up to the task, as he allowed three runs on three hits and three walks. In addition, on Monday, Perez allowed a hit and a walk before recording an out. He was pulled for Tony Sipp. These outings are perfect examples of the problems Perez has had over his career: walking batters. Nevertheless, Perez is owned in only 53% of Yahoo! leagues for some reason. He should be owned in 100%. His job is safe until Kerry Wood returns, at which point the Indians will do all they can to extract value from Wood. The ultimate goal would be to trade Wood for anything, which would give the closing duties back to Perez.

Philadelphia Phillies – The Twitter world was tripping over itself to make fun of the reports of Brad Lidge’s recent rehab outing (three doubles and a walk against single-A players). Ryan Madson, interim closer, has had a decent start to the season: walking no one, striking out three and allowing four hits. No one really has a strong idea of what to expect from Lidge this season, so Madson could be a sneaky 30+ save candidate – if the Phillies ever have a close game, that is.

Colorado Rockies – Enjoy Franklin Morales while it lasts (and if he isn’t owned, own him). Huston Street has been rehabbing and will begin throwing in a few days. Still, Morales is the closer to own for the duration of April. I also wouldn’t cut Morales once Street comes back – it’s not like Street is exactly Cal Ripken.

Baltimore OriolesAccording to Britt Ghiroli, Mike Gonzalez has left the team for a family manner. Clearly he is not the closer at the moment. The Orioles turned to Jim Johnson last year and should do so again. However, they are incredibly committed to Gonzalez ($12 million, plus they gave up a second rounder to sign him), so they will do whatever it takes to get value out of him. Johnson will not have a long leash. Furthermore, even if Johnson performs well, Gonzalez will get multiple cracks at the closer role. Johnson is a good short-term add and someone every Gonzalez owner should own, but not much more. Yes, this order indicates I’d rather have Chris Perez and Franklin Morales than Jim Johnson.

Milwaukee Brewers – At some point, Trevor Hoffman’s success has to stop, right? He blew two saves over the weekend and allowed three HRs (he allowed two all of last year). Still, it’s not like Edgar Renteria took him deep, as Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday did a bulk of the damage. Further, even if Hoffman puts up Joe Borowski-like numbers, he’ll still pile up a good amount of saves. There is no reason to be adding Latroy Hawkins, except in super deep leagues.

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

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All stats as of April 12.

FB101’s 411: Stay on top of close news: grab Neftali Feliz, Chris Perez, Ryan Madson, Jim Johnson, and Franklin Morales.

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h2h Corner ~ An Impromptu Closer Carousel

It seems a whole lot of closers are on life support at the moment. I’ll get a full Closer Carousel out to everyone (with the impeccable chartography [yes, I know it isn’t a word]) in the next two days. For now, you’ll have to settle for a quick run down. Continue reading

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. Continue reading