Posts Tagged ‘francisco’

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 ~ Red Light District, the Closer Carousel

People seem to devalue closers in h2h leagues, viewing them as one-category oneders that can’t be trusted to either retain a job or post consistent saves from week-to-week. While the latter half of that statement might be true, that doesn’t mean closers have less (or no) value. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Red Light District, the Closer Carousel

People seem to devalue closers in h2h leagues, viewing them as one-category wonders that can’t be trusted to either retain a job or post consistent saves from week-to-week. While the latter half of that statement might be true, that doesn’t mean closers have less (or no) value.

It’s important to remember that there is always safety in numbers. Rather than getting a few good closers, stockpile a bunch of decent closers. There is no reason to be carrying Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Paplebon as your only closers. I’d much rather own George Sherrill, Matt Capps, Rafael Soriano, and Huston Street, plus fringe-relievers like JP Howell and Fernando Rodney – or you can substitute in Andrew Bailey, Leo Nunez, David Aardsma, CJ Wilson…you get the point. To break it down further, for a 25-man roster you need to have at the least three closers, but hopefully five or six depending on the roster spots available.

You can guarantee that your team will win at least one category by accumulating fringe closers. Doing so means you only need to worry about winning five other categories. With a cadre of “below average” closers, you’ll have one step up on the competition because your team only has to win 5 categories out of 9 to take a week, whereas your opponent has to take 6 out of 9. It’s that simple. Build a strong base of closers and an average team will be in a much better position to post a near .600 winning percentage.

You might be concerned about the ERA/WHIP ramifications of carrying crappy closers. I wouldn’t worry – you can pitch upwards of 70 IPs a week, so your starters will have more to say about your ratios than your motley crew of closers.

So, before your league mates figure this out, obtain cheap closers. Trade the Papelbons, Riveras, Bells, Nathans of the world for a combination of two lesser closers. In 5×5 h2h, there is really no such thing as a quality closer, only a quantity of closers.

Relievers you should be jumping on (in order):

Florida Marlins — If for some reason, an owner soured on Leo Nunez (and he is available in 77 percent of Yahoo! leagues), I’d be jumping on him right quick. Sure the Marlins haven’t had a save chance in 12 games, but the first person to get the opportunity was Nunez, not Dan Meyer. Also, according to the Miami Herald, there is no target date for Lindstrom’s return. If you have Meyer, I’d still holding onto him; however, if someone more attractive (like CJ Wilson) becomes available, go for it.

Texas Rangers – Frank Francisco has hit the DL for the 99th time this year. According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Francisco has a mild case of pneumonia. Those rushing to grab CJ Wilson shouldn’t get too enamored with him as Francisco is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday. Still, Francisco hasn’t been the picture of health, so having CJ Wilson (especially if you are a Francisco owner) is a good insurance policy for those speculating for saves.

Los Angeles Dodgers – Much like with Francisco, Jonathan Broxton has a murky injury situation. Since Joe Torre said that Broxton’s big toe was something “that won’t be 100 percent anytime soon,” people went to the wire in droves to add Ramon Troncoso. Much to their chagrin, Broxton picked up back-to-back-to-back saves on July 18, 19 and 20. He pitched three innings, allowing one hit and two walks, while striking out six. Still, there is no telling when the big fella might reaggravate the toe. If I owned Broxton, I’d also pick up Troncoso (if he’s available). If you’re trolling for saves, you could do much worse (cough: Joe Beimel).

Oakland Athletics – Don’t fret Andrew Bailey owners. There isn’t a changing of the closer guard. Michael Wuertz received the save opportunity because Bailey had pitched three innings over the past three days. However, this does show that Wuertz is a very valuable middle reliever. He is on pace for 105 Ks and has posted a 2.78/1.01 ERA/WHIP. He’ll get the odd save chance as well, so you could do worse than to roster Wuertz – I mean he has two less saves than MacDougal and so many more Ks. Also, there are wisps from the San Francisco Chronicle that Bailey was injected with Synvisc recently in his left knee. Wuertz just got a little more appealing.

Washington Nationals – It wouldn’t be a closer carousel without mention of the Nationals. While MacDougal seems to be doing well (2.37 ERA and five saves), it is mostly an illusion. His ERA is shielded by three unearned runs and a healthy 1.68 WHIP (which keeps going up). Oh and don’t forget his atrocious 7:11 K to walk ratio. Lately, new manager Jim Riggleman has said that he will “[look] at a closer-by-committee with MacDougal, and Joe Beimel.” So, if you’re in a deep league you should grab Beimel if he is available. Still, don’t expect too many returns, as the Nats have only 26 wins, doing there best to make the Amazins look good.

Trade Bait: much like if there is a fluke injury, you should understand the chart below. If you’re in a deeper league, you should probably handcuff the following closers as the trade deadline approaches (the appropriate handcuff is listed below):

  1. George Sherrill (Jim Johnson)
  2. Matt Capps (John Grabow)
  3. Chad Qualls (Jon Rauch)
  4. Huston Street (Manny Corpas)
  5. Bobby Jenks (Octavio Dotel)
  6. Kerry Wood (Chris Perez)
  7. Heath Bell (Edward Mujicia)

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

closers

All stats as of July 21.

h2h Corner ~ Red Light District, the Closer Carousel

Closers do most of their work late at night, often after most upstanding fantasy managers have gone to bed. They necessitate early checking of box scores and Fantasy Baseball 101 to see if they secured the win for the home team. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Red Light District, the Closer Carousel

People seem to devalue closers in h2h leagues, viewing them as one-category wonders that can’t be trusted to either retain a job or post consistent saves from week-to-week. While the latter half of that statement might be true, that doesn’t mean closers have less (or no) value. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Red Light District, the Closer Carousel

Closers do most of their work late at night, often after most upstanding fantasy managers have gone to bed. They necessitate early checking of box scores and Fantasy Baseball 101 to see if they secured the win for the home team. Continue reading