The 2017 Closer Chart - 4/20
We all know who is closing in major league baseball. Well, we know in about 90 percent of the situations at least. However, there are a few that are spots that are always in flux, and for those of you out there who are in need of a 9th inning boost we thought it would be appropriate to speak about the closer situation across the land each week. We’re not going to just speak about those situations that are experiencing upheaval, but all the situations for each of the 30 MLB squads. To that end, every week we will be updating our 2017 Closer Chart. We'll list the closers, as well as the next two men up in case something happens to the number one guy. We'll also try to keep abreast of suspensions and injuries to bullpen arms, the bane of our existence in the fantasy game, that along with poor performance of course.
THE 2017 CLOSER CHART
ANGELS: Huston Street has been placed on the 60-day DL. That means that he’s out for the rest of April and the month of May as well. By the time he returns it likely won’t matter as Cam Bedrosian has the stuff to run away with the job (eight strikeouts, no runs, over six innings with three saves).
BREWERS: Neftali Feliz was doing just fine until Wednesday when he allowed four runs in an inning of work against the Cubs. He should have some leash though. He’s throwing hard, has eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings and he had allowed just one run in his previous seven outings.
CARDINALS: Trevor Rosenthal is being picked up everywhere. I totally get that. The 26 year old saved 45 and 48 games in 2014 and 2015. Last year he had shoulder and hamstring issues that held him down to 40.1 ineffective innings so say the least (4.46 ERA, 6.47 BB/9 and a 1.91 WHIP). He’s looked dominant in the early going with seven strikeouts in 3.1 innings, but he also hasn’t walked a batter despite owning a 3.94 BB/9 rate for his career. Meanwhile, Seung Hwan Oh dominated last season with a 1.92 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 103 strikeouts in 79.2 innings. He’s flipped the Rosenthal script as he’s looked terrible early on with a blown save, an 8.10 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP through 6.2 innings. Oh is still the arm to own, and I would anticipate him straightening things out, but Rosenthal should be on someone’s roster in leagues of 12 teams or more.
ORIOLES: Brad Brach is the guy, but unfortunately he may not see all the save chances in Baltimore. See Relievers & Goose Eggs.
NATIONALS: What a mess. After failing to add a closer all offseason, the Nats then waited all spring to name a closer, finally settling on Blake Treinin. He has stunk, and he’s no longer the closer. He will be replaced by Shawn Kelley AND Koda Glover. “What we’re going to do, we’re going to put him back more in a role he’s had success in,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We thought he was ready. He thought he was ready. We’re just going to have to mix and match somewhere between Koda and Kelley as our closer, and then use him in the sixth or seventh or eighth, or wherever is necessary for him to pitch.” I said it all offseason – the Nationals should have gone with Kelley as their closer. I get the concerns with his ability to be on the field daily, he’s had two Tommy John surgeries, but he’s always been the best option out of this bullpen. “You’re treading on dangerous water when you start taking about three times with the same operation,” Baker said. “We’re trying to preserve him. We have a long season. It was all about Kelley’s resiliency. He gets lefties and righties out as a general rule, so that was the only question with him.” How about you just use the best guy Dusty? What does Dusty think about Glover? “He’s nursing some things, too,” Baker said. “That’s why we don’t just say it’s Koda. But I mean, there are some hitters that have given Koda some problems. … So, yeah, Koda’s even less experienced than Blake. So, yeah, what you want and what you wish might happen sooner, hopefully, rather than later.” So the manager doesn’t trust any option he has. It sounds like the locker room doesn’t either. Great work Nationals front office.
MARLINS: A.J. Ramos has gone 2-for-2 in save chances, and he’s only allowed four hits in six innings. However, he’s also walked a whopping six men. Gotta reign in those free passes or he’s gonna start to lose some 9th inning work.
METS: Addison Reed is likely to close for the rest of the week before Jeurys Familia takes back over the 9th as the club wants to give him an outing or two of lower pressure situations before thrusting Familia back into the game ending role.
RANGERS: Matt Bush is the guy, but unfortunately he may not see all the save chances in Texas. See Relievers & Goose Eggs.
REDS: The Reds are playing to win each day meaning there is no way to completely understand how their relievers are going to be deployed. Check out the usage pattern of their top-3 arms. The guys are listed by appearances in each inning.
5th or earlier
Add it all up and Iglesias is easily the arm to own, with Lorenzen pulling up the rear. As for Storen, he’s the fallback option it would appear even though his stuff isn’t what it once was.
ROCKIES: Greg Holland has been fantastic in the early going with an 8-for-8 run to start the year. He’s struck out nine but the walks have been there too (four). I’m personally still concerned about how he will hold up over six months, but we will have to wait to see on that front.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, 7 PM EDT, Wednesday 8 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 8 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys).