Blog Entry

Bull Pen Briefs

Posted on: April 24, 2009 6:01 pm
Quick like a bunny rush to your waiver wire, and snap up LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Downs, and Jason Frasor. Why?
Because I told you to.

Incumbent Blue Jays closer BJ Ryan is once again on the DL, and quickly moving to the front of the line on my DO NOT OWN list. The injury questions surrounding him, and the risk involved in taking this "closer" far out weight the benefits.

The same can be said for the Houston Astros closer Jose Valverde. His upside is much higher then Ryan's but he too is not without his own injury concerns. Twice having spend time on the DL with Shoulder Tendinitis in 2004-2005. Most recently he's dealing with back aches and a sore leg after taking a ground ball to his right calf. Consider him DTD.

Which leads us to their potential replacements. The Astros have already made it clear that Hawkins will be the man while Valverde is nursing his injury.
The Blue Jays website already has Scott Downs listed as the closer on the depth chart. It gives him a significant boost in value in mixed leagues, where he becomes a solid number three closer, and a tremendous boost in AL only leagues where he becomes an immediate number two closer.
But keep an eye on Frasor. He has past closer experience and could get the call if Downs pitches on back to back days or if he struggles in the role.

Here's your closer break down.

Top 10 Saves Leaders-

1- Heath Bell- 7sv, 8k, 0.00era, 0.60whip
2- Fransisco Cordero- 6sv, 6k, 1.29era,, 1.23whip,
3- Jonathan Broxton- 5sv, 13k, 1.08era, 0.24whip
4- Matt Capps- 5sv, 4k, 0.00era, 0.71whip
5- Brandon Morrow- 5sv, 8k,  4.05era, 1.35whip
6- Joakim Soria- 5sv,8k,  1.80era, 1.20whip
7- Ryan Franklin- 4sv, 6k, 0.00era, 0.57whip
8- Jonathan Papelbon- 4sv, 4k , 1.43era, 0.95whip
9- Chad Qualls- 4sv, 9k, 3.00era, 1.33whip
10- Mariano Rivera- 4sv, 8k,  0.00era, 0.86whip

Surprise Saves of the Week-

1- Takashi Saito- 1sv, 6k, 6.23era, 1.615whip-  Nothing to worry about here Papelbon owners. Saito closed out the game instead of Papelbon as he has pitched the previous two nights. A nice hand cuff to have incase of injury but he's not likely to be much of value unless you play with K/9, then his 12.47K/9 rate is nice, but not worth owning in standard mixed leagues.

Players to Watch-

1- Rafeal Soriano- 2sv, 10k, 0.00era, 0.714whip- He's already got two saves on the season, one more then closer Mike Gonzalez, if you're got room on your roster you may want to pick him.

2- Garrett Mock- Let's just say this, incumbent closer Joel Hanrahan. 4 saves opps, 2 saves, 6.43era. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. Mock has been groomed to be a closer while in the minor leagues, he hasn't been perfect this season, but this is a situation that bears watching. Keep an eye on Mock.

This past week proves that without a doubt closers are a highly unrealiable lot, so keep an eye out for value.


Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: April 24, 2009 9:25 pm

Bull Pen Briefs

Thanks for the great reply Volquez!

As you pointed out, and as the blog shows, closers are just to unreliable as a collective group to invest too heavily.
Unless you get a sure fire anchor like Jonathan Papelbon, and can couple him with a couple other options, then you're going to stuggle.

As an added note, Kansas City Royals closer, and personal favourite Joakim Soria, will not pitch this weekend because of a sore right shoulder. MRI tests came back clean so there is no structural damage. Keep an eye the situation.

Those in daily AL only leagues may want to pick up Kyle Farnsworth and/or Juan Cruz as they are next in line for saves.

Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: April 24, 2009 7:34 pm

Bull Pen Briefs

 You have a nice blog here HotCornerHero. I'm new to the message board and to your blog, but your analysis seems to be right on target. Good job spotting some of the talented relief pitchers in line for a closer's job in the near future.

I'm a Heath Bell and Chad Qualls owner in most of my leagues. I love the value they provide for the late round price tag. You share my view point of closers, in that an owner has to go after the value, and more than that owners have to sniff out talent. The position of closer will jump up and bite you no matter who you own eventually. Whether it is by injury, poor performance, or even managerial preference, your closer will fail to provide your team with the saves you were banking on. There are of course a very few exceptions, like Mariano Rivera or Trevor Hoffman. Francisco Rodriguez is making his way into that territory, but he still has years of injury free pitching to do before he qualifies as a sure exception. But aside from a small handful of closers, an owner just cannot be sure of what type of production he is going to get from that position. That's why it is so important to scout out the best talent from all relief corps, and keep a close eye on their personal situation. This season a pitcher like Rafael Soriano is a perfect example. Of course for years, Soriano has been an injury plagued disappointment. But his skills in my opinion are without question. His numbers as you can see from HotCornerHero's Players to Watch segment are a reflection of what type of production he can get you should he be given closer duties. This is where an owner can find the opportunity or profit from a player. Soriano is in everyone's doghouse because after years of projections and hype Soriano got the closer's role last in 2008 only to succumb to injury after only seven appearances. In 2009 Mike Gonzalez is back from injury, re-assuming his closer assignment. Unfortunately for Gonzalez, he has his own injury issues, and at times can be less then effective. Knowing this, and knowing that absolutely no one drafted Soriano outside of deep NL only leagues; you can keep a watchful eye on the situation and be ready to pick up Soriano. If you have closers in waiting in mind before the draft or auction, you can build your team accordingly, and achieve major savings during the draft or auction.

An owner with extra roster space should have considered acquiring Soriano already, but if the extra roster spots are not there, make sure to keep a close eye on him and the other closer's in waiting HotCornerHero suggest, like Mock or Frasor.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or