Blog Entry

Closer news is bad news

Posted on: March 30, 2009 2:32 am
Edited on: March 30, 2009 2:46 am

I checked out the Mets at the Orioles on Sunday, which might have given me more to discuss if a rain delay in the first inning hadn't forced both starting pitchers out of the game.

For what it's worth, Koji Uehara looked brilliant again, striking out the first two batters he faced -- the first one on three pitches -- in his one inning of work. I keep hearing he has average stuff that won't translate well to the majors, but I see his 14 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings this spring and can't help but think it means something. He has hitters fooled now, and he certainly had them fooled in Japan. The guy has zero hype in Fantasy, so I don't see any good reason why not to take a chance on him late. Hey, once upon a time, people said James Shields had average stuff too.

Nothing new on the closer battle between George Sherrill and Chris Ray. Sherrill actually had a slightly better performance, with Ray giving up a hard single and what would have been a run-scoring double if Adam Jones hadn't made a terrific running catch before smacking into the wall. Much ado about nothing, I know, but I would have liked to see Ray blow everybody away.

Speaking of closer battles, the Cubs finally settled theirs by naming Kevin Gregg -- cough, gag, wheeze -- the ninth-inning man over Carlos Marmol. Too bad the majority of Fantasy owners drafted otherwise. I fell into the trap in one league myself, so we can all support each other through this painful experience. I don't feel comfortable suggesting Gregg won't keep the job. He really wasn't a bad closer in Florida. Still, if you drafted Marmol, you can't cut him just yet. I don't know if you can cut him until we've seen a full month of worry-free closing from Gregg. Well, you can , but you might end up regretting it.

And Brandon Morrow might end up regretting his words Sunday, when he went all Jonathan Papelbon on the world and said he prefers to close, writing off starting pitching for good. Talk about a career-changing move. I always hate to see young flamethrowers give into the temptation of ninth-inning heroics. For the most part, I believe the best pitchers should spend the most time on the mound. A shortage of talent is easier to hide in one-inning spurts, making Morrow's decision a bit of a waste. Oh well. For Fantasy purposes, I had soured on him this season with all of his forearm concerns this spring. But even as a reliever, he doesn't for sure have the closer role yet -- though you figure he has to secure it eventually -- and he pitches for one of the worst teams in baseball. Still a late-rounder, in my opinion.

Category: MLB

Since: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: March 30, 2009 7:39 pm

Closer news is bad news

As soon as i saw Kevin Gregg won the job i scooped him up in the only league he was unowned in, i will claim Marmol just too be safe.

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