In regards to the closing situation in Fantasy Baseball, one of the hardest things to do is to try and read the tea leaves. When will a closer lose his job? Usually it happens real fast. A closer will suffer a few high profile losses and the manager will have no choice but to make a move. Sometimes this happens to fast for Fantasy owners to react properly but sometimes we can see the move coming. Knowing when to adjust to what we are observing will usually determine success or failure in the save category.
There is no right or wrong way to go about it. It usually comes down to hunches. What your gut is telling you. How long has the closer been struggling for? How long has he been successful for? The longer the success the longer the leash. Should you grab the top setup guy as a handcuff? Absolutely if your league rewards holds but maybe not so much if you have a small bench and there are no holds. Lots of decisions need to be made in order to win a Fantasy league. This is just one of them.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves are fielding quite a few phone calls on Arodys Vizcaino. Would they consider moving him before the deadline? Well the Braves seemed to have done an about face about starting pitcher Julio Teheran and now say they are unlikely to deal him (this could just be a negotiating ploy to raise the price tag). Does that mean they won’t trade Vizcaino either? Possibly, but the Braves can’t realistically think they will compete before 2018, so a top closer may not be needed. If the price is right, Vizcaino could be moved and whether or not he would close for his new team would depend upon the destination but that would seem unlikely. If you’re wondering who would take over for Vizcaino in the event of a trade, Jim Johnson would seem to be the next logical choice, but he could be on his way to a new team as well.
Colorado Rockies: Jake McGee (knee) is expected to return to the Rockies as soon as this weekend versus the Dodgers. The problem for Fantasy owners is that manager Walt Weiss has yet to state whether or not he will be given his closing job back. McGee was 15-for-18 in the role but did have an ERA of 4.97 and a WHIP of 1.57. Those aren’t exactly elite numbers. Do the Rockies believe Carlos Estevez is ready for the full-time role? His ERA is 4.28 with a WHIP of 1.24, that’s not exactly primetime either. Another complicating factor is that if the Rockies have plans to trade McGee, he would seem to have more value if he stays at closer than if he loses the job.
St. Louis Cardinals: The opening paragraph about a closer pretty much imploding was dedicated to Trevor Rosenthal. The final straw was his meltdown versus the Mariners last Friday. Rosenthal has been shaky all season and some would day it was just a matter of time. Whether or not he will get the job back this season will more than likely depend on two factors. First, will the Cardinals look for a closer on the trade front? Second, with whomever takes over for Rosenthal, how good a job will they do. Seung-hwan Oh would seem to be the most likely to take over the role, but manager Mike Matheny is keeping his options open and has stated that Jonathan Broxton and Kevin Siegrist will also see save opportunities, but my money is on Oh to eventually win that job.
Washington Nationals: Jonathan Papelbon (ribs) could return to the Nationals as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. He believes he could pitch Tuesday if necessary but the Nats want to see him perform in a simulated game first. Either way Shawn Kelley’s days as the closer are coming to an end.[table “1507” not found /]
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison Flickr