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Closer Report

The latest on the closer situations for all 30 teams.

  • Orioles - George Sherrill is secure, and so far he's avoided the shaky control of last year.  The O's have him under team control through 2011.  On one hand, that may mean they'll be in no rush to trade him.  On the other, he's more valuable to other clubs.  I think Jim Johnson would get a crack if Sherrill is dealt.  Danys Baez could be a consideration, but he wasn't when Sherrill was faltering.  Plus Baez himself is a trade candidate.
  • Red Sox - Jonathan Papelbon doesn't have the WHIP of years past, but he's not going anywhere.
  • Yankees - Mariano Rivera has been mortal this year in terms of hits and HRs allowed.  But he's only blown one save, against Boston in April.
  • Rays - Boy, this one's a mess.  An acquisition would make sense.  Troy Percival is dealing with a shoulder issue and may not pitch again this year.  Manager Joe Maddon is going with the dreaded committee for now.  Randy Choate snagged a few quick saves due to lefty matchups.  J.P. Howell, another lefty, has solid numbers too.  From the right side: Dan Wheeler, Joe Nelson, Jason Isringhausen, Grant Balfour...take your pick.  Who knows, maybe Jorge Julio will have a run.  Winston Abreu has been lights out closing in Triple A, maybe he gets a look.
  • Blue Jays - Scott Downs has this under control, and there is no reason to think about going back to B.J. Ryan.
  • White Sox - Bobby Jenks is secure, and we haven't heard any trade rumors.  If for some reason he is dealt they'd probably go with Scott Linebrink, Matt Thornton, or both.
  • Twins - Joe Nathan is secure.
  • Indians - Rough start for Kerry Wood, but he's unscored upon since May 20th.  Wood's injury-prone, but Rafael Betancourt is going to miss a month or so.  So Rafael Perez might be the backup.
  • Tigers - Fernando Rodney is 11 for 11, but he's had some struggles.  Joel Zumaya might be a better backup plan than Brandon Lyon.
  • Royals - Joakim Soria's been fine in two appearances since his return from the DL.  I think Kyle Farnsworth has surpassed Juan Cruz as the second in line.
  • Angels - Brian Fuentes has been subpar but he's paid the big bucks.
  • Athletics - Andrew Bailey has quietly assumed the role.
  • Mariners  - David Aardsma's the man, especially with Brandon Morrow going back to starting.  Be warned that Aardsma has brutal control.
  • Rangers - Frank Francisco's shoulder has been problematic, leaving some save opps for C.J. Wilson.
  • Braves - Mike Gonzalez has been good, but keep in mind that injury-prone setup man Rafael Soriano has been even better.
  • Marlins - Matt Lindstrom is hanging by a thread, but got the win last night with a two-hit scoreless inning.  Manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't like committees, though Leo Nunez and Kiko Calero have been better.  Gonzalez doesn't seem ready to demote Lindstrom but who knows, he could land back on the DL.
  • Mets - Francisco Rodriguez is locked in, with Bobby Parnell sliding in as the setup man.
  • Phillies - Ryan Madson takes the job while Brad Lidge is on the DL for a knee injury.  Lidge received a cortisone injection; read up on the injury here.  Don't cut Madson when Lidge returns.
  • Nationals - There's no real reason to think this Mike MacDougal experiment will work.  But stranger things have happened, and he should be owned in all leagues.
  • Cubs - Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol have both been unimpressive, walking the house.  Lou Piniella has no plans to demote either, but Angel Guzman has quietly been the Cubs' best reliever.  Stash him away if you can.
  • Reds - Francisco Cordero is secure; the lousy spring meant nothing.
  • Astros - Jose Valverde returns soon from his calf injury, depressing LaTroy Hawkins' value.  Both relievers are free agents after the season and thus trade candidates.  I'd retain Hawkins in case Valverde is dealt or injured again.  But as soon as either Hawkins or Valverde is traded, I think it's time to add Chris Sampson.
  • Brewers - Trevor Hoffman has found the NL Central very much to his liking.
  • Pirates - Matt Capps has been fine lately.  Otherwise it's John Grabow, who could give way to Jesse Chavez if dealt.
  • Cardinals - Ryan Franklin has made the job his.  Kyle McClellan could be the backup.
  • Diamondbacks - Chad Qualls' lingering forearm issues make Tony Pena a must-own.  Juan Gutierrez is another consideration.
  • Rockies - Huston Street has been strong since regaining the closer job.  But Street is a prime trade candidate, making Manny Corpas someone to stash.
  • Dodgers - Jonathan Broxton is secure.
  • Padres - Heath Bell is secure.
  • Giants - Brian Wilson is secure.

Omitted Joe Nathan in original version of the post.


Full Story |  Comments (7) | Categories: Closers

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