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#5298333 Hassan Whiteside 2014-2015 Season Outlook

Posted by K50K on 25 January 2015 - 03:52 PM

Aside from my son, that cheerleader I used to bang in college, and I guess my wife, Whiteside is the best thing that's ever happened to me.
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#4798311 Josh Gordon 2014 Season Outlook 2.0

Posted by amcsoldier on 09 September 2014 - 05:46 PM

Posted Image
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#4446676 Why fantasy basketball takes no skill, just luck.

Posted by BigStuck on 31 March 2014 - 05:13 AM

cool story bro
  • bballshinobi, ludawg23, spd2base and 34 others like this


#4655792 2014 Worst Trade Proposals

Posted by owenmills on 11 July 2014 - 02:15 PM

My wife said she'd double the amount of sex we have if I gave up fantasy football this year. DECLINE!
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#5407569 4/6 Lineups and Weather...

Posted by posty on 04 April 2015 - 09:59 PM

RAYS (vs. C. Tillman - R)
1. John Jaso (L) DH
2. Steven Souza Jr. ® RF
3. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
4. Evan Longoria ® 3B
5. James Loney (L) 1B
6. Desmond Jennings ® LF
7. Logan Forsythe ® 2B
8. Rene Rivera ® C
9. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
(C. Archer - R)


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#5138007 Latavius Murray 2014 Season Outlook

Posted by Nyblazer11235 on 21 November 2014 - 05:34 PM

Started him last night....me and my league mates after the 90 yarder

 

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#5401909 Cool Story Bro 2015 edition

Posted by The Czar on 01 April 2015 - 06:00 PM

With the money I won in my leagues last year I got my old man and my brother playoff tickets to game 5 of the NLCS where Ishikawa hit the game winning homerun.

 

I thought my Dad was going to cry.  It was his first playoff game.

 

One of my favorite stories (probably for the rest of my life)...thought it was pretty cool.


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#5125433 Josh Gordon 2014 Season Outlook V3.0

Posted by SuperSurgeMC on 18 November 2014 - 08:22 PM

This is the first time I've ever wished my guy played on Thursday.
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#5014006 Signs You're Taking Fantasy Football Too Seriously?

Posted by Prezkot on 24 October 2014 - 05:56 PM

When I use 5 sites to cross-reference who I should play in my FLEX spot, but use Wikipedia to help me on a reference paper in grad school.
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#4571668 POSTING RULES & HELPFUL LINKS - BASEBALL FORUMS 2008 - PRESENT

Posted by The Harsh on 26 May 2014 - 12:36 AM

With baseball season in full swing, and an ever growing Forum population, we'd like to remind the posters that the Main Forum (Fantasy Baseball Talk) is for discussion for general purposes. This means team-specific issues, rosterbating, cool-story-bro moments - while they mean a lot to the poster posting - they don't fit the bill. There are threads for celebration, venting, cool-story-bro posts - and there is a separate Forum to post roster or team/league-specific issues - the Bench Coach (BC) Help Forum.

As RW Forums posting volume has increased, so has the number of these types of posts. While it's understandable if it's happened unintentionally, it's also becoming clear Fantasy Baseball Talk is becoming overrun with BC posts, and the other aforementioned posts which are hijacking player discussion. Again, if it's someone learning for the first time, or if it's done inadvertently, we get that - but too many veterans are contributing to the problem. We cannot stress this enough: this problem tends to grow exponentially because too many people see others doing it and think it's okay, but this only worsens the issue. Lead by example and use the appropriate threads!

Fantasy Baseball Talk is to help promote general fantasy discussion that's usable for the entire community. To keep this focus, for those who can't stop - harsher penalties, including temporary disabling of posting privileges (or longer in the case of repeat offenders following prior penalties) will be applied. Hopefully, this won't be necessary - but as all posters agree to abide by the CoC and Posting Rules when they join, notice that BC posting will need to be done in the BC Forum is clearly necessary.

Given that the rules are well-known to returning members, we trust this reminder will help returning members keep Main Forum discussion for the community at large and away from AC/team content, and help new members avoid future problems as well.

Also, for the newest members:

PROBATIONARY MEMBERS - for those of you who have just joined, welcome! While you are in a probationary status, please note two important differences from other members. First, you can't send PM's or receive PM's until you move up to regular member (10+ posts). Secondly, as of 2013, Probationary Members can reply to existing threads, but can't create new threads in the following Forums:

Main Baseball Forum (Fantasy Baseball Talk)
MILB Baseball Forum (MILB Forum)

Main Football Forum (Fantasy Football Talk)
IDP Football Forum (IDP Forum)
Main Basketball Forum (Fantasy Basketball Talk)

Please note that probationary members can still create threads in the other Forums, and can reply to existing threads in the above Forums. This will allow probationary members to get their feet wet in the Main Forums, and also help new members avoid posting Assistant Coach / Bench Coach threads in the wrong Forum.

As always, take a moment to read the RW Baseball Forum Posting Rules, RW Football Forum Posting Guidelines and RW Basketball Forum Posting Guidelines as this will cover all the areas of posting for RW members. Welcome aboard!
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#5416924 Edwin Encarnacion 2015 Outlook

Posted by kimchi_chigae on 09 April 2015 - 09:59 PM

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#5324029 Deron Williams 2014-2015 Season Outlook

Posted by Max Rockatansky on 10 February 2015 - 01:47 AM

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#5077771 Josh Gordon 2014 Season Outlook V3.0

Posted by Scottie15 on 07 November 2014 - 12:51 PM

For old time's sake..

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#4967215 Joseph Randle 2014 Season Outlook

Posted by Sine_cera on 14 October 2014 - 02:08 PM

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#4613892 RIP Tony Gwynn

Posted by Golden Spikes on 16 June 2014 - 02:13 PM

my personal Tony story from the UTsandiego forum discussion on his passing

My fondest moment on a personal level of Tony Gwynn would have to have come in 1993.

I was playing JUCO at Grossmont, and was working for the San Diego School of Baseball at the time as an assistant (shag balls, set up, clean up, basically do whatever they ask). One afternoon after one of the hitting clinics was over, there were 2 of us assistants hanging around getting things cleaned up. Tony stayed late to sign autographs for every kid in attendance (well over 1000). I had spoken quite a bit to Tony over the year, he knew me, he addressed me by name, he never made me feel like just a random person, anyways as he was walking out one day, he asked me how my season was going. I was doing pretty good, and had been working on taking the ball the other way (as a lefty) so I brought up my approach to him.

He put down his stuff and went into the cage with me, asking me to show him rather than tell him. For about 15 mins he sat and watched as I attempted to replicate his 5.5 approach. I was a pretty good "slappy" type hitter, your prototypical 80's 90's style no 2 hitter. Anyways he didnt say anything for 15 mins, which I thought was odd. I always was used to a mouth in my ear every time I hit. From my Dad, to my high school coach, up to Eddie Olsen at GC.

After I was done he took a few swings, and showed me a couple tips. It was amazing. When he hit in the cage, he wasnt that 5.5 guy, and he explained to me that when he is at the plate his approach is always to hit it through the pitchers legs, cause there is nobody there to get you out. So while hitting he proceeded to hit 10 consecutive pitches right back through the hole in the net where the ball came out (roughly the size of a softball) I was in shock. He told me also that if you work on hitting the ball the other way in the cages, when you get in the game that pitch is going to be coming a little faster, and you are going to foul alot of pitches off, which made sense.

To wrap up, I thanked Tony and started about my cleanup, he said goodbye and was walking to his car, when I saw that 32-30 still leaned against the cage with a pair of brand new Franklin batting gloves on it (the ones he wore that day at the camp) I grabbed them and chased him to his car, saying Tony you forgot your stuff, to which he replied.

"Those aren't mine D."

That summer I played in a wood bat league and stupidly although successfully used Tony's bat to the tune of a .432 BA, but broke it during the last game of the season. I kept it in shards for a couple years, but after a few moves it disappeared.

I will always have that memory of Tony. What a man, what a hitter, what a human being
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#4302629 Ryan Anderson 2013-2014 Season Outlook

Posted by Queequeg on 07 January 2014 - 12:46 PM

He's owned by my main rival in one of my leagues and I couldn't be any happier. It's the necessary evil in fantasy lol. I'm sorry for you guys in the rotoworld forums community though, you all get one big virtual hug from me > :)<


I'm not an Anderson owner, but this is the kind of remark you should keep to yourself.
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#5340139 2015 Bold Predictions

Posted by kidtwentytwo on 21 February 2015 - 10:08 AM

Giancarlo Stanton knocks a baseball into orbit around Bartolo Colon
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#5294713 Ty Lawson 2014-2015 Season Outlook

Posted by markdash on 23 January 2015 - 01:05 PM

When I prayed for Ty Lawson to drain some shots, this is not what I had in mind
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#5229452 Must-stash candidates ahead of trade deadline

Posted by THE_MAGIC_MAN on 19 December 2014 - 03:46 PM

mustache candidate would go to steven adams


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#5386203 2014-2015 Offseason Closers Thread

Posted by FearTheBeard on 23 March 2015 - 07:36 PM



Anyone else looking forward to FearTheBeard's closer compilation, assuming he does one like he did last year? Closernews, espn, mlb, closermonkey are all nice, but I prefer the one in these threads.
He's probably down at ST right now taking notes
 
Thanks for the kind words!
 
This' actually my first post since late October, so I'll use this as a WHAT'S UP, and some closer chat. My favorite time of the year on the baseball boards has always been November through March - just due to so much great evaluation and analysis. Then we tend to get overly passionate and delusional about our own players, HA! So it has sucked being away and not being able to participate, this' also the first season in a long time I haven't made my March pilgrimage to Arizona/or Florida for Spring Training. Life is good though - professionally have gotten a lot of projects on my plate - but I love my career so I enjoy it, and I'm also getting married in June. Due to this my up to date baseball personnel knowledge has fallen off a cliff - I'm still figuring out the guys who have relocated, and those who are broken for god sake. Next weeks draft is gonna be UGLY!
 
So lets talk CLOSERS! There's some great analysis in here since spring training, so lets take a look at what we got across the league. Unfortunately I'm not up on things enough to do a detailed breakdown of every chair for every team, and who's coming in the MiLB. But here's how I certainly see things - who I'm comfortable with drafting, which situations make me uneasy, and which will treat us like a baby treats a diaper. 
 
Slam Dunks  - To me, baring unforeseen injury/or a dude completely losing it(which both commonly happen) - if you draft one of these guys and it goes bad, it's just crappy luck. I consider these guys healthy and either elite, or very good with very little threatening them from competition. In no particular order. 
 
Aroldis Chapman (CIN) - Yawn
Craig Kimbrel (ATL) - Zzzzz
Greg Holland (KC) - That bullpen with Hochevar back is even better, unfair. 
Mark Melancon (PIT) - I was surprised to see him follow up such an excellent '13, with another monster year. Dude's a stud. 
David Robertson (CWS) - Solid '14, new dig - but there's a complete poo poo platter behind him. 
Cody Allen (CLE) - Electric
Steve Cishek (MIA) - Had a couple rough stretches last year, but I'm a big fan. Outstanding peripherals, was unlucky. 
 
Free Throws - These appear safe and it's definitely their job, but there's some minor concern for various reasons. 
 
Drew Storen (WAS) - A great '14, I expect it to carry over to '15 with an uptick in K %. However, it has been the first time in a couple years Drew has had the reigns. A rough start, mixed with a good Casey Janssen start could lead to trouble. 
 
Huston Street (LAA) - The dude just gets it done. I don't always know how - but he certainly doesn't beat himself. Out pitches his underlying numbers, usually has crazy low BABIP(he mastered the Petco warning track fly ball). From a stuff standpoint - he has been the same dude since '09. Reason he's down here is he's always very strain/or sprain prone, and a year with some bad luck could result in some ugly numbers. 
 
Trevor Rosenthal (STL) - He was my pick for #1 fantasy closer in '14 - chock that up as a swing and miss. While he's safe, and Jordan Walden doesn't make me that nervous - that BB/9 over 5 last season was a joke. I don't see him sucking regularly enough to lose his job - but that command is tough for a manager to stick with. Stuff is a non issue. 
 
Jonathan Papelbon (PHI) - I can't stand this douche, and I'd love to see Ken Giles in the closer role but that doesn't change the fact Papelbon is gonna close, and will do so unless traded. He's had very solid underlying numbers the last 4 years, the reason why he isn't in the top category is he continues to lose another MPH yearly, the dude setting up for him is filthy(I do expect some command regression for Giles though), and I simply don't like him. 
 
Zach Britton (BAL) - No one is expecting the dude to repeat a mid 1 ERA, for a groundball pitcher a low .200s BABIP is a unicorn. That said - Zach Britton was a high 2's ERA is still a damn good closer that will rack a lot of saves. His power sinker is disgusting - he gives up hardly any hard contact - very low LD%. Can erase a jam at anytime with a GIDP. And with a healthy SwStr% more K's could be on the horizon. I have no issue with regression if it's from ungodly to good. I'm not exactly scared of the other options either. 
 
Fernando Rodney (SEA) - Not on the short list of the easiest dudes in baseball to watch, but he succeeds far more than he fails. Even in a solid year, as a Mariners fan the dude probably gave me a few ulcers - BB/9 near 4, a mid 1.3's WHIP, and those bouts where he completely loses command will do that. Combine that with the M's having a few other intriguing options with a bullpen that finished #1 in baseball last year. That said, it'll take a good amount of laid eggs to get the crooked hat booted from the 9th. 
 
Hector Rondon (CHC) - Unless last season proves a fluke, I see very little reason to doubt Rondon. That said, he doesn't have much of a track record. He definitely passed my eye test, underlying numbers were excellent, and there aren't world beaters behind him. If Rondon hits a snag it'll probably be due to past command issues coming back and biting him in the a**. Even with some regression he'll still be good.  
 
Three Pointers - In this category we have dudes that have the role(or that it's strongly implied it's their gig) and have the potential to do very well in the role, but there's factors involved that cast a good amount of risk/concern in my eyes - from recent injury issues, no history in role with equally good backup option, etc. 
 
Koji Uehara (BOS) - The lead M.D. at the medical practice - Surgery by Splitter. No doubt Koji is a stud, his unfathomable command mixed with ability to freeze hitters, and miss bats when he's right is 2nd to none, but his arm worries me. He's turning 40 in a few days. Allowed a lot more hard contact in '14, fell off a cliff in the 2nd half due to arm problems which he admitted at the start of spring. A positive spin is you damn well know the Red Sox wouldn't have resigned him for 2 years if they had any inclination there was a serious issue, and he doesn't rely on power. Currently battling a hammy and opening day is up in the air. Given the right spot, I wouldn't avoid Koji on draft day - but whether he can hold up is very much a legit question. Edward Mujica is my absolute bet to step in if needed. 
 
Glen Perkins (MIN) - Another very good closer with a great track record, but holy red flag galore. As a previous poster mentioned - when a pitcher strains his throwing elbow with nerve irritation and it's fixed with rest, that's usually a sign of a surgery coming. He also lost a 1.5mph on his heater last year. Perkins has also battled the tricky oblique this spring. After his Saturday outing he said he feels 100% - that's great and all, but I'll let another owner take the plunge. I feel like throwing other names out there on the Twins is just throwing darts. As others have mentioned Fien and Duensing are just bandaids. Tonkins was an interesting plug, I wasn't familiar with him. Alex Meyer could be lights out potentially, but the Twins look to be grooming him to start. Another dart to throw on the board - Stephen Pryor. Battling for a bullpen spot now - as I'm sure many of you remember he was a highly regarded bullpen arm from the Mariners that hit 100+, and a decent slider. It'll be his first year back after tearing his lat. 
 
Joaquin Benoit (SD) - Once again, like Uehara and Perkins this one has nothing to do with skill. Benoit was pitching out of his mind last season sporting career bests in velocity, chase rates, and had a 17.8 SwStr%(Say Whaaaaaat!!!). His change makes me giggle like a school girl. However Benoit was IN and OUT and IN and OUT all second half last season due to a "cranky shoulder." He had no offseason procedure I could find. As any pitcher would say, shoulders are tricky beasts. Many times guys start getting discomfort/tightness in there shoulder, they go get an MRI and it just shows normal wear or they'll get the bursitis label. His shoulder issues to round out '14 are enough to make him a dicey bet to stay healthy. Sounds like he has been solid this spring though. Quackenbush did a nice job filling in last season - solid peripherals and closed in minors. Another name to keep tabs on, they got Brandon Maurer from Seattle this offseason. When he got transitioned to the bullpen he was completely filthy in the all out 1 inning role.  
 
Dellin Betances (NYY) - In my opinion it's been pretty much implied Betances will get the first shot to close in the Bronx, rightfully so. The guy is an absolute beast - his frontline and underlying numbers from '14 are beyond ridiculous. Everything about him screams end game star. 6'8", upper 90's, and a slider that generated some of the most interesting swings/reactions I've ever seen. So why is Betances on this list? I'd have a hard time paying that top 5-6 closer price due to the following factors - 1) As nasty as Betances is, the guy behind him is just as nasty - Andrew Miller,  but using Miller in the 7th or 8th gives the Yanks more flexibility due to being a lefty. 2) Betances(and Miller) had serious command concerns prior to last season, maybe he fixed the issue, maybe he was just in the zone last season. But there's a lot of moving parts, combined with a lot of max effort for 6'7", 6'8 dudes. 3) No closing track record. The reason Girardi isn't formally announcing a closer is just to reduce pressure, and not formally tie him to someone. That said - if Betances has a couple shaky outings out of the gate, expect to here "Dellin and Andrew are both great, I never committed to anyone - I'll probably do some mixing and matching." I think I'd be more comfortable drafting Miller later, than using an earlier pick on Betances cause I think it could go either way - regardless, both these guys have plenty business closing. 
 
Half Court Hook Shots - This category is all full of dudes I'd probably draft, but would completely expect getting potentially railed. I have numerous concerns with these guys - from rather uninspiring stuff, situations, etc. 
 
Francisco Rodriguez (MIL) - There's a damn good argument he could be in the free throw category, and he probably should be. K Rod has an excellent '14 with 44 saves, misses bats, commands the strike zone, and he's a guy where his experience in the role truly shows. After a white hot start things normalized some. Some of his underlying numbers show a great story, some show concern. His BABIP was rock bottom low, very fluky given his batted ball profile. He struggled a home, and that park is very unforgiving. He continues to drop in velocity. I'm always a little leery of a guy that just strolls into spring training in mid March, but it didn't seem to hurt him last year - it's not his first rodeo. This' more of a gut feeling for me, I'd snag K Rod but could just see him getting throttled. The new pitch to contact Broxton doesn't worry me much as competition, I think K Rod will have a nice leash. 
 
Addison Reed (ARZ) - I've hit a point with Addison Reed where I just realize he is what he is. End of season he's just an alright closer that will have better underlying numbers than his surface numbers suggest. My best way to explain Reed is that he's a good RP that just makes some really bad pitches at really bad times - which in turn, blows up his numbers. Overall though - he misses bats, doesn't BB a lot of guys, tidy SIERA, gets ahead, etc. He's definitely the guy, but there's some usable options behind him and I don't see the Dbacks being overly patient with Reed under the new administration. Some shoulder soreness to start the year is never good, but Reed no big dealed it and claims he's ready to go. Handcuffing Reed with Evan Marshall for a variety of reasons is definitely a wise play. 
 
Santiago Casilla (SF) - He's a solid RP, but I'm not confident in him as a successful closer. Casilla doesn't miss many bats, and until last season had some really tough bouts with command. He has been around long enough where I'm not really buying his 2.31 BB/9, when his previous 3 years averaged around 4BB/9. His underlying numbers show a different story than the squeaky clean ERA he sported. A .211 BABIP for a groundball heavy pitcher is loony tunes. He's another guy I wouldn't have issue drafting - I don't see him destroying his owners ratios, but expect significant regression. When pitch to contact guys hit a rut, things can get ugly really fast. Sergio Romo is still lurking and he fits the bill more to me, last season he was plagued with some very poorly timed HRs, and a few blowup outings. 
 
Jenrry Mejia (NYM) - He's no walk in the park, but damn is this dude a character. His mannerisms on the mound had me in stitches a many occasions. His time as a closer last season was up and down - had some periods of nastiness, and others that were just nasty on our ratios. I like his stuff and ability to miss bats, his ability to pitch a little cute frustrates me. I think Mejia will keep the job, not saying the road won't be a little bumpy - but he's a guy I root for. Ok, now for the elephant in the room - WHAT ABOUT PARNELL YOU IDIOT!?!?! I don't care what Collins says, I'll believe it when I see it. Dude had TJS on April 8th of last year, and saw his first game action a couple days ago. There's a whole lot of hurdles that still need to be jumped, and I don't see a power closer retaking that role 13 months after getting cut. Where is his velocity? Feel for the curve? He struggled for years with command, how's that coming along? Work load? Set backs? It's very rare that pitchers fully hit there stride within 2 years of TJ. You have your recovery period, and another year usually figuring this out again. I'd be much more concerned about Familia than Parnell if I owned Mejia. 
 
Full Court Punts - These are situations where guys have been announced as closers, but I'd be perfectly OK if I didn't dabble with any of them. I think they all blow(at least as closers), and ready to hand potential fantasy owners beatings. If I drafted one of these guys I'd immediately say "Why the F did I do that?", only to get greeted with a few .1 IP, 4 H, 4ER, 2BB outings leaving me shaking my head saying "That F'ing guy." 
 
Neftali Feliz (TEX) - Get that pretty ERA from '14 out of your head, DUDE was AWFUL last year. Atrocious peripheral numbers, couldn't strike anyone out, his stuff looked super flat, velocity was all over the map outing to outing. I want to envision 2010, but what I witnessed last season was horrible - factor that in with the fact I don't trust is arm whatsoever, and Arlington - NO THANKS. A few of the Rangers other options are all battling some injuries, and I don't find them very enticing either. I think this situation will be a mess all year. 
 
LaTroy Hawkins (COL) - Watching him pitch in Colorado last season was an A+ gut wrenching horror movie. Somehow - a whole lot of those line drives, warning track fly balls, and ripped ground balls got gloved. Homie strikes out like no one, and last year rocked a 6.2SwStr%(LOL). I don't dislike Hawkins at all, guy has had a great career - but him closing in Colorado with his current repertoire is frightening. No way I hop on this ride. Adam Ottavino is probably the best option - dominates RHB, nice underlying numbers, unfortunately LHB absolute blow out his butt hole. When used right Ottavino is a great weapon, I just don't think he handles lefties well enough to be handed the 9th and do well. Then there's always John Axford a mile high, LOL!!  
 
Joe Nathan (DET) - What a fall from grace huh? Watching Nathan pitch last year was even worse than his numbers, not only was his stuff, command bad - but he really got in his head and lost a ton of confidence. I'm not touching Nathan this season and it's frustrating cause the Tigers will win a lot of games. A good friend of mine who's a Tigers diehard has been in Lakeland/Orlando a lot of the month and told me Nathan has looked absolutely brutal. On the flipside, he said Soria looks great. I don't see the Ausmus being nearly as loyal this time around, and while I won't be drafting Nathan, I'll look to grab Soria anywhere I can. 
 
Brett Cecil (TOR) - Like Texas and Colorado, this' a situation I strongly dislike. How do you have all this money tied up in a world beating lineup, and completely poo poo platter your bullpen? While Cecil is a very good RP who gets out hitters from both sides of the plate he personally doesn't intrigue me in the closer role at this time. Even when he's good, he's wild as hell(which personally detracts me, you allow yourself so little margin for error when you give a lot of free passes), battled shoulder soreness this spring, has hardly thrown this month, and when the Jays tried to see what he could do with the role late April/early May last year he laid a huge egg. He has been used all over the place the last few years, sometimes in the 5th/6th, sometimes end game, good amount of outing over one inning. Especially due to him not having much of a spring training, I think he's almost set up for failure. By no means do I think he can't be a good closer, I'm just not betting on it in April and he'll have zero leash. Steve Delabar is the guy to watch - IF healthy the dude is filthy. That's a huge IF, but he has gotten great reports this spring. With Sanchez moving to the rotation, this pen is downright ugly. 
 
TBD, Still up for debate, Mystery Situations - These aren't bad situations by any means, but hard to classify due to things that still need to be determined. Teams with injured closers that need temp fill ins, and in some cases these can become permanent. Also a situation where there hasn't been a formal announcement. 
 
Los Angeles Dodgers - Obviously if all was good and well with Big Kenley this would be under the slam dunks. The positive, his injury has zero effect IMO on his job security. Jansen is in the same company as Kimbrel, Chapman, Holland. The most recent reports seem to be leaning more towards a Mid May return, as opposed to a late April. So who's gonna get the work while Kenley is on the mend? This team has potential to get a lot of SV OPs due to that rotation. Will it be the safest bet? Joel Peralta. The guy rumored by blogs and beat writers? Chris Hatcher. High upside/high downside guy? Sergio Santos. Other? Call me crazy - but even after an ugly statistical spring, I'm betting Chris Hatcher. He had a very good '14 with even better underlying numbers, misses bats, doesn't walk guys, good velocity, plus slider and change, and most importantly - a sweet beard! It's just my hunch, but beat writers usually have a good feel. Joel Peralta really thrives in that fireman 7th, 8th - top spot role and I think that's where the Dodgers want him. Peralta tends to start slow every year, which doesn't lend well to the opening day closing nod. Sergio Santos has had an excellent spring, as he did last year. Stuff is there, we know that - but so are his tendencies to implode to epic proportions. My pick - Chris Hatcher til Kenley returns. 
 
Tampa Bay Rays - I'm gonna call this one, sorry bout your luck Jake McGee. McGee is an absolute stud. He also got a procedure done on his elbow and is out til late April/early May at the earliest. Unfortunately for Jake, his set up guy Brad Boxberger is equally an absolute stud, is healthy, and right handed. With a new manager in Kevin Cash, and McGee wasn't exactly some tenured closer - I don't see much loyalty if these go well while McGee is out. I would think Cash may see more value in being able to use his lefty bullpen ace where he needs him, as opposed to reserving him for the 9th. Especially if he can swap a right handed stud into the role. I'd target Brad Boxberger everywhere with the potential at getting an elite closer for a full season at a discount. However, while Boxberger has pedigree, he doesn't have a track record so '15 success isn't a sure thing. Kevin Cash pee'd in everyone's cereal by even mentioning Grant Balfour and his "salty moxie" "experience" "a real gamer" as a possibility. If Cash made that move he'd join Robin Ventura on a closer trolling doucheness level. 
 
Oakland Athletics - Unlike Jansen's situation, Sean Doolittle's injury is far muddier due to it being a slight tear to his rotator cuff of his left shoulder. Doolittle started a throwing program today. While I think Melvin is very loyal to Doolittle as his closer, I'd be very nervous drafting Doolittle expecting 4.5 to 5 months of healthy closing. The potential for flaring up the shoulder, or tearing it worse and requiring surgery is very real. Especially for a max effort pitcher. I'm a big Doolittle fan, but I highly doubt I'll be owning him anywhere. Due to these concerns Tyler Clippard might have a nice opportunity to close for an extended period, or maybe all season. While Clippard is excellent in the 8th, I'm not completely sold on him as a stud closer. That said, I think he could be solid and keep the gig. Ryan Cook has been putrid this spring. Maybe Eric O'Flaherty another year removed from TJ could be a factor. We can all agree Clippard will get first shot even though it hasn't been formally announced. Another guy with potential for a whole lot of saves, with decent #s, at a cheap price. I'm very concerned about Red Beard.
 
Houston Astros - Scrolling through this thread I've seen some pretty certain opinions that vary "Obviously it's Gregerson", "It's definitely Qualls, he did well last year", etc, but I can't find any hard evidence.  The common theme here is Gregerson, Qualls, and Neshek all look like dudes that shoot free throws underhand. I also think Houston will be a nice source of saves in 2015. Personally - I'm leaning towards Qualls. He was successful closing last year - and is coming off two very good seasons. With Qualls there's always that potential for AWFUL factor - so if that beast turns its head it won't last long. Gregerson has had a long successful career setting up, and hasn't been dynamite in his past chances at closing - so unless a change needs to be made I don't see Hinch making it. One positive for Luke, unlike Qualls it's highly unlikely there's much of an awful factor. He's pretty much the same dude year after year. Neshek I see 3rd in line, and I don't care about Josh Fields' "stuff" anymore. Whether it's Qualls or Gregerson - I think this could be a really nice source of saves with decent ratios to boot. 
 
Please don't quote this monstrosity! Ha!

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