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May Closer Thread 2018

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Ready for April to be over with, hoping May brings some better luck with regards to closers.

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Brad Hand blew his second save of the year and picked up the loss on Monday by allowing three runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Giants.

Things started out well for Hand, getting a double play after coming in with one out in the eighth inning. Things did not end well, and a two-run single from Nick Hundley gave the Giants the win and Hand the blown save. His ERA raises to 3.29 and the record falls to 1-3 on the season. Hand clearly has quality stuff, but his command isn't close to where it was to begin -- and end -- the 2018 season.

 

Hand has to be locked in at closer though right?  3 ER last night, but he hadn't given up a run since March.

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Brad's locked in for sure.  No need to worry. Just manager misused him that's all by extending him over 40 pitches without having a backup warmed-up.

Edited by doctorm

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hand is fine 

 

giles looked good thankfully as well, nice to see the k's back up

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Barraclough struck out the side and hit a batter in a scoreless ninth inning Saturday to pick up his first save of the season in a 4-1 win over the Rockies.

 

Manager Don Mattingly said after the game that Brad Ziegler "was not feeling 100 percent," according to ESPN, but whether that means Ziegler is dealing with an illness or injury -- or Mattingly is just trying to ease him out of the closer role gently -- is still unclear. Given Barraclough's dominance in his first save attempt and overall success this season -- he now has a 2.31 ERA and 21:7 K:BB in 11.2 innings -- it seems likely that more ninth-inning duty lies ahead for the right-hander.

 

His K/9 is 15.63

 

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2 hours ago, doctorm said:

Brad's locked in for sure.  No need to worry. Just manager misused him that's all by extending him over 40 pitches without having a backup warmed-up.

 

This.  It would have been his longest save of the season.  I can't say I am too familiar with the Padres so I am not sure how often he is used more than an inning.  

 

With this said, I wouldn't be shocked or overreact if they have a save situation tonight or tomorrow and he isn't used given his high pitch count last night.

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16 minutes ago, weakkneeswilly said:

Barraclough struck out the side and hit a batter in a scoreless ninth inning Saturday to pick up his first save of the season in a 4-1 win over the Rockies.

 

Manager Don Mattingly said after the game that Brad Ziegler "was not feeling 100 percent," according to ESPN, but whether that means Ziegler is dealing with an illness or injury -- or Mattingly is just trying to ease him out of the closer role gently -- is still unclear. Given Barraclough's dominance in his first save attempt and overall success this season -- he now has a 2.31 ERA and 21:7 K:BB in 11.2 innings -- it seems likely that more ninth-inning duty lies ahead for the right-hander.

 

His K/9 is 15.63

 

Then yesterday he pitched the 7th when the Marlins were up 6-4. 

To me Bearclaw should have been closing right from the start somehow they keep putting  Mr. Ziegler in

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rotoprofessor for what it's worth.

 

http://rotoprofessor.com/baseball/?p=35849

 

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Closer in Waiting Power Rankings: May 1, 2018: Barraclough Time Grows Near, A Surprise Entrant At #4 & More

 

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Are you someone constantly on the lookout for the next potential closer? That’s what we are trying to pinpoint here, with our Top 5 Closer In Waiting Power Rankings. These rankings look at the pitchers who appear capable of taking over their team’s respective closing duties (though in some cases, will need some help to get there). Keep in mind, if a pitcher is currently part of a committee they will not be included in these rankings despite not currently “holding” the job outright.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how things stand (all statistics are through Sunday, unless otherwise noted):

 

1) Kyle Barraclough – Miami Marlins (2)
Current Closer – Brad Ziegler

It looked like the Marlins had finally made the change, with Barraclough getting a save on Saturday in impressive fashion, but we learned after the fact that Ziegler was banged up and unavailable.  The latter was back out there on Sunday, locking down a save, so for now we have to handle this the same way we have been.  Ziegler has always felt like he’s had one foot out the door, as a “non-traditional” closer with impressive flame throwers pitching ahead of him.

Drew Stenckenrider also needs to be on radars, just in case, but it’s clear that Barraclough is the first choice to step into the role when (not if) a change is made.  That’s not to say that Barraclough doesn’t carry his own questions, as he continues to struggle with his control (5.40 BB/9) and has struggled with home runs (1.54 HR/9).  He’s only walked batters in 4 of his 12 appearances, so it’s avoiding the complete disaster, and both home runs he allowed came in one appearance (he’s gone 7 straight without allowing a home run).  In other words it’s easy to explain away the “struggles” and there’s no question as to how good he can be.

 

2) Addison Reed – Minnesota Twins (HM)
Current Closer – Fernando Rodney

We’ve long considered Rodney as one of the worst closers in the game, and he put it on full display in recent days as he blew three straight saves across four outings.  The Twins have stubbornly stuck with him, at least for now, but how much longer can they justify that decision?  Maybe it’s because Reed has had his own issues of late, but overall he owns a 2.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 13 K vs. 4 BB over 14.0 IP.  Those are obviously the superior numbers, and maybe it takes just one more stumble to force the Twins’ hands.  That will likely come sooner rather than later, so be prepared to make the move.

 

3) Archie Bradley – Arizona Diamondbacks (1)
Current Closer – Brad Boxberger

Is this a case of Boxberger being bad or is it that Bradley has simply been too good for the team to keep out of the ninth inning much longer?  Boxberger is a perfect 8-for-8 in his save chances and owns a 2.45 ERA, but a 1.55 WHIP due to control (4.91 BB/9) and a lot of hits (.357 BABIP) both contributing to the issue.  The bigger problem may be his sudden drop in swinging strikes (7.3%, compared to a career mark of 12.1%), which casts doubt on his ability to continue getting strikeouts.

Bradley has thrived when given an opportunity, including a pair of saves, as he’s displayed all three skills we look for:

  • Strikeouts – 10.57 K/9
  • Control – 2.93 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 54.5%

The Diamondbacks may want to keep him flexible, but if Boxberger coughs up a game or two the pressure will be there to make a move.

 

4) Tommy Hunter – Philadelphia Phillies (NR)
Current Closer – Hector Nerris

The Philadelphia Phillies are surprisingly in contention in the AL East, and that could shorten their patience with Neris.  The current closer has shown some struggles before, though he has been pitching better as of late (six straight scoreless appearances).  It has been speculated that he’s a better fit as a setup man, though, and given his history of putting on base runners (1.26 WHIP in ’17, 1.27 this season) it may not take much.

Enter Hunter, who recently came off the DL and has been lights out in his three appearances (1 H and 0 BB over 2.2 IP).  Signed in the offseason to help setup for Neris, he picked up a HLD in his most recent appearance and has quickly assumed the role of primary setup man.   It makes sense for the Phillies to look towards a veteran, as opposed to one of their younger alternatives, so when a change is needed (and that time could come quickly) look for Hunter to get the shot.

 

5) Nate Jones – Chicago White Sox (NR)
Current Closer – Joakim Soria

It had been viewed as if Jones had taken over the role, but that has clearly proven to be incorrect.  Soria has picked up the past few saves, but how long will it be until the team does make a change?  It’s easy to argue that Jones is the better pitcher long-term but for now Soria has been doing the job and there’s no reason to think that a change is inevitable.  That said, this is a situation that can easily be influenced by a trade or one or two struggles (especially for a rebuilding franchise).

 

Removed from Rankings:

  • Greg Holland – St. Louis Cardinals (3)
  • Kevin Jepsen – Texas Rangers (4)
  • Joe Jimenez – Detroit Tigers (5)

 

Others We’re Watching:

  • Jose Alvarado – Tampa Bay Rays
  • Carl Edwards Jr. – Chicago Cubs
  • Adam Ottavino – Colorado Rockies
  • Chris Martin – Texas Rangers
  • Bruce Rondon – Chicago White Sox

 

“Committees” Currently Excluded:

  • Atlanta Braves – Arodys Vizcaino/A.J. Minter
  • Baltimore Orioles – Brad Brach/Darren O’Day
  • Houston Astros – Ken Giles/Chris Devenski
  • Milwaukee Brewers – Josh Hader/Jacob Barnes/Matt Albers
  • Louis Cardinals – Bud Norris/Greg Holland

 

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46 minutes ago, weakkneeswilly said:

Barraclough struck out the side and hit a batter in a scoreless ninth inning Saturday to pick up his first save of the season in a 4-1 win over the Rockies.

 

Manager Don Mattingly said after the game that Brad Ziegler "was not feeling 100 percent," according to ESPN, but whether that means Ziegler is dealing with an illness or injury -- or Mattingly is just trying to ease him out of the closer role gently -- is still unclear. Given Barraclough's dominance in his first save attempt and overall success this season -- he now has a 2.31 ERA and 21:7 K:BB in 11.2 innings -- it seems likely that more ninth-inning duty lies ahead for the right-hander.

 

His K/9 is 15.63

 

The claw still walks too many guys.  Even if he gets the job, he's a bottom of the barrel choice for ratios.

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Hunter gave up a bomb to Brian Anderson and 2 runs last night in the 7th. I know they've been high on him when he was on the DL but not sure how that's going to work out. 

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That guy really doesn’t like box and Neris.  They’re on the list every week, he’ll get it correct eventually 

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Surprised not more  love for Carl Edwards JR.  Has been a monster all year.  I can imagine him not getting a chance to close.

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3 hours ago, SpecialFNK said:

3) Archie Bradley – Arizona Diamondbacks (1)
Current Closer – Brad Boxberger

Is this a case of Boxberger being bad or is it that Bradley has simply been too good for the team to keep out of the ninth inning much longer?  Boxberger is a perfect 8-for-8 in his save chances and owns a 2.45 ERA, but a 1.55 WHIP due to control (4.91 BB/9) and a lot of hits (.357 BABIP) both contributing to the issue.  The bigger problem may be his sudden drop in swinging strikes (7.3%, compared to a career mark of 12.1%), which casts doubt on his ability to continue getting strikeouts.

 

The stats they pull out on Box are overblown, imho. They point out his bb/9 but fail to mention that he hasn't walked a batter in 9 of his last 10 outings. Four of his walks came in his first three innings. His WHIP and his BABIP are elevated because of two non-save appearances. They all count when it comes to our fantasy stats, but in his 9 save opps, he's pitched 9 scoreless innings, allowing 10 H/W. 

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What's more pathetic: Musing about closer situations in this thread in your free time (or at work haha!) or writing about fantasy closer situations for a living?

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45 minutes ago, My Dinner With Andre said:

What's more pathetic: Musing about closer situations in this thread in your free time (or at work haha!) or writing about fantasy closer situations for a living?

Man ill take that pathetic lifestyle all day ☺ I'm jealous

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1 hour ago, My Dinner With Andre said:

What's more pathetic: Musing about closer situations in this thread in your free time (or at work haha!) or writing about fantasy closer situations for a living?

 

You first. :D

Edited by Flyman75

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As an STL fan, I think their closer battle is one of the more interesting. It seems pretty clear that Holland needs (at the very least) some work to get back to himself and that Norris is a better option for shutting the door. But I wonder how much longer Holland’s pricetag ends up forcing him out there this month. 

 

Norris seems like a pretty safe bet longterm though, even more so if you’re in a SV/HD league. 

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1 minute ago, Philoumenos said:

As an STL fan, I think their closer battle is one of the more interesting. It seems pretty clear that Holland needs (at the very least) some work to get back to himself and that Norris is a better option for shutting the door. But I wonder how much longer Holland’s pricetag ends up forcing him out there this month. 

 

Norris seems like a pretty safe bet longterm though, even more so if you’re in a SV/HD league. 

 

The STL closer situation is just bizarre.

 

Bizarre because you have a "closer", who was signed late and, although he makes big $$$, is clearly not right and is having his "spring training" for all intents and purposes during regular season games.

 

Can't recall seeing anything like it.

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11 minutes ago, My Dinner With Andre said:

 

The STL closer situation is just bizarre.

 

Bizarre because you have a "closer", who was signed late and, although he makes big $$$, is clearly not right and is having his "spring training" for all intents and purposes during regular season games.

 

Can't recall seeing anything like it.

I said this in last month’s thread, but yeah it’s truly bizarre that a team that knew they would either be in a tight NLC or WC race thought to themselves “We can afford to have our ‘closer’ conduct his spring training during the middle of our season.”

 

Coming off two seasons where they barely missed the playoffs by literally one and four games. Just insane. 

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11 minutes ago, Philoumenos said:

I said this in last month’s thread, but yeah it’s truly bizarre that a team that knew they would either be in a tight NLC or WC race thought to themselves “We can afford to have our ‘closer’ conduct his spring training during the middle of our season.”

 

Coming off two seasons where they barely missed the playoffs by literally one and four games. Just insane. 

 

It would be smart to give Holland the phantom DL stint and let him work it out in the minors.  

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7 hours ago, ToO_BaD said:

 

This.  It would have been his longest save of the season.  I can't say I am too familiar with the Padres so I am not sure how often he is used more than an inning.  

 

With this said, I wouldn't be shocked or overreact if they have a save situation tonight or tomorrow and he isn't used given his high pitch count last night.

 

Just a further point on this. It’s also worth mentioning that the walk Posey took was just a great professional  at bat he ended up walking but the 10 pitches hand threw really impacted him. Also the hits he gave up where a bloop single and a ground ball so it’s not exactly like they were pounding the ball against him.

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I suppose we are to assume Cody Allen is unavailable after Francona ground him down to a nub yesterday w 41 pitches in 1.1 IP

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3 minutes ago, ragrag said:

I suppose we are to assume Cody Allen is unavailable after Francona ground him down to a nub yesterday w 41 pitches in 1.1 IP

 

Wouldn't be shocked.

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