bradwatson

2019 Offseason Closer Thread

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I feel there are a couple other situations that @street sharks didn't mention as question marks that I have on my radar. 

TB - Alvarado, while probably the best bet for the role, isn't a done deal to be the closer. We saw how they used their BP last season. 

CWS - Colome should get the first crack but I wouldn't be surprised if Herrera beats him out. 

ATL - Vizcaino doesn't necessarily have a stranglehold on the role with how well Minter did last year. I think he gets the first shot but I wouldn't feel confident Viz keeps it all year. 

CIN - Wasn't there a recent article somewhere saying they plan to use Iglesias in a fireman's type role? 

 

Those are just a few others that I'm slightly concerned about if I own then. Then you also have to think about guys likely to be dealt to contenders. All that uncertainty surrounding this position and the fact that more teams are open to using their best arm in high leverage situations regardless of the inning is making me want to punt saves and go for middle relievers with elite ratios and k's. 

 

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Didn't want to copy that whole long list so just this:

Red Sox - Barnes - Have to imagine Barnes is the guy if Kimbrel doesn't re-sign. He was pretty solid last season.

Barnes will get a chance to compete in spring training and may even start out as the closer ... possibly.  But Rob Brasier is THE guy long term  think.  His stuff is legit and he may just plain win the job in spring training. 

As a Sox fan I want Barnes to stay setting up.  Barnes doesn't really have he make-up of a closer and doesn't seem to be as comfortable with the game left in his hands which is not a good sign for a closer.

Meanwhile Brasier has the right stuff for closer including the psychological make-up as well and I trust him more.  And I think Cora trusts him more too.  So the only thing that might keep him from the closer job barring a sudden signing is if Cora trusts him so much he ends up as the fireman instead.  (Dark horse is Thornberg though he might not be ready in time for Opening Day and he has a LOT of rust to work off).

Anyway in an interview with Dombrowski in Florida yesterday he said it is between these three guys right now.  I'm betting Brasier.  He has the legit stuff and carries himself as a closer already and is a fan favorite.

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I could see by the end of the year that the number of teams using only one guy for saves could be less than half the league.  More teams are realizing that it's better baseball to use their best pitchers in critical situations rather than saving them for the ninth inning.  I'm starting to think the strategy is to get one or two of the elite closers that you can be 95 percent sure will get the saves.  

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7 minutes ago, murraygd13 said:

I could see by the end of the year that the number of teams using only one guy for saves could be less than half the league.  More teams are realizing that it's better baseball to use their best pitchers in critical situations rather than saving them for the ninth inning.  I'm starting to think the strategy is to get one or two of the elite closers that you can be 95 percent sure will get the saves.  

You never know which guys those are though. I’ve never been more confident waiting since I’ve started playing fantasy baseball now that the masses are finally deciding to pay for saves.

its still a role analytics can’t measure imo.

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11 hours ago, street sharks said:

Decided to go down the list. There's a few more questionable situations than I initially thought.

Phillies - Dominguez/Neris - Seranthony showed so much promise last season then kinda fell apart as the season went on. Gotta think he's given the first chance this season.

 

I think David Robertson is probably the favorite in Philly. Neris wasn't great and Seranthony looks primed for the "fireman" role. But nothing has been announced so who knows.

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4 minutes ago, Sidearmer said:

 

I think David Robertson is probably the favorite in Philly. Neris wasn't great and Seranthony looks primed for the "fireman" role. But nothing has been announced so who knows.

 

That's how I see this playing out too. I see Neris having very little value in standard leagues. He could be a good guy for Holds though.

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Updated based on subsequent posts and some of my own opinions:

 

Yankees - Chapman

Red Sox - Barnes/Brazier/Thornburg, I saw some Steven Wright talk also, Hembree used to be a "Closer of the Future", and what if Carson Smith is finally healthy?  Point being, no one is established, so anyone could conceivably step up and take over, or no one could. (Yankee fan hoping for the latter.)

Blue Jays - Giles

Rays - Alvarado, Diego Castillo and Ryne Stanek are discussed as alternate possibilities, but I think it'll be Alvarado.

Orioles - Givens

Astros - Osuna

Mariners - Strickland

Rangers - Leclerc

Angels - Allen

Athletics - Treinen

Indians - Hand

Tigers - Greene, I gotta believe Joe Jimmy takes over at some point.

White Sox - Colome/Herrera

Royals - Peralta/Boxberger

Twins - May/Rogers/Hildenberger, Also Addison Reed, Blake Parker, or one of the more likely free agent landing spots.

Phillies - Robertson/Dominguez/Neris

Mets - Diaz

Nationals - Doolittle, Rosenthal and Barraclaugh are there to step in at any moment/injury.

Braves - Minter/Vizcaino

Marlins - Steckenrider/Romo

Dodgers - Jansen

Rockies - Davis

Diamondbacks - Bradley/Holland/Hirano, Can't see Hirano over the other two barring meltdown or injury, but I'll leave him.

Padres - Yates

Giants - Melancon/Smith, I really believe Melancon and his salary is their preference, as long as he performs.

Cubs - Strop, Morrow expected to start on the DL and isn't good enough to automatically go back in when healthy if Strop, or even Edwards or Cishek are performing.

Reds - Iglesias, Rumors of fireman role, Jared Hughes and Lorenzen also discussed.

Pirates - Vazquez

Brewers - Knebel/Jeffress/Hader

Cardinals - Hicks/Miller, I think it's Hicks' job as long as he performs, which will allow them to use Miller in the preferred fireman role.

 

Obviously Kimbrel changes everything for one of these teams.  Bud Norris, A.J. Ramos, Clippard, maybe.

Edited by TopChuckie
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Man that's ugly. I can't remember a season where there were this many question marks entering a fantasy draft. I counted 14 teams that, right now, we have one guy as the clear leader to close. Even with those teams I still have some legitimate concerns with regards to performance and/or injury in recent years. Starting from the top with Toronto. We've seen how Giles can implode in recent years so I don't get the warm and fuzzies with him. In BAL Givens doesn't have much of a track record closing so I'm not terribly comfortable with him either. Jansen's heart issues still give me concern especially with where he's typically going to be drafted, although reports say he's in good shape. Still a scary situation and I hope he is ok.

Then I wonder if guys like Leclerc, Yates or Vazquez will be the target of many contenders come trade deadline time.

 

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34 minutes ago, BostonCajun said:

Then I wonder if guys like Leclerc, Yates or Vazquez will be the target of many contenders come trade deadline time.

 

The bigger issue is that in fantasy drafts everyone will be targeting guys like Leclerc and Yates. Their value is going to skyrocket due to lack of options.

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In the words of mike Tyson, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.  

These teams have great ideas, but once their plans don’t work, they’ll likely settle on the first reliever combination that actually does.  

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Red Sox - Barnes/Brazier/Thornburg, I saw some Steven Wright talk also, Hembree used to be a "Closer of the Future", and what if Carson Smith is finally healthy?  Point being, no one is established, so anyone could conceivably step up and take over, or no one could. (Yankee fan hoping for the latter.)

Thanks for updating but definitely neither Wright NOR Hembree are in the mix.  Hembree sucks and will be lucky if he makes the big team and Wright was never ever considered for a closer role.  Just as an innings eater out of the bullpen.  And they would love to trade him away at this point quite frankly.  And could you even imagine a knuckleballer as a closer because on any given day even he doesn't know if he will have his "stuff" or where it will end up.  No one on the Red Sox seriously ever considered Wright as a closer.

If Dombrowski said it will be one of the three bolded names above (barring any last minute roster moves of course) then it will be one of those three. 

Not Thornburg right away though because he won't be ready in time for Opening Day. He is more the reserves guy if the other two go south.  Barnes might get vet respect (or not, Cora doesn't seem to be a slave to that mentality) but Brasier (with an s and not a z) is the better man for the job.  And Brasier is the guy Cora definitely trusted the most in the second half last year.  As I said the only danger is Cora trusts him TOO much and brings him in as a a fireman instead which would be the only way Barnes might end up as closer.

Carson Fuller is even further behind than Thornburg in the "get healthy" track.

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19 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Thanks for updating but definitely neither Wright NOR Hembree are in the mix.  Hembree sucks and will be lucky if he makes the big team and Wright was never ever considered for a closer role.  Just as an innings eater out of the bullpen.  And they would love to trade him away at this point quite frankly.  And could you even imagine a knuckleballer as a closer because on any given day even he doesn't know if he will have his "stuff" or where it will end up.  No one on the Red Sox seriously ever considered Wright as a closer.

If Dombrowski said it will be one of the three bolded names above (barring any last minute roster moves of course) then it will be one of those three. 

Not Thornburg right away though because he won't be ready in time for Opening Day. He is more the reserves guy if the other two go south.  Barnes might get vet respect (or not, Cora doesn't seem to be a slave to that mentality) but Brasier (with an s and not a z) is the better man for the job.  And Brasier is the guy Cora definitely trusted the most in the second half last year.  As I said the only danger is Cora trusts him TOO much and brings him in as a a fireman instead which would be the only way Barnes might end up as closer.

Carson Fuller is even further behind than Thornburg in the "get healthy" track.

I’ve never seen him pitch and don’t know anything about him besides his numbers from last year, does Brasier have the stuff to keep the job if he’s given the opportunity? He didn’t seem to get a lot of k’s last year (k/9 of 7.75) so I figured he was a groundball guy. But his gb rate was only 40.2%. The stat that intrigues me the most though is his 15.8% SwStr rate. How does a guy generating that many whiffs not pile up more k’s?

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2 minutes ago, meh2 said:

I’ve never seen him pitch and don’t know anything about him besides his numbers from last year, does Brasier have the stuff to keep the job if he’s given the opportunity? He didn’t seem to get a lot of k’s last year (k/9 of 7.75) so I figured he was a groundball guy. But his gb rate was only 40.2%. The stat that intrigues me the most though is his 15.8% SwStr rate. How does a guy generating that many whiffs not pile up more k’s?

Ryan Brasier btw.  I got the last name right but I always mess up his first, Ryan ... not Rob, me bad. 

Got me.  Anyway he can throw over a hundred plus but he doesn't fiddle and diddle around and walk everyone so maybe the batters go up hitting instead of taking?  He started out in middle relief when he first came up and then moved back to late innings when he started proving himself  so his early games might not have been the "get the strikeout at all costs" ones.  All I know is he was the only Sox reliever I saw in tons of games I watched last year that didn't get by blood pressure up when he entered the game.  Even Kimbrel would yo-yo having some incredibly horrible outings (loading the bases on walks especially then struggling to get out of the mess he made) mixed in with his good ones.

Some stuff about him.  Brasier's built strong. Six feet 225 lbs it says.  And he isn't some young kid either.  He is 31. Originally drafted by the Angels and spent years in their farm system then came up briefly then went to the A's then over to Hiroshima in Japan where the Red Sox found him and signed him to a minor league contract.  He made the AAA all-star team and then came up in early July and won't be seeing the minors again.  The team feels like he was a diamond in the rough all along that started to figure it all out over in Japan.  They think they have made a pretty big score getting him for basically nothing and have become super high on him. 

He is one of the contributing reasons they are willing to let Kimbrel walk.  (Main reason is Kimbrel's insane contract demands of course. If he had come way WAY down to earth they wouldn't say no to him but they are galaxies apart and have moved on at this point).

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Straight from the Manager this time, has to be a little alarming. Iglesias will be valuable either way but at this point I'm not sure he can be relied upon to be a full time closer.

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46 minutes ago, Sidearmer said:

 

Straight from the Manager this time, has to be a little alarming. Iglesias will be valuable either way but at this point I'm not sure he can be relied upon to be a full time closer.

Lol at the panic. This is how he was used last year anyways!

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4 minutes ago, Magoo said:

Lol at the panic. This is how he was used last year anyways!

 

We'll see, he had multiple inning saves but he was rarely if never brought in prior to a save and removed. It sounds like they may consider him in 6th and 7th inning etc in important situations. Maybe this only costs him 5-7 saves but drafting him in top 10 and losing that is a pretty big loss.

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are people paying hadars adp expecting him to get saves/ take over for knebel at some point or is he getting drafted strictly for ratios and k/9

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24 minutes ago, colepenhagen said:

are people paying hadars adp expecting him to get saves/ take over for knebel at some point or is he getting drafted strictly for ratios and k/9

I personally don’t get why he’s getting drafted that high (NFBC ADP around 100) in non-holds leagues. If you are looking for that kind of player why not just wait ~ 20 rounds later (NFBC ADP around 320) to grab Betances?

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13 minutes ago, meh2 said:

I personally don’t get why he’s getting drafted that high (NFBC ADP around 100) in non-holds leagues. If you are looking for that kind of player why not just wait ~ 20 rounds later (NFBC ADP around 320) to grab Betances?

yea same with a miller (at least on yahoo)

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38 minutes ago, meh2 said:

I personally don’t get why he’s getting drafted that high (NFBC ADP around 100) in non-holds leagues. If you are looking for that kind of player why not just wait ~ 20 rounds later (NFBC ADP around 320) to grab Betances?

 

25 minutes ago, colepenhagen said:

yea same with a miller (at least on yahoo)

 

Both targets of mine. I love Hader but I don't get the high cost for him either. 

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Fantasy Baseball has to move towards more holds scoring than saves or some combination.   Even if a guy starts the season as closer it is highly unlikely hold the gig throughout the whole season.

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[If people want to dig in on tthe SV vs. SV+HLD discussion, better to do that over here.  Let's reserve this for talking closers and not optimal league settings.]

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I think morrow is hurt to start the year. That leaves strop, Chavez, and Edwards. I've been reading that it's strop. Are they ever gonna let Edwards close? Does he not have the mentality? The stuff is there, high spin 96 heater and a slider curve thing that nasty. It's not like he's working more than an inning anyway.

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It's Strop's job to lose. I don't think Edwards is a threat to earn any saves.

CJE was killing it when Morrow went down last year, and Maddon chose Strop, who in turn took the job and ran.

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