Brian, Circle of Trust, Closers, Relievers

Closer Circle of Trust: April 2013




Joel Hanrahan Greg Holland Shawn Camp Joaquin Benoit
Mitchell Boggs J.J. Putz Addison Reed Huston Street Grant Balfour
Casey Janssen
Ernesto Frieri Sergio Romo Craig Kimbrel Aroldis Chapman Joe Nathan Tom Wilhelmsen
Brandon League Jim Johnson Mariano Rivera Jonathan Papelbon Rafael Soriano
Jose Veras Fernando Rodney Chris Perez Rafael Betancourt
Jason Grilli Bobby Parnell
Steve Cishek Jim Henderson Glen Perkins  

Notes: The closer carousel begins. Hopefully you bought into the closers who are in blue or green in your draft. The outside looking in isn’t where you want to hang out. But let’s take a look at each color. Trusted pitchers are “set it and forget it” guys. Solid pitchers have a reasonable chance at recording 30 saves. Danger pitchers have a reasonable chance at having the door closed behind them, very soon.

Trusted: While a few of the guys in blue are mainstays (Papelbon, Nathan, Kimbrel, and Rivera), there are a few new boys at this party. Chapman might not appear to be new to this party, but just a month ago we were unsure if he was going to close or start. He’s closing, and lock him in for 90+ strikeouts and 40 saves…Romo takes over for Brian Wilson in San Francisco, and it looks like the Gigantes made the right decision; Romo has been lights out…Johnson is probably the “shadiest” of this group, but you cannot deny what he did last season coupled with his hot start thus far.

Solid: Rodney should/could be trusted soon, but with his poor start, we’re wondering if his fairy tale is coming to a close…If Frieri continues to have success, it will be hard for Ryan Madson to take the job when he’s healthy…Wilhelmsen reminds us of Putz when he was a Mariner; 40 saves are probably coming…Betancourt would be in the trusted category, but how long does Colorado stay in contention? If they aren’t contending, they likely trade Rafi…Putz has a long leash and his track record is very good…Reed teeters on the edge of solid and danger, but his hot start keeps him in the green…Janssen doesn’t look to be giving the job back to Sergio Santos…Perez is a disaster to watch, but two straight years of 35+ saves and we feel safe…If Street stays healthy (big if), he’ll push 30 saves…We weren’t 100% in on the elder closer Grilli, but he’s looked great so far…Any Oakland closer is on shaky ground because Billy Beane has no issue trading one away. Balfour isn’t safe, but while he’s got the job, he should be decent…Soriano, if he overcomes his early struggles, will be bumped up next month…League is a safe closer, but if he didn’t have another fireballer behind him, he might be hanging out in blue.

Danger: Parnell has never been a lights out guy…Boggs might as well look for a new career…Holland is one blown save away from kicking rocks…We don’t know how Veras has a job. Probably because the Astros won’t have any save attempts all year…Henderson seems like a placeholder while Axford regrows his facial hair…Perkins lacks closer stuff…Benoit is just waiting for Valverde…Camp? Who?…Hanrahan is the best pitcher in this section, but he’s going to have a tough go in Boston unless he strikes out more batters.


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