|Fantasy Baseball: Save Me: Closer Report|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on July 18, 2005
In the fifth edition of “Save Me,” I’ll run down the wild and wacky world of baseball’s, both fantasy and real, biggest necessity: saves. I’m just offering my opinion as to whom the closer is, not giving a ranking or anything of that nature.
Boston Red Sox – All right, is everything settled now? When Keith Foulke went down, there was a lot of uproar about Schilling taking over. Johnny Damon, as well as many other BoSox players, chimed in that Timlin should be the man, not Schilling. Well, the bloody socked one finally got a crack at relief pitching. Thursday he allowed two runs in one inning, getting the loss. Saturday Schilling pitched a perfect inning of relief. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, eh?
Baltimore Orioles – BJ Ryan, hands down.
New York Yankees – Mariano Rivera, no doubt.
Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays should be shopping Miguel Batista soon and giving the job to Justin Frasor. Make no mistake, Batista is the guy, but for how long?
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – Danys Baez is the closer right now, but there are plenty of teams looking at him. Look for Baez to be dealt and Lance Carter, Joe Borowski, or Chad Orvella to get the numbers.
Chicago White Sox – Despite Damaso Marte getting the save on Saturday, Dustin Hermanson is the man. Of course, the way this team rotates big guys in the bullpen that could change quickly.
Minnesota Twins – Joe Nathan, of course.
Cleveland Indians – Bob Wickman leads the Tribe bullpen, until they fall out of contention. After that, Wickman will be packing his bags and David Riske will be taking over the job.
Detroit Tigers – Quite a funny thing. A friend of mine said to look over the free agents in his league to look for players to pick up. I suggested Kyle Farnsworth because Troy Percival is injury prone, and Farnsworth has averaged better than a strikeout per inning. Well, much to my surprise (not really), Percival hits the DL, Farnsworth is the closer. Percy, according to some reports, might be done for the year. However, you must consider Farnsworth’s actions in Sunday’s brawl because he will get suspended.
Kansas City Royals – Mike MacDougal is the man. If you were in a keeper league a few years back and picked up MacDougal, but failed to ever check it again, you’re in luck! (Avoid this team at all costs.)
Los Angeles Angels – Once again, it’s K-Rod, but Scot Shields has enough Ks and wins to be a very valuable addition. All this before he vultures some save opportunities from Rodriguez.
Texas Rangers – Francisco Cordero has done a brilliant job closing this year, but he’s got no setup men to help him out.
Oakland Athletics – Huston Street has been fantabulous since his return, while Justin Duchscherer is doing quite well setting up. Street’s the only one, however, who should interest you.
Seattle Mariners – There are rumors going around that Eddie Guardado could be packing his bags. This would leave JJ Putz as the man to have after a deal.
Washington Nationals – Chad Cordero is the man, securing his 32nd save last night against the Brewers. I bet he won’t repeat his first half because that was just amazing.
Atlanta Braves – Chris Reistma, despite taking a scary line drive off the rib cage on Sunday, seems to be the man, slamming the door on his ninth game Saturday. However, there are Dan Kolb sightings, because he has allowed only 2 runs in his last 10 innings.
Philadelphia Phillies – Billy Wagner is the man, but his injury problems make you wonder if Ugueth Urbina might be rising to the top soon.
New York Mets – Braden Looper is the guy by default. I don’t think two closers who have dropped off as much as Roberto Hernandez and Danny Graves have ever been assembled on one team.
Florida Marlins – Todd Jones is the guy, as Guillermo Mota slowly rounds himself back to setup man shape. There are rumors that the Marlins are looking for a power armed reliever, which should be of great use.
St. Louis Cardinals – Same news every edition: Jason Isringhausen is an injury risk, get Al Reyes or Julian Tavarez as backup.
Chicago Cubs – Ryan Dempster seems to have the strangle hold on this position.
Milwaukee Brewers – Derrick Turnbow has developed into a premier closer. He’s not Mariano Rivera or Eric Gagne, but he could get them a good prospect from a desperate team. Ned Yost and company are getting good work out of washed up guys like Scott Podsednik, Brady Clark, and Turnbow.
Houston Astros – Always and forever Brad Lidge.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Jose Mesa rumors have quietly died down, so he might remain with the Pirates for the remainder of the year. Solomon Torres is your best bet for a number two.
Cincinnati Reds – This situation is enough to make a man sick. David Weathers has five saves, while Kent Merker and Matt Belisle figure in the situation. Oh, wasn’t Ryan Wagner supposed to take over soon? If you’re going to be looking here for saves, you’ve already lost your league.
San Diego Padres – Trevor Hoffman, with no competition.
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks thought that Brandon Lyon would be back already, but the only thing they did involving him was moving him to the 60-Day DL. Lyon is working his way back from elbow tendonitis, which has a tendency to recur. Looks like Bruney is the man until August.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Yhency Brazoban is the man, but he’ll probably go on the DL soon, knowing the Dodgers.
San Francisco Giants – Tyler Walker is one of those journeymen, never-could-get-a-long-term-job kind of guys. He’s doing the job, kind of, and getting the saves. The number two guy would be Jeff Fassero or (gasp) Kirk Rueter.
Colorado Rockies – All Star Brian Fuentes is the guy right now and he looks to stay that way. Adding any of the backups would mean you shouldn’t bother checking your league anymore.