I haven’t talked much about closers recently, so I decided to take a look at the situations for some of the team’s whose closer job is less than clear.
Philadelphia – With Brett Myers and Tom Gordon on the Disabled List, the situation on Philly couldn’t be more fuzzy. The Phils have only created one save opportunity since Myers went on the DL, and it was Antonio Alfonseca who got the nod. He seems to be the guy to own right now, although his peripherals are terrible. Ryan Madson would be a much better choice, but the Phillies are poorly managed (see Myers’s move to the Bullpen in the first place), so it’s tough to say with any certainty what they will do. Myers is eligible to return in about a week, and he should keep the job the rest of the year upon his return. Gordon is hoping to be back by the All-Star break, and I don’t see him reclaiming his job. For right now, pick up Alfonseca in all but the shallowest leagues, and pick up Madson in deeper leagues. Once Myers comes back both should be dropped.
Current favorite for saves: Antonio Alfonseca
Florida – Henry Owens is set to make one more minor league appearance before coming off the DL. The Marlins have said, however, that Kevin Gregg will continue closing even after Owens returns. This is the correct move by the Marlins. While Gregg’s ground ball rate is low, he strikes out a lot of batters and has decent control. Owens put up great minor league numbers, but has been unimpressive in the majors so far. His K/9 sits below 6.00, and his BB/9 is 3.44. In addition, his ground ball rate is 39%. Gregg is the guy to own in Florida, with Henry Owens and Taylor Tankersley potential options later in the year. Neither has pitched particularly well, so Gregg’s job should be safe for a little while.
Current favorite for saves: Kevin Gregg
Kansas City – With Joakim Soria placed on the Disabled List, Octavio Dotel took his 9th inning duties back a few days earlier than expected. Dotel has good numbers and should be owned in all leagues, but he is also an injury risk and could be traded in July. As such, Soria is worth owning in deep leagues. He had decent numbers to start the year and should be the undisputed closer should Dotel get injured or traded. David Riske is third in line, but he probably shouldn’t be owned except in the absolute deepest of leagues. For him to have much value, several things would have to happen (like a Dotel trade and a Soria injury), and that is difficult to use a roster spot on.
Current favorite for saves: Octavio Dotel
Oakland – With Huston Street and Justin Duchscherer on the Disabled List, Alan Embree has been handed closing duties for the A’s. There was talk Duchscherer could return as early as today, but having experienced a setback his return will have to be prolonged. On Monday, fellow THT writer Rick Wilton of Baseball Injury Report had this to say about Street: “Currently, we won’t see him back until mid-June at the earliest. More likely, the elbow is slow to respond to rest and treatment, meaning he won’t be back until late in the month, maybe even July, if we don’t get a positive report regarding his elbow soon.” Well, that positive report has come, and Street will begin throwing this week. Taking Wilton’s information into account, we should expect Street to return in a couple of weeks. Street should continue to be owned in all leagues, and if for whatever reason he was dropped, pick him up immediately. Continue owning Embree until either Street or Duchscherer returns.
Current favorite for saves: Alan Embree
Well, that’s it for now. If you have any questions about any of these teams, any other teams, or anything else Fantasy Baseball related, shoot me an e-mail.