StrategyMay 1, 2009

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Closer Complex: Arising Interests

By Matthew Robertson

I really can’t believe I’m doing this, but I am going to start again by focusing on the Washington Nationals, as this situation still seems to be on the pulse of the fantasy world. I waited until the last minute to write this article and I’m glad I did, as we saw Julian Tavarez show that he’s not very good last night after getting the save the day before. So anyone anointing him the closer needs to just look at his lackluster stuff and you would know to look elsewhere. Kip Wells in the ninth inning doesn’t bode well for anyone either. Tavarez may get one more look, but I think the Nationals are just hoping that Joe Beimel returns soon from the DL and that he’s adequate, because no one on this roster inspires any kind of confidence. The Logan Kensing acquisition is worth noting, but until he shows any control he’s no better than any other option. Still, this situation as volatile as it gets and that’s too bad, because the Nationals have lost a lot of games they could have easily won if they had someone reliable in the ninth inning. I think the best thing to do is stay away all together as a trade or starter conversion seems likely, and this will likely get worse before it gets better.

The Rockies’ closer situation is getting murkier and murkier. I think Corpas is still the closer by a slim margin, but Huston Street is close on his heels. I’ve learned never to trust Colorado manager Clint Hurdle to do anything logical, but that is just my feeling as Corpas hasn’t blown any saves. When he was used, it was in high-pressure non-save instances, though Street has looked good of late. Still, I’m a firm believer that Street will be traded sometime this year and however they do that, whether it be showcasing him as the closer or trading him on the cheap, would be good for them in the long run.

There are reports that Mariano Rivera might land on the DL, but if last night is any indication it seems he’ll be okay. Still, Rivera is not the Rivera of old as he’s become more susceptible to the long ball. If Rivera were to get some rest, I think Damaso Marte would get the ball if some tough lefties were due up. Mark Melancon has looked very good since making his MLB debut, and you might be looking at the future Yankees closer when Rivera decides to ride into the sunset. Melancon has a high 90s two-seam fastball with good movement that just makes hitters look silly. Those clamoring for Joba Chamberlain to return to relief are out-clamored by those wanting him to remain in the rotation. He’s needed there more. Those in keeper and dynasty leagues might want to take notice of Melancon.

That’s it for this edition of Closer Complex. E-mail any questions to and be sure to check the 2009 Closer Thread for updates.

Matthew Robertson is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Matthew in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Havok1517.
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