(ESPN INSIDER) AL Closers June 11 - Fantasy Baseball Cafe 2015 Fantasy Baseball Cafe
100% Deposit Bonus for Cafe Members!

Return to Baseball Leftovers

(ESPN INSIDER) AL Closers June 11

Moderator: Baseball Moderators

(ESPN INSIDER) AL Closers June 11

Postby jebatzel » Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:30 am

"AL Closer Watch


Thursday, June 12, 2003


No category causes fantasy owners more angst than saves. With big-names closers carrying exorbitant price tags in trade talks, it pays to be aware of who is line for cheap saves. Here's a look at the closer hierarchy for all 16 AL teams.


Updated every Wednesday


MAKING NOISE (Updated on June 11)



Toronto Blue Jays

Cliff Politte
Security: Low

Profile
Toronto Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
9 3 25.0 3.96 23 8


6/04 - 6/10: 3 G, 2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (0-1, 0 Sv, 1 BS).


Status: The simple truth is that Politte is in trouble. His ERA has soared more than two runs in little more than a week, as he's given up 12 hits in his last three innings of work. Remarkably, those four appearances resulted in just one blown save. Manager Carlos Tosca has said he believes Politte -- who says he's lost command of his fastball -- will turn things around, but how much patience can the skipper show with an untested closer and a team fighting to remain in the playoff race?


Fantasy Insurance: Aquilino Lopez. Fantasy owners, especially AL-only owners, may want to start looking at Lopez. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 12.1 innings, surrendering just five hits. He walks a few too many hitters, but he also has 38 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. A good prospect in the Mariners system, Lopez fell out of favor after gaining about five years in age following the 2001 season (in the post 9/11 immigration crackdown). Save-starved owners should take a chance.


Other Options: Veterans Doug Creek, Jeff Tam and Trever Miller are around, but that's about all you can say for them.









Seattle Mariners

Jeff Nelson
Security: Filling In

Seattle Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
3 2 22.1 2.42 24 10


6/04 - 6/10: 4 G, 3.1 IP, 2 H, ER, 0 BB, 2 K (0-0, 0 Sv).


Status: Not everything is going right for the Mariners. After completing an 11-1 road trip, the Mariners lost Kazuhiro Sasaki to the DL when their closer hurt himself carrying bags up his stairs. The rib injury landed him on the 15-day DL. It's his second stint on the list, but it should be a quick one. Nelson and Arthur Rhodes will form a righty-lefty platoon until he returns, but all the save chances went to Nelson the last time Sasaki was out.


Fantasy Insurance: Rhodes. He didn't get any saves last time he was part of the closing platoon, but Rhodes is still a good add in AL-only leagues and save-starved ML leagues. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 5.2 innings and has a 0.93 WHIP this season, compared to Nelson's 1.30 WHIP.


Other Options: Shigetoshi Hasegawa was mentioned as a possible ninth-inning option the last time Sasaki was out, but it never happened. He's started to allow more hits after a brilliant start to the season, but he's still allowed just four earned runs in 33.1 innings. Not worth adding at this point, unless something happens to Nelson or Rhodes.









Boston Red Sox

Brandon Lyon
Security: Low

Profile
Boston Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
6 0 29.2 3.64 25 11


6/04 - 6/10: 3 G, 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (1-1, 0 Sv).


Status: Lyon continues living on borrowed time. Byung-Hyun Kim has looked average as a starter. Pedro Martinez's return would have allowed the Sox to contemplate switching Kim's role, but now Casey Fossum is on the DL. There are also rumors the Sox are still talking to the Rangers about Ugueth Urbina. Is the pressure getting to Lyon? He hasn't had a save opportunity since May 20, but he's taken the loss in two of his last five appearances.


Fantasy Insurance: Aside from Kim, Mike Timlin. Timlin finally earned a save, closing out a wild 11-10 game against Milwaukee on June 7 after relieving Brandon Lyon. Considering the bullpen was taxed by Fossum's first-inning exit in that game, don't read too much into Timlin pitching the ninth.


Other Options: Alan Embree has settled in as the left-handed complement to Timlin in set-up work. If the Sox have lost any faith in Lyon, it's reasonable to think Embree could close out a few games. All three of the earned runs he's allowed in his last 9.2 innings came in one rough outing against the Pirates. Chad Fox remains a few weeks away from returning from the DL. Robert Person has been pitching long relief -- and ineffective long relief at that.






Detroit Tigers

Franklyn German
Security: Low

Profile
Detroit Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
5 2 26.2 2.70 29 26


6/04 - 6/10: 3 G, 3 IP, 2 H, ER, 0 BB, 2 K (0-1, 1 Sv, 1 BS).


Status: With each passing game, German looks more and more like a full-time closer. He earned a blown save on June 8 against the Giants, but would have earned a save if not for a Ramon Santiago error. And manager Alan Trammell said that the right-handed would have faced Barry Bonds -- who was on deck when the game ended. German hasn't walked a batter in his last four innings.


Fantasy Insurance: Chris Spurling. He didn't have a good series against the Giants, allowing four hits and five runs (three earned) in 2.1 innings over three appearances, but Spurling is still pitching well in set-up work. His control is vastly better than German, as he's walked just five in 27 innings.


Other Options: Steve Sparks pitches a lot of innings, but he also gives up his fair share of runs. He's allowed nine earned runs in his last six appearances (16.1 innings). Matt Roney and Steve Avery have also been effective, although not brilliant, in set-up work. Matt Anderson continues to pitch at Triple-A, posting a 3.74 ERA and 15 strikeouts in his first 21.2 innings.







Texas Rangers

Ugueth Urbina
Security: High

Profile
Texas Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
17 2 24.0 3.38 23 12


6/04 - 6/10 1 G, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K (0-0, 1 Sv).


Status: Trade rumors continue to swirl, and the latest gossip is potentially awful news for fantasy owners. The Yankees are reportedly interested in Urbina, which is a problem considering they already have Mariano Rivera. For now, Urbina continues to shine in Texas. He's converted 18-of-20 chances, although Texas' recent losing skid kept him out of action.


Fantasy Insurance: Francisco Cordero. Is Cordero ready to handle closing duties if the Rangers move Urbina? He hasn't been sharp recently, allowing four hits, four walks and three earned runs in his last three innings. He's also been charged with six blown saves despite a 3.27 ERA. But he remains the clear-cut favorite to take over for Urbina.


Other Options: Southpaw Aaron Fultz has great numbers, including good splits against right-handed hitters, but he's unlikely to jump past Cordero on the depth chart. He's also allowed three earned runs in his last five innings. Brian Shouse is another lefty with good overall numbers, but he's struggled against right-handed hitters. Rosman Garcia, 24, has taken well to the closer's role at Triple-A Oklahoma and could be a sleeper candidate. Jeff Zimmerman, who underwent Tommy John surgery last July, has resumed throwing to batters, but he's likely a long way from returning to the Rangers, let alone closing.








POTENTIAL NOISE (Updated on June 11)


Baltimore Orioles

Jorge Julio
Security: Medium

Profile
Baltimore Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
14 4 25.1 4.26 25 16


6/04 - 6/10: 2 G, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (0-1, 0 Sv, 1 BS).


Status: Julio blew a save on June 6 against St. Louis and has just one save since May 25, but Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove reaffirmed Julio's role following the St. Louis game. There's no reason for fantasy owners to add other Orioles relievers at this time.


Fantasy Insurance: Kerry Ligtenberg. Potentially an option if Julio continues to falter, Ligtenberg has hit a slump, allowing six hits and four earned runs in his last 2.1 innings. With that damage, opponents are now hitting .273 against him.


Other Options: Left-handed hitters still struggle against southpaws Buddy Groom and B.J. Ryan, but right-handed hitters own Groom and do well against Ryan. That makes both closing liabilities. Willis Roberts has similar trouble against left-handed hitters but might rank as the third option right now.










Chicago White Sox

Billy Koch
Security: Low

Profile
Chicago Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
6 2 26.1 5.13 22 11


6/04 - 6/10: 3 G, 3.2 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 K (1-0, 0 Sv).


Status: The White Sox have started to win some games again, which should give fantasy owners a better handle on Koch's status. He's probably fine, but he has been hit hard in two of his last four appearances.


Fantasy Insurance: Damaso Marte. Koch's recent mini-slump makes it worth your while to keep Marte around for another week. He continues to post terrific numbers across the board, and Jerry Manuel has shown no hesitation in calling on him in the ninth inning instead of Koch.


Other Options: Another week, another Tom Gordon update. He's fanning batters at a remarkable rate -- 40 in 29.2 innings -- but his 1.42 WHIP is still an issue. Given his closing history, he's at least worth stashing away in AL-only leagues, if only for the whiff help in middle relief.










Cleveland Indians

Danys Baez
Security: Medium

Profile
Cleveland Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
13 4 30.0 3.90 25 11


6/04 - 6/10: 2 G, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K (0-0, 2 Sv).


Status: Baez has had a couple of nightmare outings this season, but he's been on top of his game in recent weeks. He's allowed two hits and no runs in his last eight innings. No worries here.


Fantasy Insurance: David Riske. For a time, Riske was pitching better than Baez, but that's no longer the case. Riske is still pitching well, but he's locked in set-up duty for the time being. But should Baez get hurt, Riske's 0.90 WHIP and .190 average against make him prime closing material.


Other Options: There's not much else. Veterans Dan Miceli and Terry Mulholland are the next best bets.










Kansas City Royals

Mike MacDougal
Security: Medium

Profile
Kansas City Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
14 4 26.2 3.04 21 14


6/04 - 6/10: 3 G, 3 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K (0-0, 2 Sv).


Status: MacDougal isn't the phenomenon he appeared to be at the start of the season, but he's the best Kansas City has. His job is completely safe for now.


Fantasy Insurance: D.J. Carrasco. Although he earned a start in the second game of a doubleheader on June 7 (surviving 4.1 innings at Coors), Carrasco is still probably ticketed for late-inning work.


Other Options: Other than MacDougal, Carrasco and Jason Grimsley, the bullpen has been a disaster. Grimsley hasn't been brilliant, but he's clearly the third-best closing option on the current roster.






Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Lance Carter
Security: Medium

Profile
Tampa Bay Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
11 4 32.1 3.06 20 9


6/04 - 6/10: 2 G, 2 IP, 4 H, ER, 0 BB, K (0-0, 0 Sv).


Status: Carter has given up two hits in each of his three most recent appearances (all one-inning stints). That's not a good sign for a 28-year-old with 26 innings of major league experience prior to this season, but there aren't yet any rumblings about his job security. A couple of blown saves could change that.


Fantasy Insurance: Al Levine. Now that Carter is at least less than perfect, Levine's numbers become noteworthy. Unfortunately, he hasn't been as good of late as a 1.74 ERA and 1.00 WHIP would suggest. The well-traveled veteran has allowed five hits and three earned runs in his last three appearances (5.1 IP). At this point it would take a major collapse from Carter to make Levine worth adding in most leagues.


Other Options: The sleeper in all this? Preseason closing candidate Jesus Colome has been lights-out since an absolutely awful start to the season. He's allowed just four earned runs in his last 20.2 innings. There's a good chance he could move past Levine on the depth chart. John Rocker is back in the minors. Side-arming southpaw Mike Venafro just isn't good enough against right-handed hitters to merit consideration. Long reliever Travis Harper has hit mildly tough times after a good stretch, but he remains an effective option.










ALL QUIET (Updated on June 6)


Anaheim Angels

Troy Percival
Security: Returns

Profile
Anaheim Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
9 1 17.0 3.71 16 7


6/04 - 6/10: 3 G, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, BB, 2 K (0-0, 2 Sv).


Status: After the minimum stay on the 15-day DL, Percival has looked very good. In three appearances over four days, he picked up two saves while allowing no hits and striking out two.


Fantasy Insurance: Brendan Donnelly. His closing days appear to be done now that Percival is back in form, but Donnelly continues to earn a fantasy roster spot while waiting for another injury opportunity. He's allowed just one earned run in 32.1 innings and seven of the last nine outs he recorded came by strikeout.


Other Options: <Francisco Rodriguez hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 7.1 innings, leading many to hope he's rediscovered the form he displayed in the postseason last year. But even then, he has a ways to go to catch Donnelly in the Percival insurance sweepstakes. Scott Shields also continues to throw brilliant relief innings.









Minnesota Twins

Eddie Guardado
Security: High

Profile
Minnesota Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
17 1 26.2 2.70 26 4


6/04 - 6/10: 2 G, 2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (0-0, 1 Sv, 1 BS).


Status: He finally blew a save, but Guardado will keep saving games as long as he's healthy and the Twins have late leads.


Fantasy Insurance: LaTroy Hawkins. Lights-out in set-up work last season, Hawkins is on track for more of the same this season. His record as a closer is spotty at best, but there's little doubt he's the first call after Guardado. Like Guardado, he finally hit a rough spot, allowing four earned runs in an inning on June 8.


Other Options: Johan Santana looks good as a starter, making it hard to believe the Twins will ship him to the bullpen yet again. Surprising lefty Juan Rincon has fallen on hard times. J.C. Romero could serve as a last-ditch closing option.









New York Yankees

Mariano Rivera
Security: High

Profile
New York Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
4 1 13.1 2.70 13 3


5/28 - 6/05: 3 G, 4 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, BB, 5 K (1-0, 0 Sv, 1 BS).


Status:Rivera had a noticeable meltdown against Boston on May 28, but his job remains as safe as any in baseball.


Fantasy Insurance: Antonio Osuna. Either a 1.93 ERA or 1.50 WHIP is a misleading number, and it's probably the former. But Osuna is still pitching reasonably well and could get the closing call if Rivera gets hurt again.


Other Options: Juan Acevedo has worked just 0.1 innings in the last 11 games, and he managed to pick up a save doing it. There's a chance he could still be Torre's guy if Rivera gets hurt, despite a 7.63 ERA. Also available are southpaws Chris Hammond and Sterling Hitchcock, although both have more experience starting than closing.










Oakland Athletics

Keith Foulke
Security: High

Profile
Oakland Clubhouse


2003 Stats
Sv BlSv IP ERA K BB
15 2 29.2 2.12 32 6


5/28 - 6/05: 4 G, 4.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 0 BB, 5 K (0-0, 3 Sv).


Status: Few closers are as safe as Foulke. After last season's nightmare, fantasy owners can relax and enjoy.


Fantasy Insurance: Chad Bradford. Oakland's most-used reliever after Foulke, Bradford could step in and fill the void if Foulke got hurt. Opponents are hitting just .198 against him.


Other Options: Lefty Ricardo Rincon struggles against right-handed hitters but owns lefties and could pick up a few situational saves. Right-hander Mike Neu has good numbers but works mostly long relief mop-up duty.

"

Enjoy!

JB
jebatzel
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafeholic
Posts: 3868
Joined: 15 Apr 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Carlisle, Pa

Postby Dr.DooM » Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:52 am

Thanks!
Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
Dr.DooM
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor

User avatar

Posts: 537
Joined: 11 May 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby jebatzel » Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:07 am

Wondering if I should trade Rivera

I have Foulke and Biddle now.

JB
jebatzel
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafeholic
Posts: 3868
Joined: 15 Apr 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Carlisle, Pa

Postby CaptainJenks » Thu Jun 12, 2003 12:58 pm

what does security mean in that article
CaptainJenks
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor


Posts: 377
Joined: 6 Jun 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Pittsburgh

Postby pilambp » Thu Jun 12, 2003 1:49 pm

Security is an editorial opinion about how safe their job security is.

Low Security - A few bad outings, and this guy is out of the closer role

Medium Security - It would take several bad outings, as well as contention from another player to unseat this closer

High Security - This dude isn't going anywhere.
pilambp
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor

User avatar
Pick 3 Weekly WinnerSweet 16 Survivor
Posts: 955
Joined: 4 Mar 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: In the Dugout, with a laptop


Return to Baseball Leftovers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Get Ready...
The 2015 MLB season starts in 7:59 hours
(and 96 days)

  • Fantasy Baseball
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact