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2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Spartans Rule » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:09 pm

fitz0527 wrote:
SpecialFNK wrote:what to do with Latroy Hawkins?
Cooper said he wanted Valverde's first action to be in a non save situation, which was yesterday. now i assume the next save opportunity will go to Valverde and going forward he is the Astros closer. should one still hold onto Hawkins and start him? or hold onto him and bench him? or maybe wait and see to how Valverde is and after a short time period of say 5-10 days drop Hawkins then if Valverde is cruising? or simply drop Hawkins now?
:-S

Personally I'd either drop him now or if you can afford to hold onto Hawkins to make sure Valverde gets the next save opp and if Jose picks up a clean save then I'd definitely drop Hawkins.


I might hold him for a week or so. I was quick to drop CJ Wilson when Francisco came back and I wish I hadn't done that.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Neato Torpedo » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:21 pm

Two_for_the_Money wrote:
Neato Torpedo wrote:Howell has more blown holds (5) than holds (4) or saves (3). Four were in the 8th inning and one was in the 7th. Just sayin'.


This is a classic case of a misleading stat, and his 5 blown saves were pointed out pages ago, as an interesting aside. (3 were from a month or more ago when Percy was still the closer.)

The two most recent blown saves actually provide a bit of (further) evidence, in my opinion, that he's the "fantasy closer" for TB. Pardon the archived game commentary, but I think it's useful to look at them to support my points:

The first one (6/6) was when Howell entered with an inherited runner on in the 8th. That runner scored to tie the game, but Howell got out of the rest of the inning with the game still tied. The Rays subsequently took a four run lead in the top of the 9th, putting Howell in line for a win, and creating no save opp. Wheeler thus comes in (to save Howell for next game, imo) to this non-save situation and then proceeds, by giving up 2 runs, to create a save opportunity for someone else (Choate). Perhaps Wheeler was still being considered to close the game back when Howell was brought in in the 8th, but I don't see this as the case now. If there's ever a case of "things happening to shake out right for a save," this is definitely true of Choate here. So this game could potentially represent Wheeler's last chance for consideration. It certainly explains away Choate's save as situational.

The second one (6/7) Howell again enters in the 8th with runners on (bases loaded), 1 out, and a 3-1 lead. He walks a guy (definitely bad), but then gets the next two to ground out, though the first one reaches on an error and fielder's choice), and so he ends up giving up the lead and getting the blown save. Does Maddon go to him for a 1 2/3 inning save if the error didn't occur? We'll never know. The point is that he's gone with him in the 9th ever since this game, and unlike the dreaded verbal "vote of confidence" from the manager, such a tacit vote of confidence ain't no jinx.

Let me put it all a different way, if the Rays start the 9th with a lead, who comes in for the save? At this point, it's Howell until further notice. Last night confirmed it, with him striking out the side as a little f-you to those non-believers. Choate may be situational, but not when Howell's available. As for fans of Wheeler and Balfour, you're all stuck in 2008.

I don't care if Howell came in with a runner on, he won't get a reprieve from Maddon from blowing a hold/save just because the circumstances are against him.

Saying that he is definitely the closer right now is a bit much. Frontrunner, sure, but close enough for Maddon to keep playing matchups with Choate. But maybe I'm just mad that I missed out on yet another potential closer.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Spartans Rule » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:51 pm

bigwords wrote:
Spartans Rule wrote:Tampa Bay was and still is a committee. Today things just happened to shake out right for Howell to get the save.

In Howell's last four appearances prior to today, he came in 3 times in the 8th and once in the 9th with the Rays trailing. Maddon seems to like to use him to bail out his other RPs when they get in trouble. If no one gets in trouble like today, then maybe he closes. But I'd hardly annoint him a full-time closer just based on this game.


What you say is true.

J.P. Howell has the highest gmLI in the bullpen. He's clearly being used by Maddon in the most important situations. Sometimes, that means appearing in the 7th or 8th inning, as circumstances demand.

It's probably the best way to exploit the most effective pitcher in the bullpen.

If the question is, "Who is Tampa's closer?" the answer is that they don't have one in the traditional sense.

But if the question is, "Which reliever in Tampa's bullpen will likely see the most number of saves through the rest of the season?" the answer is probably JP Howell.

Would you rather have a guy who gets 15-20 saves like Howell and puts up great all-around numbers or have a guy like Matt Capps who might finish with 25-30 saves with woeful ERA/WHIP/strikeouts?

Call me crazy, but I'd take Howell over Capps, Aardsma, Sherrill, Rodney, Lindstrom, and Gregg at the moment. Howell may not be officially anointed, but his potential value even in a limited role seems greatly more secure.


Really good post that sums up the situation perfectly IMO.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Crippler » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:53 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:
Two_for_the_Money wrote:
Neato Torpedo wrote:Howell has more blown holds (5) than holds (4) or saves (3). Four were in the 8th inning and one was in the 7th. Just sayin'.


This is a classic case of a misleading stat, and his 5 blown saves were pointed out pages ago, as an interesting aside. (3 were from a month or more ago when Percy was still the closer.)

The two most recent blown saves actually provide a bit of (further) evidence, in my opinion, that he's the "fantasy closer" for TB. Pardon the archived game commentary, but I think it's useful to look at them to support my points:

The first one (6/6) was when Howell entered with an inherited runner on in the 8th. That runner scored to tie the game, but Howell got out of the rest of the inning with the game still tied. The Rays subsequently took a four run lead in the top of the 9th, putting Howell in line for a win, and creating no save opp. Wheeler thus comes in (to save Howell for next game, imo) to this non-save situation and then proceeds, by giving up 2 runs, to create a save opportunity for someone else (Choate). Perhaps Wheeler was still being considered to close the game back when Howell was brought in in the 8th, but I don't see this as the case now. If there's ever a case of "things happening to shake out right for a save," this is definitely true of Choate here. So this game could potentially represent Wheeler's last chance for consideration. It certainly explains away Choate's save as situational.

The second one (6/7) Howell again enters in the 8th with runners on (bases loaded), 1 out, and a 3-1 lead. He walks a guy (definitely bad), but then gets the next two to ground out, though the first one reaches on an error and fielder's choice), and so he ends up giving up the lead and getting the blown save. Does Maddon go to him for a 1 2/3 inning save if the error didn't occur? We'll never know. The point is that he's gone with him in the 9th ever since this game, and unlike the dreaded verbal "vote of confidence" from the manager, such a tacit vote of confidence ain't no jinx.

Let me put it all a different way, if the Rays start the 9th with a lead, who comes in for the save? At this point, it's Howell until further notice. Last night confirmed it, with him striking out the side as a little f-you to those non-believers. Choate may be situational, but not when Howell's available. As for fans of Wheeler and Balfour, you're all stuck in 2008.

I don't care if Howell came in with a runner on, he won't get a reprieve from Maddon from blowing a hold/save just because the circumstances are against him.

Saying that he is definitely the closer right now is a bit much. Frontrunner, sure, but close enough for Maddon to keep playing matchups with Choate. But maybe I'm just mad that I missed out on yet another potential closer.


I think the days of the Choate/Howell save based on matchups is gone. Assuming Howell doesnt absolutely implode and blow a save or 2 right away, I think he'll have every opportunity to keep the closer job that he recently inherited.

This is coming from someone who owned Howell in 1 league and Choate in 2. I have dropped Choate in both, despite being hard-up for closers, so you can see how confident about Howell being the full-time closer until/unless he blows it.

I'm very confident that Howell will be closing out games whether the upcoming batters are righties or lefties. He's not going to get many free passes if he struggles, but this is no longer a closer-by-committee or matchup-based closing situation.

All my opinion of course, but I'd like to think I'm very knowledgeable on this situation as I have been following every pitch of every TB RP over the last few weeks.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby yossarian » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:11 pm

bigwords wrote:
Spartans Rule wrote:Call me crazy, but I'd take Howell over Capps, Aardsma, Sherrill, Rodney, Lindstrom, and Gregg at the moment. Howell may not be officially anointed, but his potential value even in a limited role seems greatly more secure.


Ok. You're crazy. No way would I ever take Howell over Aardsma. In the last month he has 7 saves with 16 Ks over 12.2 IP with an ERA of 2.13, a WHIP of 1.34 and a K/BB of 2.80. What more do you want out of your closer? he's not Paps or Nathan, but he certainly isn't Rodney or Lindstrom either.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Bwanna » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:57 pm

SpecialFNK wrote:what to do with Latroy Hawkins?
Cooper said he wanted Valverde's first action to be in a non save situation, which was yesterday. now i assume the next save opportunity will go to Valverde and going forward he is the Astros closer. should one still hold onto Hawkins and start him? or hold onto him and bench him? or maybe wait and see to how Valverde is and after a short time period of say 5-10 days drop Hawkins then if Valverde is cruising? or simply drop Hawkins now?
:-S


I'm holding. I have him in two leagues -- a h2h with holds and a roto league -- and he's valuable in both if he continues to pitch well even if he's not the closer, and there's a chance he could be traded to a team needing a closer.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby nettles1515 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:05 pm

Two_for_the_Money wrote:
nettles1515 wrote:so jp howell is safe to pick up??


Only in non-competitive leagues; all others he's probably gone.



No i picked him up actually like 5 nights ago, just wit that slight chance .
Lets go howellll..
and what about this kid abreu 10 saves in minors, just got called up?
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby RedHopeful » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:09 pm

nettles1515 wrote:No i picked him up actually like 5 nights ago, just wit that slight chance .
Lets go howellll..
and what about this kid abreu 10 saves in minors, just got called up?

Prior to the Rays selecting Abreu from their Triple-A club to replace injured Jason Isringhausen, the 32-year-old right-hander had posted a 3-0 mark with a 1.41 ERA and 10 saves in 10 save opportunities for the Bulls. In addition, he had 49 strikeouts in 32 innings with just 10 walks. Those kinds of numbers are bound to gain someone's attention.

Before getting too giddy, one must remember those numbers were accrued during Triple-A games. The good part for the Rays is what their people saw of Abreu while he put up those gaudy numbers.

"He's pitching great, dominant," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Has a really good slider, not just an OK one. And his fastball has plenty of velocity."

Tampa Bay Rays

Another guy to throw into the mix now. Howell appears to have taken some steps lately, but this article hasn't proclaimed him the closer yet. Definitely sounds like the merry-go-round hasn't stopped yet:

Abreu joins a bullpen that seems to be finding its way. The bullpen does not have a closer, but what it does have is seven "even or ahead" guys. In Maddon-speak, that means any of his relievers can be used at any point in the game depending on how they match up with the hitters. Now that said system is in place and the relievers have had a chance to get used to it, the results have been outstanding. Rays relievers did not allow a run during the recently completed homestand and they have a scoreless-innings streak of 22 1/3 innings.

Abreu won't be asked to be a bullpen savior, merely a contributing member, who will pitch when the match-ups are deemed favorable.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Two_for_the_Money » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:54 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:
Two_for_the_Money wrote:
Neato Torpedo wrote:Howell has more blown holds (5) than holds (4) or saves (3). Four were in the 8th inning and one was in the 7th. Just sayin'.


This is a classic case of a misleading stat, and his 5 blown saves were pointed out pages ago, as an interesting aside. (3 were from a month or more ago when Percy was still the closer.)

The two most recent blown saves actually provide a bit of (further) evidence, in my opinion, that he's the "fantasy closer" for TB. Pardon the archived game commentary, but I think it's useful to look at them to support my points:

The first one (6/6) was when Howell entered with an inherited runner on in the 8th. That runner scored to tie the game, but Howell got out of the rest of the inning with the game still tied. The Rays subsequently took a four run lead in the top of the 9th, putting Howell in line for a win, and creating no save opp. Wheeler thus comes in (to save Howell for next game, imo) to this non-save situation and then proceeds, by giving up 2 runs, to create a save opportunity for someone else (Choate). Perhaps Wheeler was still being considered to close the game back when Howell was brought in in the 8th, but I don't see this as the case now. If there's ever a case of "things happening to shake out right for a save," this is definitely true of Choate here. So this game could potentially represent Wheeler's last chance for consideration. It certainly explains away Choate's save as situational.

The second one (6/7) Howell again enters in the 8th with runners on (bases loaded), 1 out, and a 3-1 lead. He walks a guy (definitely bad), but then gets the next two to ground out, though the first one reaches on an error and fielder's choice), and so he ends up giving up the lead and getting the blown save. Does Maddon go to him for a 1 2/3 inning save if the error didn't occur? We'll never know. The point is that he's gone with him in the 9th ever since this game, and unlike the dreaded verbal "vote of confidence" from the manager, such a tacit vote of confidence ain't no jinx.

Let me put it all a different way, if the Rays start the 9th with a lead, who comes in for the save? At this point, it's Howell until further notice. Last night confirmed it, with him striking out the side as a little f-you to those non-believers. Choate may be situational, but not when Howell's available. As for fans of Wheeler and Balfour, you're all stuck in 2008.

I don't care if Howell came in with a runner on, he won't get a reprieve from Maddon from blowing a hold/save just because the circumstances are against him.

Saying that he is definitely the closer right now is a bit much. Frontrunner, sure, but close enough for Maddon to keep playing matchups with Choate. But maybe I'm just mad that I missed out on yet another potential closer.


I never said he was going to get a pass, but if you want to play that game, then tell me again who Maddon went with last night, even after Howell had those two straight (technical) blown saves? Oh yeah, Howell. So it looks like he did, in fact, get a pass from Maddon. Whether or not he did it because the circumstances were against him is beside the point.

Again the point is, give me a case where Maddon played matchups with Choate when Howell was pitching. Right now, the only pitcher I see coming in to start the ninth (and would be given enough rope to finish it) is Howell. Maddon's use of him the past few weeks supports this. But by all means, hang onto or trade for Choate or Wheeler. I'm going after Howell myself.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby GiantsFan14 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:58 pm

I'd take Howry off the closer in waiting list and put Sergio Romo up there. It'd be either him or Affedlt if Wilson was taken out of the role for some reason.
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