Welcome to Closing Time where all the closers and speculative save options are are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the long haul.
Added next in line arms in case a closer gets hurt or starts to get shelled.
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29. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)
TIER 7B – Speculative
40. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians)
– Kenley Jansen is allowing more contact than usual with his cutter and the K% is down, but his 0.59 BB/9 is lovely and he hasn’t given up any bombs. Velocity has been trending up with the warm weather and I officially crowned him the clear cut #1.
– The rest of the tier 1 gents are good at what they do and the difference in value will probably be dictated by luck and opportunity.
– Starting to lose patience with Trevor Rosenthal and his gaudy WHIP. The increased K rate is coupled with a 7.5 BB/9. He has a history of limiting the long ball so the 16.7% HR/FB should drop but I’m still bumping him to the bottom of tier 2.
– Ryan Madson’s numbers look great on the surface but his K% is down, BB% is up, and GB% is down. No serious cause for concern but he may cool down. Still not worried about Sean Doolittle taking the job back.
– I upgraded Santiago Casilla last week and then freaked out when he blew one and gave Bochy the business after another rough outing. Casilla has impressed thus far even though he blew 3 saves. My love affair with Hunter Strickland is well known and I still think there is a chance he could take over the 9th eventually. Speculative but you do have to look over Casilla’s shoulder if he stumbles.
– Cody Allen’s velocity has been dropping since 2014 and he isn’t making up for it with increased control. Cody has maintained a HR/FB below 10% his whole career but perhaps the increased number of bombs allowed is slightly the result of less efficient pitching and lower velocity. He also has a lucky BABIP so the path to improvement is not that simple. Bryan Shaw has been dealing lately.
– Arodys Vizcaino is a beast but Atlanta is terrible and saves have been scarce. He does have great job security and quality ratio upside.
– Regaining trust in Francisco Rodriguez and Jonathan Papelbon. The old men don’t have great stuff anymore but they can still shut the door.
– Jeanmar Gomez leads the league in saves but Hector Neris is still lingering in the background if Gomez blows a couple.
– Shawn Tolleson is crapping out and Sam Dyson has gotten two saves in the last week. Dyson is slightly less dominant than last season but he’s still beasting and I think he takes the 9th in Texas. Jeff Banister says Tolleson is still the team’s closer but that isn’t set in stone.
– Brad Boxberger is expected back by the end of the month and will close right away. There is a chance he struggles and Alex Colome gets the job back.
– Glen Perkins finally played catch the end of last week and is expected back in June. Kevin Jepsen is still the closer until then although Trevor May could get a chance if Jepsen doesn’t pull it together soon. May is getting knocked around lately too. Forced to choose I’ll take Perkins but my gut still says he is cooked.