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March 3, 2014

State of the Position

Closers

by Ben Carsley


For the earlier articles in this series, click below:

Do you want the good news or the bad news when it comes to closers?

The good news is that there is any good news at all. Despite the retirement of Greatest Reliever Ever Mariano Rivera, we are currently blessed with five elite relievers who every fantasy owner should be delighted to own. You can probably guess the names, but here they are: Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Trevor Rosenthal, Greg Holland, and Kenley Jansen. These pitchers are young, they are dependable, and they strike out everyone they face. Hooray for these pitchers.

The bad news is that there are 25 other teams who also employ closers, and these teams cause fantasy owners plenty of headaches. Consider that Koji Uehara and Jason Grilli finished as two of the best fantasy closers in the game last season. Meanwhile, Proven Closers™ like Joel Hanrahan, Chris Perez and Carlos Marmol all fell apart.

It can sometimes sound like an exaggeration, but the volatility among closers is not to be understated. Yes, there is turnover on a yearly basis at every position. But if I told you that eight to 10 pitchers who begin 2014 as closers will end 2014 in middle relief, would you doubt me for a second?

You shouldn't, and that makes forecasting which relievers will have success this year and beyond a necessary, but frightening, proposition.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Tar... (03/03)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (02/24)
No Next Column
Next Article >>
Minor League Update: S... (03/03)

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