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July 7, 2014

Closer to Me

Week 15

by Mauricio Rubio


Tampa Bay Rays
This can be a difficult article to write. Speculating on saves is a tricky thing, one that requires following a lot of beat writers and trying to find trends written into stat lines. The closer job is a serious one, and it’s not like managers pick the closer for completely arbitrary reasons that have little to do with logic and are more holistic in nature. I mean there’s no way someone would pick a closer based on aura, right?

Oh. Well then.

I assume this was done largely tongue in cheek. He’s had a nice run of appearances dating back to June 17, and he’s pitched in the ninth in his last two outings. Jake McGee, however, has a scoreless streak that runs back to June 6 and it covers 11.2 innings. I don’t think a move is imminent, as McGee has pitched very, very well. Balfour owners can hope that Maddon’s outside the box thinking allows for another Balfour opportunity to pitch the ninth consistently, but those are long odds.

San Francisco Giants
Santiago Casilla has moved from “maybe closer” to “named closer” while Sergio Romo works to figure some things out. Jeremy Affeldt will work in the sixth and seventh as a multi-inning guy. Romo flew apart quickly and serves as a good reminder (one of many) of how quickly lock-down closers can lose their stuff. It’s dependent on player profile, of course, but guys with thin margins tend to have those margins evaporate quickly. Romo can still earn the job back, and I’m rooting for him to do so; it’s just going to be a tough uphill climb.

Los Angeles Angels
When the Jason Grilli for Ernesto Frieri trade went down I imagined that Grilli would have the easier path to saves, as Frieri would have to contend with a lode of talented arms in the Pittsburgh pen. That might be the case, but Joe Smith has been magnificent all year and has done little to warrant a demotion. Grilli might not get a shot after all.

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Related Content:  Saves,  Closers,  Fantasy

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Interleague Report: We... (07/07)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week 14:... (06/30)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week 16 (07/14)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Tra... (07/07)

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