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August 11, 2014

Closer Report

Week 20

by Mauricio Rubio

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Detroit Tigers
The Detroit bullpen disease continues to find new victims as Joakim Soria (who was acquired for Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson) might be out until September with a strained oblique. It’s been a nightmare season for Detroit relievers, which is nothing new for the club. For all the good GM Dave Dombrowski has done, and he’s done a lot, the bullpen remains his Achilles heel. Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan are going to battle it out for saves down the stretch. Nathan refuses to die and Chamberlain has been bad in his brief tryouts for the job. Al Alburquerque is behind them and is a decent speculative play.

Chicago White Sox
Matt Lindstrom is coming back on Tuesday to hopefully stabilize what has been an absolute train wreck of a unit. The White Sox have run a parade of arms to handle the ninth inning with bad results. Lindstrom wasn’t missing bats when he was healthy this year, and his command was erratic. His past profile paints the picture of a ground-ball pitcher who strikes out 17-20 percent of batters faced. If he gets back to that, he might get a look at closing should Jake Petricka falter. It’s a long shot since Petricka has been very effective this season. Still, it’s worth it to claim him and hope Petricka goes the way of every other White Sox closer this season.

New York Mets
Jenrry Mejia has a hernia that he is intent on pitching through to finish the season. Mejia has been a high-wire act this season, featuring a lot of baserunners and strikeouts. Jeurys Familia and Vic Black are behind him for saves. Familia will get the first look if Mejia is knocked out for injury or ineffectiveness.

News And Notes

Chicago Cubs
Kyuji Fujikawa is activated, as is Neil Ramirez. Hector Rondon has mixed dominant outings with some inconsistent ones. Keep an eye on Fujikawa.

Los Angeles Angels
Joe Smith had a 23-game scoreless streak end on a Yoenis Cespedes home run. Smith has been impressive for aw hile now. Huston Street looks like he’ll survive the year, but if you’re running into an innings cap and are planning on picking up some relievers, Joe Smith has value.

Ernesto Frieri
Frieri was designated for assignment by the Pirates this week. His chances at getting saves were thin to begin with. This essentially ends his relevance.

Mauricio Rubio is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mauricio's other articles. You can contact Mauricio by clicking here

Related Content:  Saves,  Closers,  Fantasy

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Painting the Black: Se... (08/08)
<< Previous Column
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