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April 29, 2014

Closer to Me

Week Five

by Mauricio Rubio


Compared to the earlier weeks, this one was kind of boring in reliever-land. Let’s check in on what’s gone down.

A Tale Of Two Cities

Chicago Cubs
Hector Rondon pumped absolute gas in a 4-0 win against the Brewers. The Cubs bullpen has been a situation since time immemorial it seems. This year has been no different, as Jose Veras went on the DL with an oblique injury and Pedro Strop has seemingly lost his tenuous hold on the closer job to Rondon. Justin Grimm and Strop remain in the mix should Rondon continue the closer carousel on the North Side, and there’s always Kyuji Fujikawa, who’s still sitting in the DL, but I think Rondon might actually hold on to the job.

Chicago White Sox
Through it all, Matt Lindstrom manages to hold on. The White Sox bullpen has been a disaster this year. As a unit, White Sox relievers have a 14.7 percent strikeout rate, which is the worst in the league. They also have a 14.5 percent walk rate which is also worst in the league. There have been high profile disasters and slow burnouts. Lindstrom holds the job for now and it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which he loses it. The starting rotation is a mess right now and that will also tax an already thin bullpen. I’ve been asked about stashing Nate Jones, I think he’s going to be gone awhile but even so, if you have a free DL spot, I can’t see the harm in using it on Jones.

Bullpen By Committee Update

Oakland A’s
Susan Slusser had this to say about Jim Johnson’s chances at returning to the closer role. There was also some stuff in there about neither Luke Gregerson nor Sean Doolittle looking comfortable in the ninth inning, which is interesting and perhaps a thought for a future post. For now let’s concentrate on what Jim Johnson has done to warrant consideration again. After a bad performance against Minnesota on April 9, Johnson has gone 7 2/3 scoreless inning and has collected eight strikeouts in that span. More importantly, he’s only issued two walks. For Johnson, the control is a good sign. He’s not going to be a top-tier closer, so the Ks and rate stats won’t be overly impressive, but I still think he’s a player who can get the job done in the ninth.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (04/28)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week Fou... (04/22)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week Six (05/06)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: NL E... (04/29)

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