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Articles Tagged Closers 

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08-18

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1

Closer to Me: Week 21
by
Mauricio Rubio

08-11

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2

Closer to Me: Week 20
by
Mauricio Rubio

08-04

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4

Closer to Me: Week 19
by
Mauricio Rubio

07-28

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2

Closer to Me: Week 18
by
Mauricio Rubio

07-21

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16

Closer to Me: Week 17
by
Mauricio Rubio

07-14

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5

Closer to Me: Week 16
by
Mauricio Rubio

07-07

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7

Closer to Me: Week 15
by
Mauricio Rubio

06-30

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5

Closer to Me: Week 14: Closer Swap
by
Mauricio Rubio

06-23

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2

Closer to Me: Week 13
by
Mauricio Rubio

06-16

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5

Closer to Me: Week 12
by
Mauricio Rubio

06-09

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11

Closer to Me: Week 11: The Ballad of Kevin Gregg
by
Mauricio Rubio

06-02

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9

Closer to Me: Week 10
by
Mauricio Rubio

05-28

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2

Closer to Me: Week Nine
by
Mauricio Rubio

05-22

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5

Closer to Me: Week Eight
by
Mauricio Rubio

05-19

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: My Closer Lost His Job and Now I Hate Everybody
by
Mike Gianella

05-15

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14

Closer to Me: Week Seven
by
Mauricio Rubio

05-06

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5

Closer to Me: Week Six
by
Mauricio Rubio

04-29

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5

Closer to Me: Week Five
by
Mauricio Rubio

04-22

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9

Closer to Me: Week Four
by
Mauricio Rubio

04-15

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7

Closer to Me: Week Three
by
Mauricio Rubio

04-08

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13

Closer to Me: Attrition
by
Mauricio Rubio

04-01

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22

Closer to Me: Week One
by
Mauricio Rubio

03-27

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Three Murky Closer Situations
by
Mauricio Rubio

03-07

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12

Graphical Fantasy Rankings: Relief Pitchers
by
Mauricio Rubio

03-07

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6

TTO Scoresheet Podcast: Relief Pitchers
by
Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

03-07

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9

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Relief Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-06

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6

Tale of the Tape: Joe Nathan vs. Sergio Romo
by
Wilson Karaman

03-06

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12

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 75 Relief Pitchers
by
Bret Sayre

03-05

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13

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Relief Pitchers
by
Craig Goldstein

03-05

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13

Get to Know: Relief Pitcher Prospects
by
Ben Carsley

03-04

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8

Fantasy Tier Rankings: Relief Pitchers
by
Paul Sporer

03-03

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11

Fantasy Players to Target: Relief Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-03

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7

State of the Position: Closers
by
Ben Carsley

02-27

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: The Rising Cost of Pitching
by
Mike Gianella

09-19

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0

Bullpen Report: Looking Back, Looking Forward
by
Mike Gianella

09-12

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0

Bullpen Report: Looking Ahead
by
Mike Gianella

09-06

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7

Five to Watch: Would-Be, Could-Be Closers
by
Craig Goldstein

09-05

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0

Bullpen Report: Examining Trends
by
Mike Gianella

08-30

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2

Raising Aces: A Closer Look at Relievers
by
Doug Thorburn

08-22

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12

Overthinking It: Scouting Closers in the Batter's Box
by
Ben Lindbergh and Jason Parks

08-22

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1

Bullpen Report: Farquhar Rises to the Top
by
Mike Gianella

08-15

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8

Bullpen Report: Mo Moves Down
by
Mike Gianella

08-12

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8

Baseball Therapy: Using the Closer to Keep a Deficit Small
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-08

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9

Bullpen Report: Meeting the Criteria
by
Mike Gianella

07-25

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0

Bullpen Report: On the Grilli
by
Mike Gianella

06-13

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12

Baseball Therapy: The Truth About Closers and Extra-Inning Games
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-06

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4

Bullpen Report: A Test of Wil'
by
Mike Gianella

05-29

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Your Annual Reminder: Don't Pay for Saves
by
Jason Collette

04-09

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7

Baseball ProGUESTus: Where the Crazy Closer Comes From
by
Matthew Callan

12-10

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3

Baseball Therapy: Do Closers Age Differently Than Other Relievers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

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May 28, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Nine

2

Mauricio Rubio

Updates on the top-five preseason closers and notes on the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Before we get into the unfortunate stuff, let’s go back to the preseason and check in on the top five closers, as ranked by Paul Sporer.

Craig Kimbrel
Kimbrel is dominating as he boasts a 1.96 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He had a few health scares, but he’s shown very few ill effects. He’s got a 5.14 K:BB ratio and is striking out 47.4 percent of batters faced.


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May 22, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Eight

5

Mauricio Rubio

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Chicago White Sox
Ronald Belisario was named the closer following an injury to Matt Lindstrom. The White Sox bullpen struggles have been well documented in this column. Surprisingly, the White Sox are only on their second closer, as Lindstrom survived early troubles to hang on to the job as the rest of pen around him took a curious shape. Belisario has come a long way since carrying a 15.75 ERA on April 9. In 22 innings from April 12 through May 20, Belisario posted a 2.05 ERA, a 17-to-4 K:BB ratio, and a .169/.229/.208 opponents’ slash line. He’s the clear hot hand in the bullpen. Daniel Webb is still in the periphery but given his control issues I think Belisario is a safe option. As of writing he’s widely un-owned in both Yahoo (14 percent) and ESPN (2.5 percent) leagues, but that will change fast.

Chicago Cubs
Hector Rondon blew the save for the Cubs today which might induce some itchy trigger fingers given the success Neil Ramirez has enjoyed this season. I’d keep those fears in check as it was Rondon’s fourth straight day of work and he really only gave up a few bloop hits and a walk. An error behind him by the usually sure handed Darwin Barney made it look worse than it was. Ramirez is still a very good stash name, but I’m holding on to Rondon. If for some reason you were holding out hope that Jose Veras might be able to figure something out this year I’m going to squelch those dreams. Veras has completely lost what tenuous command he had of his curveball and its manifesting itself in ugly ways. Veras is still boasting an ugly 25 percent walk rate. He walked one and gave up three hits during a loss to the Yankees today and his command looked bad throughout his outing.



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May 19, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: My Closer Lost His Job and Now I Hate Everybody

3

Mike Gianella

How you should cope with a closer who loses his right to save chances depends on the format of your league.

Even if you play in only one fantasy baseball league, eventually you are going to suffer through a closer losing his job. Given the precious amount of capital we invest in closers, there is arguably nothing more frustrating than losing your closer to ineffectiveness.

We all share the same level of frustration when we lose a closer. However, there is always a temptation to rush into the breach and invest significant FAAB or a high-priority waiver claim on a closer. Is this the best course of action, or is it better to be more conservative and hope to get lucky?

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May 15, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Seven

14

Mauricio Rubio

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league to help you find saves.

Ascent

Toronto Blue Jays:
Casey Janssen was activated from the disabled list on May 11, which will help stabilize a Jays bullpen that has been little more than a rotation of names trying to close out games and failing all the same. Santos provided the ultimate case study in how sustainable a horrendous BB% can be if you supplement it with a tremendous strikeout rate (the answer, not very). Aaron Loup tried his hand at closing and was spotty and unspectacular. Bret Cecil earned three saves but his walk rate was only slightly better than Santos’. Essentially, the Blue Jays bullpen was proficient at doling out The Three True Outcomes between Santos (8.3 BB/9 and a 2.3 HR/9), Loup (4.9 BB/9) and Cecil (6.6 BB/9). Janssen will provide consistency and control to a unit that desperately needs it. He’s a must-own at this point and will get the saves in Toronto.


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May 6, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Six

5

Mauricio Rubio

Updates on the ninth-inning situations around the league.

White Sox
Nate Jones is going to miss a chunk of time to recover from back surgery. By this point, you know the story with Jones; he was tabbed to assume closing duties for the White Sox but after a fuzzy spring Matt Lindstrom was named the closer on Opening Day and Jones never quite got on track. He has yet to record an out this season and has already allowed four earned runs. In his stead, Lindstrom has performed the closing duties fairly well, as he’s riding a streak of 11 innings over which he’s only given up two earned runs (all in one appearance, April 25 against the Rays), and he’s picked up three saves along the way.

The White Sox bullpen was a mess last time we discussed it. It’s done better of late as Ronald Belisario has righted the ship since the bullpen wide implosion on April 17 against the Red Sox. Zach Putnam has been a revelation of sorts since he was brought up from Charlotte on April 17, and we’ve already touched on the resurgence that Lindstrom has experienced of late.


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April 29, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Five

5

Mauricio Rubio

Catching you up on all of the ninth-inning developments around the league.

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

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April 22, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Four

9

Mauricio Rubio

Updates on all of the notable ninth-inning situations around the league.

New York Mets
We’re all guilty of trying to hold on for too long at some point in our lives. Maybe it was a relationship that should have ended but instead lingered—even though we knew the process and personnel would yield obvious and painful results.

Enter the Mets and Jose Valverde, who finally lost his job after a particularly bad series of meltdowns that led Terry Collins to go in a different direction. I picked up Valverde in a few leagues, so I know the pain some of you are feeling. If we’re being honest, however, we all knew this was coming.


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April 15, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Three

7

Mauricio Rubio

Updates on the ninth-inning situations for the White Sox, A's, Cubs, and Astros.

White Sox
I’ve written about the White Sox a lot for two reasons: 1) I have access, and 2) their closer situation is tumultuous. Matt Lindstrom gave up another lead on Sunday. It wasn’t all Lindstrom’s fault—Jose Abreu made an error that started the rally—but Lindstrom’s profile doesn’t allow for many defensive mistakes behind him. Lindstrom’s stuff is contact-oriented for a reliever.

This all comes with the caveat that it’s early but Lindstrom has thrown a total of 91 pitches this year and has generated five swings-and-misses. For contrast, Daniel Webb has thrown 112 pitches and has generated a swing-and-miss 13 times. That doesn’t seem like a big difference in the raw, but essentially, Webb is doubling Lindstrom’s whiff rate. It fits both players’ profiles as well; Webb is a player who has swing-and-miss stuff, as he utilizes a mid-90s fastball and power slider to induce those empty swings that a high-leverage reliever needs when his defense makes an error behind him.


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April 8, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Attrition

13

Mauricio Rubio

We're just one week into the season, and a host of teams already have ninth-inning concerns.

Reliever volatility is not a new concept. We’re all used to the closer carousel that sustains itself on poor performance and injury as it turns throughout the season. What happened this week, however, bordered on a league-wide implosion of closers. Let’s take a look at who is left standing after the week that was.

INJURIES

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April 1, 2014 6:30 am

Closer to Me: Week One

22

Mauricio Rubio

Keeping an eye on the volatile closer situations around the league.

Relievers are a tough commodity to value in fantasy. Their volatility and main carrying stat, saves, make it difficult to project accurate value at the season’s outset. You never quite know where a big-time reliever season will come from in a given year. Koji Uehara was given the job after Andrew Bailey was felled by injury. Kevin Gregg emerged after Carlos Marmol was undone by the Upton brothers. So what I will be doing throughout the season is keeping an eye on the reliever situations around the league and offer my thoughts on guys who are worth targeting/keeping an eye on as the season progresses.

PADRES
Huston Street – This was pointed out on Twitter but Street’s strand rate last year was 99.5 percent. It goes a long way in explaining how Street was able to maintain a decent ERA despite giving up 12 HR in 56 2/3 innings. Street is effective when healthy, but the “when healthy” part is kind of the main concern with him. He’s made four DL trips since 2011, and he already had a groin issue in camp this year.


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March 27, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Three Murky Closer Situations

6

Mauricio Rubio

A rundown of the ninth-inning candidates in Houston, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.

Closers are the most fungible commodity in fantasy baseball. Predicting saves is a quixotic quest that frequently ends in heartbreak and confusion.

You don’t need to search long to find examples of how volatile the saves market can be. Kevin Gregg was a discarded reliever when the Cubs reached out for his services in the ultimate act of desperation. Carlos Marmol had imploded and their in house options were either hurt or ineffective. Gregg, who was unable to survive spring training with the Dodgers, ended up accruing 33 saves before being released in a much-publicized spat with management.

So if you have Chapman on the DL or you were just caught off guard ahead of a massive closer run and are in need of saves don’t fret. I’m here for you, friends.

Let’s take a look at three situations in which a closer could emerge from the shadows

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March 7, 2014 6:00 am

Graphical Fantasy Rankings: Relief Pitchers

12

Mauricio Rubio

A visual breakdown of the players at this position and the fantasy categories in which they could help your team.

To read the previous editions in this series, follow the links below:

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