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Greg Holland Hits the Disabled List

Tough news for Holland owners over the weekend as the stud closer was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a pectoral strain. The good news is that, as of now, it doesn’t look like he’ll miss much more than the minimum. Holland certainly didn’t pitch like he was hurt before the injury, as he tossed four scoreless innings with three strikeouts and a walk, racking up four saves. While he’s out, expect Wade Davis to grab the save opportunities. Unfortunately, Davis is one of the best setup men in the game, meaning he’s already taken in all but the shallowest of leagues. For those in holds leagues, look for Jason Frasor to move up a bit in the pecking order; he could snag some holds in Holland’s absence.

Andrew Miller Over Dellin Betances

Coming into the season, the ninth-inning situation in the Bronx was one of the more interesting ones in the league. The Yankees had two dominant relievers in their bullpen, and Joe Girardi refused to name either one to be the team’s closer. While he continues to stay quiet on that front, it’s becoming clear that Miller has the upper hand. All four of the Yankees’ saves opportunities have gone to the lefty, and he’s converted all of them in dominant fashion. Betances has had solid results in the eighth inning, but his control has been an issue. It’s hard to see Miller losing this job without a couple of consecutive bad outings, making him a steal from this spring’s drafts. With that being said, it’s certainly not time to drop Betances. Not only is there a chance he can grab some save chances as the year goes on, but he’ll also help in the rate stats and strikeouts in the meantime.

Adam Ottavino Named Rockies’ Closer

When we last spoke a week ago, Colorado had just taken LaTroy Hawkins out of the closer role and were saying Rafael Betancourt would be getting the save opportunities. It didn’t take long for them to change their mind. It was clear that Ottavino was their best option in the ninth inning, and they gave him the job on Wednesday. He’s been outstanding in the early part of the year with 12 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings with just one walk. Given his huge advantage over the other options in that bullpen, he should be able to hold on to the job for the rest of the year.

Who Wants to Close in Toronto?

No one wants to handle ninth-inning duties in Toronto, it seems. Brett Cecil was yanked from the ninth after a week of struggles to start the year, and he’s done nothing since then to make John Gibbons regret that choice. Miguel Castro, who made the jump from High-A to the majors, is an exciting young arm with big potential, but he’s also struggled a bit. Luckily for him, he has been better than the other options. He’s keeping runs from crossing the plate, which is the most important thing, but the early-season peripherals haven’t been great. He should be able to hold on to the job for now, but a few more bad outings could have Toronto looking back to Cecil or to another youngster in Roberto Osuna. They could also be an option for the inexplicably still-unemployed Rafael Soriano.

Bobby Parnell on His Way Back

Parnell underwent Tommy John surgery last April, and his rehab program is almost ready to come to an end. Assuming everything goes well, there’s a chance he could be back in the next seven days. There looked to be a chance that he’d take over the closer role upon his return, but Terry Collins put that notion to rest this week. Jeurys Familia took over for Jenrry Mejia and has done nothing to lose his job. He’s already racked up six saves in the young season and is striking out more than a batter an inning. Parnell could still take over if Familia falls off, but the latter has looked like someone who will hold on to that job. If someone in your league is wary of him losing his job soon, take advantage of that situation.

Quick Hits

Mark Melancon was being taken as a top-five closer coming into the season, and his early-season performance has many owners worried. They are specifically worried with his velocity. On the year, his fastball is down below 90 mph after averaging close to 95 at the end of last year. That velocity has been creeping up game-by-game, though, so now’s the time to take advantage of panicking owners.

Fernando Rodney is Fernando Rodneying. When he is on, he is one of the best relievers in the game. When he is off… not so much. He’s blown two saves this year and has a frightening 12.46 ERA. I’m still confident he can turn it on and hold on to this job, but if you are looking for someone who could be taking over a ninth inning soon, keep an eye on Danny Farquhar

Joakim Soria has been lights out since taking over for the injured Joe Nathan. Unfortunately for Soria owners, the latter is coming back soon and his manager seems inclined to give him his job back. Keep an eye on Brad Ausmus’ quotes this week, but if Soria continues to pitch like this, it’s hard to see him losing his job.

Jake McGee is getting ready to start his rehab and could be back in a week or two. Brad Boxberger has been very good filling in, though maybe not dominant enough to keep the job away from McGee. As a Boxberger owner, the best case scenario would be to try and own both of the Rays’ relievers when McGee returns and wait to see who ends up getting the bulk of the save chances.

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grandslam28
4/21
Thing of note in last night's Seattle game. Carson Smith who is usually pitched earlier in games was saved until the end in a close game. While Farquar also gave up runs.
redsoxthoughts
4/21
He's someone to keep an eye on, but for now I would still think he's behind Medina and Farquhar. Part of Smith being used so late was that Medina and Farquhar had both already pitched.
johnd311
4/21
Normally I would agree with you, but Smith had warmed up earlier in the game, sat back down, and then was brought into the game in the 8th when the Mariners were only facing a 2 run deficit and needed to keep it right there. Carson Smith quite clearly has what it takes to face both righties and lefties, and with Farquhar and Rodney having their struggles, I bet we see him get the chance to close out a handful of games this year. I will also bet that he is the guy closing games for the M's when 2016 comes around.
redsoxthoughts
4/21
Fair enough. The game happened after I went to bed so I could only go off the box score. I think there's a good chance you're right about 2016, but I have enough faith in Rodney, Farquhar and/or Medina to perform well enough to hold down the fort this year. At this point I wouldn't be expecting Smith to get more than a couple token save opportunities when guys are hurt or just need rest.
johnd311
4/21
Yeah, that's reasonable. I just hope M's management will not ignore (or play down, to save money when arbitration time comes) the fact that (since he has been in the Majors) Smith has generated a 47.62% whiff/swing rate on his slider, he has a 75% GB/BIP ratio on his 95 mph sinker, and he is generating 12 ground balls for every 1 fly ball with the same power sinker... Those are ridiculous/closer/ermergerd type numbers.
bb10kbb10k
4/21
What are your thoughts on Mr. Allen of Cleveland?
redsoxthoughts
4/21
Too early to worry about him. He's been atrocious in two outings, but he was fine in his other three. There's nothing too alarming in his plate discipline numbers and his velocity has stayed steady. He's someone I'd look to buy low on if another owner is panicking.