|Fantasy Baseball: Save Me: Closer Report - July Edition|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on July 04, 2005
American League East
Boston Red Sox – Mike Timlin saved a game last week, his first since May of last year, but manager Terry Francona reiterates that Keith Foulke was just gassed from throwing 47 pitches the night before. Because of Foulke’s ERA of over 10 in save situations, Timlin saving games might be a sign of things to come. Timlin has an ERA of 1.60 and has been dominating. I suggest stashing him away in deep, AL only leagues.
Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles have a dominating lefty in the form of first time All Star BJ Ryan and he won’t be losing his job anytime soon.
New York Yankees – All Star Mariano Rivera is the ninth inning man for the Yankees.
Toronto Blue Jays – Miguel Batista is a guy that can perform in the rotation, as well as the bullpen. For the only team left in Canada, he has performed well. He’s not losing his job.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – Danys Baez, a 2005 All Star, figures to be dealt sometime soon, probably to the Diamondbacks, who have SS Sergio Santos and others. If you’re in a very deep, AL only league and are desperate for saves, check out Chad Orvella, the closer of the future or Lance Carter, the veteran guy most likely to take over.
American League Central
Chicago White Sox – Dustin Hermanson is safe right now, but that’s what we thought about Shingo Takatsu earlier in the season. The Chicago White Sox bullpen is a revolving door and a hitter’s park.
Minnesota Twins – Joe Nathan, enough said.
Cleveland Indians – The Tribe leads the major leagues in bullpen ERA, but if they fall out of it, they might deal 2005 All Star Bob Wickman and give the job to David Riske. I think the central is weak enough, however, that Wickman stays and saves.
Detroit Tigers – Troy Percival is looking older everyday, especially after he gave up four runs in the ninth inning to the Yankees on Saturday, including a three run blast to Bernie Williams. Kyle Farnsworth might become an option.
Kansas City Royals – Really, does anyone care? Mike MacDougal is the Royals’ closer for those of you that are extremely desperate. However, this situation changes every other game.
American League West
Anaheim Angels – Francisco Rodriguez is their current closer, but look for Scot Shields to sneak in and get one every once in a while. Shields is pretty valuable in head to head leagues, in case you haven’t noticed his strikeout totals.
Texas Rangers – Francisco Cordero is the go-to guy but with absolutely no one to set him up.
Oakland Athletics – Justin Duchscherer has been removed from the closer role since Street’s return, but you can count on the 2005 All Star Duchscherer getting his share.
Seattle Mariners – After designating Bret Boone for assignment today, the Mariners might be calling it quits. Eddie Guardado is still the man, but look for JJ Putz to step in after a Guardado trade.
National League East
Washington Nationals – Chad Cordero is the best closer in baseball and on the Nationals.
Atlanta Braves – Danny Kolb has been booted from the job and Chris Reistma has taken a firm hold on it. I would expect Reistma to maintain the job, unless Kolb finds the magic from 2004, which he won’t.
Florida Marlins – After Guillermo Mota showed he couldn’t handle the job, Todd Jones took over the role. He saved 43 games a few years back with Detroit, so he knows how to close and keep closing.
Philadelphia Phillies – Billy Wagner got the save on Saturday, but how long will he be there? He recently said that the Phillies have “no chance” of making it to the postseason and is a free agent after this year. Plus, Ugueth Urbina knows how to close and he’s ready to go.
New York Mets – Their bullpen is horrible, but somehow keeps chugging along. Braden Looper is first in line, then Roberto Hernandez. You can forget about Danny Graves, he’s still an absolute mess.
National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals – Jason Isringhausen is the closer but when will he get hurt? Stash away Julian Tavarez or Al Reyes just in case.
Chicago Cubs – Noted jokester Ryan Dempster has taken over for LaTroy Hawkins and Dempster keeps churning out saves. Manager Dusty Baker said that Dempster is the closer for the remainder of the season and he hasn’t been proven wrong yet.
Houston Astros – Brad Lidge made a name for himself in the postseason, and you shouldn’t expect many save opps to slip by him this year. Chad Qualls might get a few, but don’t count on too much.
Milwaukee Brewers – In his career, Derrick Turnbow has walked a lot of hitters, but that has not afflicted him just yet. He has been putting up the numbers, but look for Mike Adams to be second in line. Turnbow does not give up many hitters, which is good for his cause.
Pittsburgh Pirates – If the Pirates choose to deal Jose Mesa, the aged one would only want to be traded to an east coast team that would a) make him the closer for this year and next and b) pick up his four million dollar option for the 2006 season. The Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves are two potential options. Look for either Mike Gonzalez or Jose Mesa to be closing for the Bucs on August 1st.
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds didn’t nail down many save opps with Danny Graves around, but this is utterly ridiculous. The team hasn’t had a save opportunity in quite a while, much less a win. David Weathers leads the club with three saves, but future closer Ryan Wagner has an ERA of 5.67. Things aren’t good in Cincinnati.
National League West
San Diego Padres – Trevor Hoffman is the man in San Diego, it has been that way forever and it appears that it will be that way for the rest of the year and the remainder of his career.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Brandon Lyon started the year off hot, but the injury bug attacked him. Future closer Brian Bruney took the job and will stay there until Lyon’s return, which should come one to two weeks after the All Star break.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Yhency Brazoban, despite being very green, has the closer’s role in Los Angeles and he won’t lose it.
San Francisco Giants – Tyler Walker has 12 saves for the Giants, which borders on miracle. Armando Benitez might be brought along a little quicker than expected, if the Giants begin to contend again.
Colorado Rockies – Brian Fuentes took over the closer’s role in Denver, after the failing of Byung Hyun Kim and Chin Hui Tsao. Even though he pitches at home in Colorado, Fuentes is a 2005 All Star. You sometimes get that honor when you have 39 Ks in 37 innings, plus an ERA of 2.68. It helps, also, if you play on a team without many good players. Watch yourself, because Fuentes’ 1.19 WHIP raises questions.