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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: TOM WILHELMSEN FINDING HIMSELF

Tuesday beckons Closing Time which is where we look into the latest news coming out of the world of the ninth inning.  It was a very quiet week in that respect but still there are always some nuggets to discuss.

-Tom Wilhelmsen was probably the closing steal of the season in 2012 when he took over early in the year for a struggling Brandon League and than proceeded to have an All Star-worthy campaign with a 2.50 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with an extreme 87 K's in 78.1 innings.  Altogether Wilhelmsen locked down 29 saves in 34 chances while earning the clear closer role for the 2013 season.  Like with all sequels, whether you are talking about movies or sports, the follow up is never quite as good.  Wilhelmsen has gone along with the script, especially since June arrived as he comes off a stretch of poor pitching that has temporarily taken him out of the closer role in favor of Oliver Perez.  The lowpoint came on June 12th against the Houston Astros of all teams when Wilhelmsen gave up an unbelievable 5 earned runs in only .1 innings.  Altogether Wilhelmsen has blown three of his last eight chances as his ERA has elevated to 3.68.  Manager Eric Wedge claims that Wilhelmsen will pitch in setup in his next "two or three outings" and than will have his situation revisited.  While Carter Capps was initially seen as the guy who would be given the first save chance in Wilhelmsen's place, it was the shockingly good lefty Perez who got the call on June 14th where he successfully pitched a scoreless ninth with a strikeout for the handshake.  Altogether the former failed starter has been unhittable with a 1.11 ERA and an insane 33 K's in only 24.1 innings.  Of course Perez is still a bit wild with 12 walks in those frames but if you need a short term help in both K's and saves than he is the guy to own in Seattle.

All in all this looks like a classic "clear his head" kind of deal with Wilhelmsen who will likely get the job back by the end of the week if he pitches well.  Hold onto Wilhelmsen if you are an owner or pick him up if someone jumped the gun and dropped him.

-It certainly has been a trying season for Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez who has had two stints on the DL with injury to go along with a drug arrest.  In between Perez has pitched poorly.  Still he is slated to be activated from the DL Friday and will likely go right back into the closer role in place of Vinny Pestano who has notched only one save in his place.  Perez is about as bad a closer as you can get but the Indians will still send him out there.

-Finally Arizona Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz is set to begin his own rehab assignment Thursday as he makes his way back from his latest in a long history of elbow injuries.  Putz will have to pitch in back-to-back games before he can be activated.  Heath Bell has done a nice job while spelling Putz but is expected to give the job back to is counterpart when he does get activated.

There you have it.  As always let us hear your thoughts.


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