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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: BLUE JAYS TO HOLD CLOSER BATTLE IN CAMP

Already there are storylines emerging with spring training getting set to get underway in a little more than a week and those issues will help shape the upcoming fantasy baseball season as well.  One main topic of interest concerns the closer role for the Toronto Blue Jays as management said on Wednesday that a spring training battle will be held between young incumbent Roberto Osuna and newly arrived trade acquisition Drew Storen.  With most closers roles settled across baseball, this is the main event in terms of placing bets on who will emerge. 

We have discussed this issue from the moment the Jays completed the deal with the Washington Nats for Storen who had his closer role yanked out from under him midway through 2015 when the team traded for Jonathan Papelbon.  Storen was actually having an excellent season prior to the acquisition but he then completely flopped while in setup.  Storen also had the gigantic issue of struggling TWICE in the postseason for the Nats, with a string of blown saves calling into question his mental makeup.  Still Storen has high K stuff and we only care what he does in the regular season and his vast experience over the still green Osuna should make him the slight favorite going into camp. 

Now Osuna himself was tremendous as a 20-year-old rookie last season, pitching to a 2.58 ERA and striking out 75 batters in 69.2 innings pitched.  Osuna also showed nice comfort in the closer role once he took over last summer.  Still there were widespread rumors the Jays want to convert Osuna into a starting pitcher for 2016 and the arrival of Storen seemed to suggest this would become a reality.  However the current scenario has Osuna battling Storen, with no indication he will be stretched out.  It is possible if Osuna loses the battle he will be sent to the minors to be stretched out in April to start but for now both guys need to be owned in all fantasy baseball setups.  Osuna has the better overall outlook as he doesn't have the baggage of Storen but the latter has the experience edge which usually wins out in this situation.  Either way if you had one pick to use on just one guy, we would go with Storen. 

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