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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: GET TO KNOW DALIER HINJOSA (A.K.A PHILLIES CLOSER SLEEPER)

While there were a few notable closer battles that have been taking place during 2016 spring training, one of the more chaotic ninth inning spots was in Philadelphia where the Phillies were looking for someone to step into the giant stopper shoes of both the traded Jonathan Papelbon and Ken Giles.  With the Phillies looking like one of the worst teams in the major leagues, they did the smart thing in unloading Papelbon and Giles as a top closer on a losing team is virtually worthless to the team.  Still someone has to try and finish off the few wins the team will have this season.  While we incorrectly tabbed promising youngster Hector Neris as a possible Roberto Osuna in Toronto-type option, rampant reports had fading veteran David Hernandez as the lead man for the role.  As camp went on, minor league invite and former All-Star closer Andrew Bailey became an overnight waiver rush after some good early results.  However as spring training has moved on, Bailey began getting pounded as ERA rose sharply to an ugly 5.14 which eliminated him.  Hernandez meanwhile has battled some injuries this spring and over the last few years has seen his once promising career derailed by serious health problems.  He has registered a decent 3.00 ERA this spring but in only a 3 inning small sample size.  A new name has emerged this spring however and the sleeper tag certainly applies here.  Having just shown up in the player registry in many fantasy baseball leagues, few know much about hard-throwing 30-year minor league veteran Dalier Hinojosa.  Having not made it to the States from Cuba until 2014, Hinojosa registered some very impressive K rates while first in the Boston Red Sox and then later the Phillies farm system.  While his control leaves a lot to be desired, Hinojosa has struck out 7 batters in 8 spring innings but with a shaky 4.50 ERA.  There is now talk that Hinojosa will be every bit a part of the committee that the Phillies will unveil at the start of the season as the organization wants someone a bit younger and with some upside compared to Bailey and Hernandez.  Again the control is a problem for the ninth inning but Hinojosa has the guile and velocity to overcome that issue there.  For now pick up Hinojosa in all formats where available as we have seen guys come out of nowhere before and turn into an overnight closing weapon. 

 

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