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Monday, May 2, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: CODY ALLEN HEADING DANGER LIST

Another week gone by and more closer chaos as the fantasy baseball season moves into its second month.  Let's take a look at the latest news items in Closing Time.

-To say that Cleveland Indians closer Cody Allen has had a rough start to the season would be the epitome of an understatement.  Fresh off taking a loss in extra innings versus the Philadelphia Phillies where he gave up a home run to Ryan Howard, Allen's season ERA now stands at a ghastly 6.97 as the calendar flips to May.  Pretty much everything has gone wrong for Allen this season so far and only some extreme patience by Cleveland manager Terry Francona has kept him from making a change.  What is really disturbing with Allen is that his velocity is down a bit which has caused his K rate to fall drastically to a mediocre 7.84 K/9.  That is a massive drop from the 12.85 last season or the 11.76 in 2014.  In addition, Allen is fighting his control as his BB/9 is up to a horrendous 4.35.  Add it all up and Allen is a walking pitching disaster.  Now in searching for an excuse for Allen, he did have a terrible April last season but the difference was that he was still whiffing guys at a high rate.  As always now is a good time to look at possible replacements.  The name that stands out here is Zach McAllister who has yet to give up an earned run this season and who is coming off a 2015 campaign where he registered a 3.00 ERA and struck out a very high 80 batters in 69 innings pitched.  Now McAllister has his warts in terms of a career-long struggle with control which is not a good thing for a ninth inning pitcher but Francona can't keep watching Allen throw away games the way he has.  The Indians have plans to make the postseason and so it is more imperative Francoca put Allen on a short leash.  This right now is the biggest red flag closer spot in fantasy baseball.  Overall this is as bad as it gets. 

-It has been a nice turnaround for Detroit Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez since returning from a personal leave.  Rodriguez was hit very hard before the leave but has come back nicely with 3.1 scoreless innings and three saves.  Rodriguez is as crafty as they come among closers and age still can't be counted on yet in terms of him becoming a liability. 

-The short tenure of Andrew Miller picking up saves for the New York Yankees will end after another week as Aroldis Chapman gets set to return May 9th from suspension.  Chapman of course is the clear number one closer in the game and Miller will now go to setup where he has next to no value.  While you can hold Miller for his high K rate in innings-capped formats, he can also be easily cut loose. 

 

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