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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: JEREMY JEFFRESS LOSES ALMOST ALL VALUE IN TEXAS, STEVE CISHEK KICKED TO CURB AGAIN

The Aug. 1 trade deadline has passed and left in its wake are the usual array of closer changes and happenings.  Let's get to all the latest.

-Anyone owning stock in Jeremy Jeffress (which included yours truly) got royally hosed leading up to the deadline yesterday when it was revealed he had been dealt to the Texas Rangers.  Then the news came down that confirmed that Jeffress would be setting up for Rangers closer Sam Dyson.  Now Dyson has pitched very well since moving into the closer role with a 2.42 ERA and 20 saves in 22 chances but this is his firts go-round as a closer and his 35 K's in 48.1 innings is very shaky for a ninth inning guy.  That is why those who do own Jeffress might want to hold onto him a bit as he was tremendous in his own first go-round as a closer with the Milwaukee Brewers before he was dealt.  Overall Jeffress converted 27 of 28 chances with a splendid 2.22 ERA and a bit of a high 1.25 WHIP.  He struck out 35 batters in 44.2 innings as well.  Thus it stands to reason that Jeffress is the better pitcher and that Dyson better not slip up or he could be replaced quickly.  However if or when that happens, Jeffress owners wound up with a big loss on Monday.

-For the first two months of the season, it looked like the Seattle Mariners successfully saved the closing career of Steve Cishek.  After a truly hideous start to his 2015 with the Miami Marlins, Cishek was soon out of the ninth inning and then off the team entirely.  A nice rebound with the St. Louis Cardinals down the stretch got the Mariners to buy into him as a reclamation deal and they surprisingly gave Cishek the closer role to start 2016.  A 0.82 ERA in April seemed to suggest Cishek was back but then the summer arrived and all hell broke loose.  Under a sea of blown saves and being hit hard, Cishek put up an insane 6.10 ERA in July and gave up a winning home run to the Boston Red Sox in his first August appearance.  The result is that Cishek is out in the ninth inning again and this time he gets replaced by a very intriguing Edwin Diaz.  It looks like the Mariners have something in Diaz as the 22-year-old third round pick has been an absolute flamethower to the tune of a crazy 17.64 K/9 rate and 1.80 ERA.  His control is decent as well at 2.52 so this is not Carlos Marmol we are speaking of.  Diaz could be a real monster as a closer and so he is someone you run to the wire and get if still available.  The kid is going to be real good. 

-As we reported yesterday, Tyler Thornburg looks to be up next as the new closer in Milwaukee after the team traded not only Jeremy Jeffress but also Will Smith.  Thornburg is clearly deserving as he has dominated in setup all season to the tune of a 2.32 ERA while striking out a very high 59 batters in 42.2 innings.  Pick him up where available. 


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