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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: MARK MELANCON CLOSER SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

When free agency kicked off last winter, no team was more determined to add a closer than the San Francisco Giants.  Having made a mockery of the ninth inning the year prior, the Giants opened up the vault to bring aboard All-Star closer Mark Melancon to great fanfare.  Unfortunately Melancon quickly fell into the plague that is closing games for the Giants as he endured an injury-marred campaign and was hit hard to the tune of a 4.50 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.  As far as the injuries were concerned, Melancon hit the DL twice for forearm pain and then eventually was forced to throw in the towel on the year in succumbing to surgery at the start of September to repair the pronator muscle to finally address the issue. While Melancon is expected to be ready for spring training, there is a long injury history here that becomes more scary now that he will turn 33 in March.  In addition to the ill health, Melancon doesn't carry with him a great margin for error due to the fact his fastball average is only in the 92 range which is quite low for a closer. With that velocity having dipped from around 94 a few years ago, any further erosion there will make Melancon so much more prone to getting hit.  While it is easy to be impressed with what Melancon has done in terms of closing games from 2014-16, the most recent developments are scary enough to make him one to avoid if possible next spring.

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