Saturday, March 10, 2018


-Even before spring training got underway this past February, yours truly made it a point to say that New York Mets prospective closer Jeurys Familia was on very shaky ground going into the new season.  For one thing, Familia was coming off a very scary surgery to correct a blood clot and his velocity was down when he came back last summer after recovering from the procedure.  At around the same time, the Mets traded for Miami Marlins effective but wild closer A.J. Ramos which set in motion the situation that is currently at hand here.  That situation is one where Familia is looking very shaky as he just got done giving up an insane 5 earned run in just 1.1 innings during his outing on Thursday and then reported afterward that his shoulder is not responding the way he wants it to.  The Mets quickly put out that Familia was going through a "dead arm period" but we already are at the point where Ramos needs to be rostered in all fantasy baseball leagues given what we have seen from Familia so far.  While Ramos walks too many guys, he has big strikeout stuff and has shown himself to be a decent closer in the past.

-FanRag's Jon Heyman caused a stampede to the fantasy baseball waiver wire around lunchtime Friday when he reported that Cam Bedrosian and not Blake Parker was the favorite to be the Los Angeles Angels closer to begin 2018.  While Parker was fantastic last season, Bedrosian was no slouch himself closing games in 2016 and then finishing strong in 2017.  Bedrosian has the high-K stuff to be a major weapon in the ninth inning and so he needs to be added everywhere.

-Another situation that bears watching is in Chicago with the White Sox as prospective closer Joakim Soria was blasted in his first spring training outing, while the very capable Nate Jones lurks close behind.  Jones is trying to get himself up to speed after missing almost all of last season due to elbow surgery but Soria already looks to be on shaky ground.  If his struggles persist this spring, it wouldn't take much for Jones to get a chance to finish games in the ninth inning.  A hedge pickup of Jones is recommended.

-Finally, the St. Louis Cardinals have still not given any clarity on their closer situation but the consensus feeling is that veteran setup man Luke Gregerson will get first crack at the gig.  Still, keep a close watch on lefty Tyler Lyons and righty veteran Bud Norris who both could factor in the ninth inning if things don't work out with Gregerson this spring.

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