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2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: DOMINIC LEONE HAS CHANCE TO RUN WITH CARDINALS' CLOSER GIG
Every spring in fantasy baseball, we have a handful of unsettled closer situation that early drafts a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to handicapping which guy is likely to emerge with the gig once the games start to count. One such place this scenario took place in was in St. Louis Cardinals camp where manager Mike Matheney refused to say who or if he even had a closer in mind. This didn't stop those in the fantasy baseball community from speculating however, with Tyler Lyons and Luke Gregerson getting 99 percent of the attention. Well don't look now but it appears that new arrival Dominic Leone is poised to steal the gig outright and possibly be the latest "out of nowhere" closer who could excel throughout the upcoming season. Now as far as Leone's history, he was picked up during the offseason from the Toronto Blue Jays after posting a career-year which included a 2.56 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 81 K's in 70.1 IP. Those certainly look like closer-worthy numbers but Leone was considered to be in line for just a setup role since he had no experience finishing games and that both his somewhat short stints for the Jays in 2015 and 2016 were horrendous. Well, Leone has been very good this spring in pitching to a 1.80 ERA and successfully locking down 3 saves as well. That has seemingly swayed Matheney into giving Leone a shot to be the closer when the opener arrives next week which really no one saw coming back in February. This is the name of the game here however as closers emerge from leftfield each and every season and some potential gems always reveal themselves in this manner as well. Yet more evidence you never need to draft a closer early.