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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: CHAOS ALL OVER

Tuesday is Closing Time day where we delve into the always chaotic world of the fantasy baseball closer and needless to say, this collective group is already outdoing themselves in terms of causing much stress to their owners.  Consider that of the 30 pitchers who went into the season as the team's de facto closer, already 16 of them have either been scored on or gone out injured.  When prospective number 1 closer Kenley Jansen has an ERA of 18.00 as of this writing, then you know how ridiculously poor the early-season performances from this group has been.  In terms of Jansen, I have said a few times already that I am not worried in the least here but already there is trouble in a few locales that could be leading to change.  Let's check them out:

1. Los Angeles Angels (Blake Parker):  Already it looks like the Los Angeles Angels may be at a point in making a change at closer as Blaker Parker has been scored upon in both of his appearances so far this season and he was in fact removed from his latest chance in favor of Kenyan Middleton who converted the save on Sunday.  As good as Parker was in 2017, he got shelled all spring training and those struggles have now carried into the seasons.  The Angels can turn to Middleton who was decent enough as a rookie last season (3.86 ERA) but they also have the competent Cam Bedrosian as well.  This is the hottest seat going at the moment.

2.  Baltimore Orioles (Brad Brach):  Buck Showalter may have already seen enough from Zach Britton fill-in Brad Brach after his ugly blown save a few days ago and pitching in middle relief Sunday could be an indication he has been removed from the role already.  The Orioles are stocked with hard-throwing relievers such as Darren O'Day and Mychal Givens and so this is another situation which needs to be watched closely.  O'Day did pitch last night in the eighth in a blowout loss which doesn't tell us much but don't be surprised if he gets the call the next time a save situation presents itself.

3.  St. Louis Cardinals (Dominic Leone):  The Cardinals are using Leone as a placeholder until Greg Holland is ready which should come in the next week to ten days.  Holland has a ton of experience as a high-end closer and so he will be the guy no matter how well Leone is throwing.

4.  Miami Marlins (Brad Ziegler):  Already a soft-tosser who is not worthy of being a closer, Brad Ziegler is toting around a 13.50 ERA and has the hard-throwing Kyle Barraclough behind him.  Barraclough should be added everywhere where available as he has been on the verge of being a stopper for a few seasons now.

5.  Philadelphia Phillies (Hector Neris):  Already in trouble with the fans, new Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler has said he has no defined closer which will annoy all owners of Hector Neris.  Neris was bombed his first time out before throwing a scoreless frame his second appearance of the season but the Phils have a deep bullpen with capable arms such as Pat Neshek, Luis Garcia, and Adam Morgan.  Neshek looks intriguing if Neris does in fact continue to struggle so a proactive move here is looking like a smart add.

As always, follow us on Twitter at RotoBoss and also here on the website for instant updates on all closer happenings this season.


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