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Thursday, February 14, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: NO CLOSER NAMED YET BY NED YOST

Just like San Francisco Giants counterpart Bruce Bochy did the day prior, Kansas City Royals managed Ned Yost would not name a closer for the team as spring training got underway on Thursday.  Yost mentioned that former starter Wily Peralta did a good job in the role during the second half of 2018 but also mentioned returning setup man Tim Hill and free agent signee Brad Boxberger as possible options.  

Taking them one at a time, Peralta looked good on paper as possibly another failed starter who turned into a high-end reliever almost overnight as he put forth a 3.67 ERA and 9.17 K.9 last season but the underlying metrics were quite ugly.  For one thing, Peralta's 6.03 BB/9 was laughably bad and is about as bad a number as you could get for a closer.  In addition, his .279 BABIP was quite lucky and when adjusted, resulted in FIP (4.73) and XFIP (4.66) ERA's that were downright hideous.  So one can see why an advanced metrics guy like Yost would not automatically jump back in on Peralta.

As far as Boxberger is concerned, he was generally solid for long stretches of 2018 in nailing down 32 saves for the Arizona Diamondbacks but the final 4.39 ERA was ugly no doubt.  Just like with Peralta, Boxberger's 5.40 BB/9 rate was brutal but he had the much better K rate at 11.98.  Boxberger also has going for him a more extensive career as a closer which can also count for something extra when Yost tries to decide things there.  

Regarding Hill, the former Royals third round pick was mediocre at best during his 2018 MLB debut in logging a 4.53 ERA as a 29-year-old rookie.  Having the best control of the three with a 2.76 BB/9, Hill comes up on the short end of things in strikeouts with his 8.28 mark.  

So in essence, there are a whole bunch of bad options here and honestly, whoever comes out on top if Yost doesn't use a committee should be right at the bottom of your closer cheat sheets.  In fact, you are probably better off avoiding this situation altogether.  


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