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Thursday, May 9, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: STEVE CISHEK COULD BE THE MAN FOR SAVES IN PLACE OF PEDRO STROP

Already having lost incumbent closer Brandon Morrow to injury for all of spring training and for the 2019 to this point, the Chicago Cubs then proceeded to see backup stopper Pedro Strop land on the IL Wednesday with a bum hamstring.  Given that the Cubs have a well-stocked bullpen filled with former closers who have succeeded in the ninth inning in the past, there was a bit of a dart throw feel yesterday afternoon in terms of who to target off waivers among Steve Cishek, Brad Brach, Carl Edwards Jr., and Brandon Kintzler.  Given the accomplishments of all four, it was tough to try and break this situation down but yours truly pegged Cishek as the guy given his experience edge over the others and for the fact he has pitched well this season (3.18 ERA, 19 K in 17 IP).  The first test of this prediction came in Wednesday's game versus the Miami Marlins which went 11 innings and saw Cishek and Edwards both pitch.  What was interesting is that it was Kyle Ryan who came on in the ninth to give up a hit that came around to score when Cishek entered and gave up one of his own.  While Cishek got the blown save for allowing the inherited runner to score, it was Ryan who picked up the earned run.  Eventually, it was Edwards who got the win with a scoreless 11th which proceeded Jason Heyward's walk-off bomb.  So in the end, there was not much clarity here and we all know that Joe Maddon is the king of the bullpen committee.  With Cishek and Edwards Jr. having worked Wednesday, it is entirely possibly Kintzler or Brach will get the next save chance but overall this looks like one big mess to try and figure out.  I would still bet Cishek being the longer term bet but as we have seen across baseball this season, there is no rhyme or reason for many of the ninth inning decisions being made in many locales. 


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