We are into the last week of the first month of fantasy baseball season and a lot happened so far – many injuries across MLB and other things. The phenomena known as Shohei Ohtani has sparked comparisons with Babe Ruth, as far as two way players go. Boston Red Sox incredible start and, ironically, Oakland Athletics Sean Manaea’s no hitter against said Red Sox. Much to my chagrin, the Minnesota Twins’ pitching staff igniting the New York Yankees early season slump (as usual).
As far as closers go, it’s been relatively quiet although there are a few tidbits of note. You can also keep on top of things checking our news feed filtered by closers and primary setup men from our depth charts.
Fernando Rodney of the Twins still has a hold on the closer job but has looked anything but solid in his outings. He blew a save opportunity Thursday night recording no outs and collecting the loss after allowing a three run home run to Gary Sanchez.
That is Rodney’s third straight blown save. Unfortunately, setup man Addison Reed has given up runs in two if his last three outings, so he isn’t showing he is ready to close games.
St. Louis Cardinals
One of the situations to keep an eye is in St. Louis. The Cardinals thought they had solved their back of the bullpen issues when they signed free agent Greg Holland a week into the season. Holland, who had been working out in Florida, was coming off a solid season with the Rockies saving 41 games and helping the Rocks get to the NL Wild Card game last year.
This year has been rocky (no pun intended) so far. He clearly is behind from a control standpoint walking eight batters in five innings. As a result, manager Mike Matheny has been using Bud Norris in closing situations.
It may be that Matheny is letting Holland get his feet under him and let him work through his control issues with the belief that he’ll get himself straightened out and help the Cardinals chase down the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. With that being said, if you haven’t picked up Norris or are looking to handcuff somebody with Holland, it would be a good idea to get him.
Chicago White Sox
Another situation to look at was one I was curious about last week but wanted to let things play out and see where things fell. Chicago White Sox closer situation is questionable as well. Joakim Soria is the closer as of today. He has two saves and an ERA of 3.38.
The issue isn’t the ERA or the saves, but rather is there a better option? I believe there is. Nate Jones is the current setup man for Soria. He has one save but his ERA (1.04) and his strikeouts (11) are better than Soria.
The White Sox record currently sits at 5-16, which certainly doesn’t lend itself to many save opportunities. But as a good friend of mine says with regards to bad teams and saves, “somebody has to get them”.
Brewers, Indians, Astros
The Indians put Andrew Miller on the 10-day DL Thursday with a hamstring strain. I asked last week, would Tito ever think about switching up Cody Allen and Miller? The answer for that right now is no but I still think it’s a possibility down the road.
Finally Ken Giles of the Astros is still manager AJ Hinch’s go-to man but that leash appears to be getting shorter and shorter.