Closer Watch April 2013: 10 Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitchers Who May Get the Job

April 3 5:24pm
Phil Oliveri

Here are ten “holds” guys, who already provide excellent production but for saves, who may claim the closer’s role on their respective teams by season’s end. Since some of them are available as daily plays on FanDuel (try out our one-day money leagues for free by using promocode INSIDERBONUS – you’ll get $5 loaded into your account, no strings attached!) we’ve also listed their current salary cap price.

Kenley Jansen

The Dodgers signed Brandon League to a pretty nice deal this offseason to be their closer. Thing is, they already have an excellent one in Kenley Jansen. Last year’s heart condition may have left a sour taste in the mouths of the Dodger front office, but he’s comfortably passed that hurdle and is healthy for the start of the season. With a sterling WHIP and invaluable K rate (around 100 Ks in about 65 innings or so), Donnie Baseball can’t afford NOT to give 9th inning duties to the most dominant guy in his pen.

Vinnie Pestano ($2,800 FanDuel price)

Chris Perez has been an abrasive presence in the Cleveland baseball community, attributed to his heavy criticisms of the Tribe fan base and front office. And personally, his skills aren’t as sharp as his setup guy, Vinnie P. Expect Perez to be shipped elsewhere (along with his demeanor) and giving the reins over to Vinnie P.

Kelvin Herrera ($3,400 FanDuel price)

I really, really like Greg Holland. So I think Herrera becomes a closer only if an injury occurs to Holland (or if I’m dead wrong with my opinion of Holland). He showed excellent poise in his first full year, and has great stuff. He merely needs to show some better control (as does Holland) to truly take that step forward, which I think he may do.

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Luke Gregerson

Greggers had a great year as a set up option to Street, and closer when Street perennially goes down with an injury. Expect more of the same this year (including the Street injury), with the possibility that Street and his relatively hefty contract gets shipped elsewhere, with Greggers taking hold of the role.

Jake McGee

As I write this, Jake gave up a gaudy 5 runs against the O’s earlier today. I think it is merely a hiccup. Last year, McGee gave up a total of 6 runs at home ALL YEAR. He has great stuff, and will rebound nicely. Notwithstanding F-Rod’s phenomenal year for the Rays last year, he is 36-37 and he really came out of nowhere struggling regularly in his previous years. This doesn’t mean that he and Dickey and Maddon haven’t helped him fix any flaws, but he’s also not going to replicate last year’s numbers. An injury could also be a possibility, paving way to Jake.

Rex Brothers ($3,100 FanDuel price)

Rafael Betancourt is pretty good, but he is 37 or so and could be traded, particularly if the Rox are out of playoff contention. Brothers is a nice lefty with some nasty stuff. He just needs to demonstrate better control.

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Sergio Santos

Casey Jannsen is the Jays’ closer, and he’s a pretty good one. Yet his first full year as a closer was last year, following Serge’s season-ending injury, and he was recently suffering from some shoulder issues during spring training. Santos looked sharp this spring, and could revert back to his 2011 form.

Kyuji Fujikawa ($2,200 FanDuel price)

Carlos Marmol is incorrigible. Fuji is good. Next.

Ryan Cook/Sean Doolittle

Grant Balfour is the closer, but he seems to get injured some, and Doolittle is a crafty little lefty and Cook proved to be pretty good (better in the 1st half…seemed to tire down the stretch…pitches lacked a bit of crispness).

Jim Henderson ($3,400 FanDuel price)

No, not Jim Henson. Jim Henderson. I still think Axford will be the closer for the year, but he’s struggled some last year, and it carried over on Opening Day, He has a lively arm, but if he keeps struggling (rather, choking…and hard) Henderson might be given a shot to close.

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