Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Draft a few closers; it helps

Drafting closers is often a great debate.  Do you draft them early? Not usually. Do you draft more then three of them? Not usually.  Do you need the top closers in the game on your team?  Not usually.  The debate is on when to draft one and how many to draft.  Having a closer like Mariano Rivera helps.  He will give you a boost in the ERA and WHIP category as well.  When should you draft him though?  Most people will wait for someone else to start the round when the closers start to go.  I compare the theory to when people start to pick kickers in the football pools, only the closers will go in rounds 8 or 9, in most cases, not in the final rounds like the kickers.  Once Rivera goes, so will Papelbon, Broxton and maybe Bailey or Soria.  After these closers, it's any one's guess when the rest go.  Take 3 closers, many books tell you to wait for injuries throughout the season to pick one up, but having 3 solid closers gives you an edge on the other managers, because you won't be in panic mode if they stay healthy and you can use your waiver picks on other needs.

Here is a projection on who will be closing and how many saves they may have:

NYY: Rivera (45)
BOS: Papelbon (44)
LAD: Broxton (44)
KC: Soria (42)
NYM: Rodriguez (40)
SF: Wilson (40)
CHC: Marmol (35); backup Grabow

OAK: Bailey (35)
SD: Bell (34)
CIN: Cordero (34)
TB: Soriano (33)
DET: Valverde (33)
COL: Street (25) might be out for a while; backup Morales
CHW: Jenks (25) injured calf might keep him out; backup Thornton

MIL: Hoffman (25)

SEA: Aardsma (32)
LAA: Fuentes (32)
ATL: Wagner (30)
TEX: Francisco (30); backup Feliz or Wilson
STL: Franklin (30)
BAL: Gonzalez (25); backup Johnson
CLE: Wood (25); if he returns from back injury; backup Perez
ARI: Qualls (24)
PIT: Dotel (24); people have noticed he's back on track
FLA: Nunez (32)
WAS: Capps (25); backup Storen or Bruney

PHI: Lidge (28); backup Madson; Lidge to start on DL
HOU: Lyon (28); backup Lindstrom; Lyon has pitched in only 2 games this spring
TOR: Gregg (23); backup Downs or Frasor; may be decided soon who closes
MIN: Rauch (23); backup Guerrier or Liriano; loss of Nathan huge!


  1. Nice set of projections.

    I personally bypass drafting closers like Rivera (ERA + WHIP machines) and lean towards K's. A stud closer pitching 70 innings isn't going to make a huge dent in my WHIP and ERA cats. On the other hand a beast like Broxton striking out 114 in only 76 IP can really add to the overall K total.

  2. Great theory and tips chief.