The Closer Report » Addison Reed, Andrew Cashner, Boston Red Sox, Brett Myers, Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Danger Zone, Glen Perkins, Houston Astros, Joel Peralta, Kenley Jansen, Kyle Farnsworth, LA Dodgers, Mark Melancon, Matt Capps, Matt Lindstrom, Matt Thornton, Minnesota Twins, Sizzling Setup Reports, Tampa Bay Rays, Vinny Pestano, Wilton Lopez » Pitchers Who Could Be Closing By September. Part 2
Here is part 2 of my report on pitchers who could be closers by September. Every season closers come and go and it frustrates the heck out of fantasy managers. The list I compiled below are the leading candidates that likely won’t open the season as the closer for his perspective team, but could end the season the closer. These pitchers will get the job either from the current closer getting injured or the manager just losing faith in his closer and wanting a change. Either way, drafting these pitchers should not only shore up your bullpen, but give you some jackpot closers at some point in the season.
Mark Melancon, BOS – Everyone knows the history of Andrew Bailey and injury. The Red Sox acted on that problem by trading for Mark Melancon as a security blanket. There is no doubt that Melancon will see plenty of save chances this season because the Red Sox will be careful with Bailey. Even with that said, Bailey could get shelved at some point and by September the job could belong to Melancon. The former Yankee draft pick is a closer in waiting with a track record. Last year he saved 20 games for the Astros in limited closer action and posted a 2.78 ERA. He brings to the table a great cutter and change-up that will keep hitters guessing. When Melancon is on, he is unhittable. Draft him and don’t wait too long to get him.
Matt Lindstrom, BAL – Did we all forget Lindstrom’s closing days inFlorida? Since joining theRockies, Lindstrom has changed as a pitcher (both mechanics and mentally) and now for the Orioles he has his eye on the closer job. Lindstrom will be competing with Jim Johnson and Kevin Gregg for the job. I don’t think that Lindstrom will win the job out of spring training, but by later in the year he could become the closer for the Orioles and for a few years to come.
Glen Perkins, MIN – When Matt Capps is your closer, anyone behind him is an instant closer candidate. In 2011, Perkins put up fantastic numbers for the Twins in a setup role with a K/9 above 9.00 and an ERA at 2.48. With a 95 MPH fastball, slider, and change-up as an out pitch, Perkins is a perfect candidate to take the Twins closer job should Matt Capps fail. More like, when Matt Capps fails. I would draft Perkins above Capps and leave Capps to the sharks.
Joel Peralta, TAM – Kyle Farnsworth is the closer for the Rays, but there are a lot of people in the baseball world who feel the better closer is Joel Peralta. Peralta had a fantastic, but quiet 2011 season pitching in the setup role for the Rays. He even closed out some games, notching six saves. In 67.2 innings of work for the Rays, Peralta struck out 61 batters and put up a 2.93 ERA. He brings a weird pitch selection to the table for a closer with a 92 MPH fastball, curveball, slider, and splitter. He’s the type of pitcher that will keep hitters honest and off-balance. If Farnsworth has any health issues or falls back into the inconsistency of his past, expect Peralta to step into the closer job and never look back.
Kenley Jansen, LAD – Jansen is your classic meat-eating flame throwing closer. He would be THAT closer for the Dodgers right now if it wasn’t for his fluttering heart beat that has the team and doctors worried. When healthy, he is as dominating as a closer can be with minor bouts of inconsistency. He utilizes a 95 MPH fastball, a nasty slider, and a great out pitch with his change-up. Jansen could win the job outright in spring training, but if he doesn’t, I expect him to have the job at some point in the season. Draft hype has Jansen going before Javy Guerra. I cannot disagree with that.
Andrew Cashner, SD – Cashner is setting up to be the setup man for veteran closerHuston Street inSan Diego, but his role could be bigger than that. Acquired in the trade with the Cubs, Cashner is a future closer with a killer fastball that runs in on hitters upwards of 97 MPH and a disappearing slider. He was derailed last season with an arm injury after only 10.2 innings of work. While he hasn’t impressed us much with his work in the majors yet, Cashner is the real deal. Expect him to apply some pressure onHuston Street for that closer role and to thrive atPETCOPark. With the history of arm problems thatHuston Street has, I’d handcuff Street and Cashner.
Wilton Lopez, HOU – Lopez has been on the radar of many in the industry as a future closer. Last season Lopez put up strong numbers for the Astros; 2.79 ERA, 56K, and a BB/9 of only 2.28. With Brett Myers getting the chance at closing to open the season, Lopez has been placed on alert. At any point in the season Myers can fail or get hurt. That will open the door for Lopez. I wouldn’t get to excited about him. First off, he is on the Astros. He has a 93 MPH fastball, a great slider, and a nasty change-up. When he is on, he’s lights out. Let’s just hope he is always on!
Vinny Pestano, CLE – Pestano is the future closer for the Indians. The Indians only have a one year contract with Chris Perez and it is likely that he will become a free agent by next season. That being said, look for Pestano to get plenty of chances to close this year and if the Indians aren’t competing and Perez isn’t pitching well, look for them to make the change. It’s possible Perez could be moved by the trade deadline. Pestano posted a 2.32 ERA last season and struck out 84 in 62 innings. He has great command of all his pitches, which includes a 94 MPH fastball, a sneaky cutter, and a lights out slider. Pestano is the real deal.
Addison Reed, CWS – Reed has a lot of hype surrounding him being the possible closer for the White Sox. While it’s possible, it’s also a bit crazy. He spent 2011 rising through the farm system of the White Sox and now he is poised to win a spot in the bullpen. The former 3rd pick brings an arsenal of pitches to the table, which includes a fastball that tops out at 96 MPH, a slider, and a 84 MPH change-up. My concern with Reed and likely Robin Ventura’s concern is his lack of experience. The formerSan DiegoState standout has only 21 innings worked in AAA and no innings in the majors. That being said, If Matt Thornton can’t get the ball rolling in the bullpen, at some point the White Sox could turn to Reed. Though, Crain would be the next logical guy.
Filed under: Addison Reed, Andrew Cashner, Boston Red Sox, Brett Myers, Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Danger Zone, Glen Perkins, Houston Astros, Joel Peralta, Kenley Jansen, Kyle Farnsworth, LA Dodgers, Mark Melancon, Matt Capps, Matt Lindstrom, Matt Thornton, Minnesota Twins, Sizzling Setup Reports, Tampa Bay Rays, Vinny Pestano, Wilton Lopez · Tags: Addison Reed, Andrew Cashner, Glen Perkins, Matt Lindstrom, Vinny Pestano, Wilton Lopez