From 91 wins in 2013 to 12 games under .500, it has been a terrible first half for the Texas Rangers. Riddled by injuries, the former AL West powerhouse will be sellers at the trade deadline. A new Texas Rangers closer will emerge as teams inquire about position players and current fireman Joakim Soria. With the All Star break approaching, ROTOscouting will continue to forecast future MLB closers around the league before deals go down.
The Padres are headed for another ugly season, highlighted by the recent firing of GM Josh Byrnes. They currently sit 12 games back of the Giants, have one of the worst run differentials in the league (-58), and no way of making the playoffs. The Friars will be sellers at the trade deadline, so who will be the next San Diego Padres closer?
Last week, the spotlight was on the Dodgers bullpen blowing chances to catch the Giants. Since then, however, the NL West leaders have lost eight of ten. While Los Angeles has pulled within four games, Sergio Romo, the SF Giants closer, has exploded for seven earned runs and eight hits in his last three outings. The Giants’ bullpen has been excellent this season, but the closer situation is deteriorating. It’s time to consider replacements for the pending free agent?
At 7.5 games out of first place and a 13-19 home record, the Dodgers are playing bridesmaid to the Giants in the NL West. With the league’s highest payroll, expectations couldn’t be higher this season. However the Dodgers’ bullpen has not lived up to the hype, nor justified their $33 million in combined salary. With closer Kenley Jansen throwing harder than ever, is there reason for concern given his short arm action from catching many years? Fantasy baseball owners have to identify future closers before injuries occur, which is why ROTOscouting continues to unearth treasures from MLB bullpens.
Detroit has a tenuous hold on 1st place in the AL Central entering the summer months. Among first place teams, they have the second worst run differential, worst home record and the entire division is well within striking distance (the last place Twins are five games out as of June 8). The Tigers’ bullpen has not done them any favors thus far and a shake up is imminent to make a deep run in the playoffs. ROTOscouting has been a man among boys in discovering future closers this season, and Detroit’s situation presents buy-low opportunities for fantasy baseball owners.
What a difference a year makes. From World Series Champions in 2013 to 4th place in the AL East, Boston is a team struggling to find traction in a wide open division. However the Red Sox bullpen has been a model of consistency, posting a 5.8 WAR in 2013 (3rd overall) and 3.1 WAR in 2014 (1st overall). Koji Uehara has been a dominant force in the ninth, but as he enters the final year of his contract (at age 39), the clock is ticking for him in Boston.
Cubs closers are not hot commodities in fantasy baseball leagues at the moment. Sometimes, managers need to dig deep to find future stoppers — even on teams with only seven save chances. ROTOscouting crowned Dellin Betances as the future closer in the Bronx in March and the fantasy community is finally beginning to catch on. Likewise we touted Jeurys Familia on March 31 and everyone else followed six weeks later. In last week’s MLB stock watch it was Jason Motte, and he’s already started out strong in his 2014 debut. This week features an incumbent on shaky ground and his possible replacements who have the pedigree and stuff to take over ninth inning duties.
Insofar as the Mets’ bullpen is concerned the only press coming into this season was whether or not Vic Black could usurp Bobby Parnell to become the next Amazin’ closer. However after just a few weeks of spring training games, Black has been demoted and there is another young fireballer–Jeurys Familia–Mets fans should become acquainted with.
For years the New York Yankees have had the unfair distinct advantage of marching Mariano Rivera out in the 9th to close out games. However, after the all-time leader in saves decided to retire after the 2013 season, leaving green-as-grass David Robertson to fill the void. However the Yankees might consider the 6’8″, 260 lb. Dellin Betances’ closer experiment to fill the large shoes left by big Mo’ should Robertson falter.
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