Who Assumes The Reds Closer Role?
After Aroldis Chapman’s horrible injury yesterday, thousands of fantasy baseball owners woke up this morning in search of the temporary Reds closer. It’s an iffy proposition considering the Reds bullpen boasts a former closer in Jonathan Broxton (111 saves) and two pitchers, Alfredo Simon and Sean Marshall, who have also flirted with the role.
As an Aroldis Chapman owner (and Salvador Perez for that matter), I’ll be avoiding the usual suspects for Reds Closer and targeting a pitcher once considered to have elite starter potential before flaming out with the Milwaukee Brewers. That reliever is Manny Parra.
Parra has always been known for quality swing-and-miss stuff, but iffy command of his entire arsenal. Now 31, maturity led to consistency in 2013 as he posted 10.96 K/9 against 2.96 BB/9. It marked the first time Parra has ever posted walk rates below four per nine innings. The result was a 2.79 xFIP in 46 innings of work.
This spring, Broxton and Marshall have combined for one spring training appearance. Alfred Simon has worked exclusively as a starter, although he’s unlikely to crack the rotation. After a strong 2013, J.J. Hoover seems like an obvious candidate for Reds Closer, but he holds a 1/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio this spring.
Manny Parra As Reds Closer
Meanwhile, Manny Parra continues to dominate. In six innings, he’s posted an 8/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio including a save. While a member of the Brewers organization, an employee of the organization would frequently discuss Parra’s breakout potential if the command ever clicked. The Manny Parra of today is the pitcher he described. Parra seizing the opportunity as Reds Closer not only helps the team today, but stands to earn the left-handed pitcher millions in future earnings.
The fact Manny Parra has a sketchy track record and Brewers message boards refer to him as a “head case” is all the more reason to strike while his value is down. If Parra can be added for a dollar or two in FAAB auctions, do it! The peripherals alone will make him worth owning even if another reliever assumes the role of Reds closer.
20 Mar 2014 / Mike Newman /
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