Today’s Roto Riteup consists of nothing but closer news.
• If you haven’t yet heard the news or read Dave Cameron’s post from last night, Mariano Rivera tore the ACL in his right knee while shagging fly balls in batting practice. Dave notes several candidates to continue to close, so I refer you over there for his insight. My two cents is that Rafael Soriano and then Dave Robertson get the first cracks at any save opportunities. Given the nature of the injury, it is safe to drop Rivera and replace him with either one of those guys, but I’d recommend going with Soriano first.
• Heath Bell was unavailable for last night’s game. Assuming that this unavailability was due to Bell pitching for three straight days and not a sign of a major change, then this isn’t a big deal. However, given Bell’s poor season to date (three blown saves, an ERA that almost touches 12.00 and almost twice as many walks as strike outs) it is prudent to take notice of any bullpen news in Miami. Rather than go with Steve Cishek as I predicted, Ozzie Guillen chose to go with Edward Mujica instead. Mujica managed to pitch around the lone base runner he allowed in his sole frame and got the save. With Guillen apparently trusting Mujica more than he trusts Cishek, I would pick up Mujicia in any league that he is available in.
• Filed under “Things That Probably Shouldn’t Surprise You At All”, Chicago Cubs manager Sale Sveum is rightfully upset over Carlos Marmol‘s struggles thus far. Of course Marmol has never been shy to surrender a walk, but his current BB/9 of 9.35 shames his poor career BB/9 of 5.94. To put his current control issues in perspective: if you took away every hit that Marmol has allowed this year, his WHIP would still above 1.00. Now, there was an Ian Stewart error in the 9th inning of last night’s game, but Marmol still failed to get a single batter out of the five that he faced. Despite the desire to rearrange his bullpen, Sveum doesn’t have very many tools to do so. The Cub that currently has the most holds this year is Rafael Dolis, he of the 2.35 career K/9 and 5.1% SwStr% career numbers. Small sample size aside, Dolis does not possess the stereotypical closer “stuff.” The most reasonable solution to me is to go with Shawn Camp in the short term and hope that Marmol can get his walks back down from the stratosphere.
• As Zach noted on the April 30th edition of Roto Riteup, Jordan Walden has lost his closing title and was replaced by Scott Downs. Now it appears as though newly acquired Ernesto Frieri could also work his way into the closing discussion. Taken at this year’s face value (with no park or league adjustment), Frieri instantly becomes the best reliever on the Angels. Furthermore, Frieri’s career strikeout rate of 11.38 combined with his low ERA and FIP, 2.33 and 3.20 respectively, lead me to believe that he could step in and close immediately. Downs hasn’t been officially relieved of closing duties just yet, but if you have a deep bench, Frieri is a strong candidate to gain some cheap saves.
For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here are a couple matchups you may be able to exploit.
A Pitcher for Today: Anthony Bass (SD) vs MIA
Bass possess a 28.7% K% as a starter. That strikeout rate mixed with a home start in Petco make Bass an easy stream option for me.
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Patrick Corbin (ARI) at NYM
Corbin whiffed six batters in his first career start and now goes against the Mets; the team with a K% of 22.0%, the highest in MLB.
A Hitter for Today: The Entire Braves Lineup at COL
The Braves will be facing Guillermo Moscoso, a man with 27.1% GB rate. He is an extreme fly ball pitcher who happens to call Coors Field home. I’m expecting a big day for the Braves offense that is in the top half of HR/FB rate and in the top third of FB%.