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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Houston Astros Name Luke Gregerson Closer

Luke Gregerson - BeGreen90 Flickr
The MLB closer carousel has begun, starting with the Houston Astros naming Luke Gregerson their closer, over Chad Qualls and Pat Neshek. All three pitchers had nice spring training stats and the Astros will be tough to beat with a lead late in games.


The Los Angeles Dodgers will be a closer by committee, with duties shared between Joel Peralta, Chris Hatcher and Sergio Santos, until Kenley Jansen returns from injury.  

The Tampa Bay Rays will also feature a closer by committee, with Brad Boxberger, Grant Balfour and Kevin Jepsen.  Boxberger, who had a ridiculous 14.5 K/9 in 2014 over 64.2 innings pitched. will see a majority of the opportunities, while Jake McGee rehabs an elbow injury.

The Boston Red Sox could be without Koji Uehara to start the season, so Edward Mujica could pick up some early season saves.

Read Closer Monkey at least once a week for updates on who is closing in the MLB

The Oakland Athletics will feature Tyler Clippard as their closer in 2015, after sending Ryan Cook down to the minors and waiting for Sean Doolittle to return from injury.

The Colorado Rockies have a 42 year old closer in LaTroy Hawkins, yet won't hand the gig to Adam Ottavino.  If the Rockies managed just 24 saves again in 2015, expect a 50/50 split.

The Toronto Blue Jays will give Brett Cecil a chance to be their closer, but expect a rotating door there with Aaron Loup and Steve Delabar.

Risk and Reward - Shell Houston Open

Changing careers is hard work. If you've never done it, its something akin to assembling a model airplane with a blindfold - all the pieces are there, but putting them together just seems to come out wrong. Don't worry, I haven't quit my day job for the sweet, sunny shores of full-time fantasy golf writing (though one can dream). That fortunate for you folks, since the Surgeon General just issued a statement warning that reading too many of my articles could be harmful to your brain cells. Of course, that could be the beer or wine or those times your parents dropped you on your head. What does the Surgeon General know anyway, its not like he's been a doctor longer than I've been alive.

On any note, well, two specific ones. Henrik Stenson, Jimmy Walker and John Peterson are scratches this week. Both still appear on some of the fantasy sites out there so take this as fair warning that they will not be playing. Outside of that, there is potential for rain this week with winds of 12 to 15mph expected. Unlike last week, winds are forecast lower in the mornings and faster in the afternoons. While 40mph gusts like those at the Valero last week aren't expected, it should still be a consideration.

My Power Rankings draw on statistics only, while Risk and Reward draws more on gut feel and intuition about players who missed my Top 15. In this column, you'll find "Lay-Up", "Going For It", and "Hazard". Look for more subjective analysis here, as opposed to the Power Rankings, where I rely strictly on data. Lay-Up may contain players who, barring a Great Flood, will bank you some points. Going For It is where I'll have players that may have missed the Power Rankings or who I feel present an excellent opportunity to pick up a win, but carry some considerable risk. Lastly, Hazards, where I often find myself on any given Sunday, should be avoided.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nationals Anthony Rendon to Start Season on DL

The Washington Nationals are off to a bad start, and the MLB season has not even seen its first pitch thrown yet!  They will already be without two of their starting outfielders, in Jayson Werth and Denard Span and now Anthony Rendon will start the season on the DL and won't return until at least May!  Rendon has been battling a knee injury, that Dr. James Andrews confirmed is a sprained MCL.  For now Danny Espinosa/Ian Stewart will man the hot corner while Ryan Zimmerman adjusts to playing first base.

Fantasy Baseball Second Base Rankings
Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

Rendon was drafted in the 2nd round of nearly all fantasy baseball drafts and even missing a month of action, will probably hold his value.  Obviously those who drafted Robinson Cano or Jose Altuve are relieved they went the route they did.  Rendon saw just 9 ABs during Spring Training.

It is safe to assume you did not draft Rendon to play Third Base right? RIGHT?!

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