Randy Choate The Closer??….

Isn’t baseball a great game? Every game there is the possibility you can be amazed by something. Well, I was amazed at what happened in Tampa yesterday. No, I was not amazed by David Price’s performance (5.2 IP, 11 K’s). Nor was I amazed by how poorly the Twins’ Francisco Liriano continues to pitch. I am amazed that Randy Choate is getting saves for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Is this what it has come to for the Rays? Randy Choate being a viable closer option? Why don’t they bring back Estaban Yan and Jesus Colome while they are at it? And it’s not like Choate is coming into a 10-2 game and pitching three garbage innings to get the save. He came into the game today with runners on 1st and 3rd with one out in a four run game. It was a legit save opportunity. Choate got out of the jam with little damage to preserve the Rays’ 5-2 win. Choate is now tied for second with Joe Nelson for saves with two on the Rays and has a 3.00 ERA. What is this world coming to??

Choate spent four years with the Yankees from 2000-2003 and had 4.43 ERA and no saves. He also spent four years with the Diamondbacks from 2004-2007 and had a 4.89 ERA with no saves. Where was Choate in 2008? He was in the Brewers’ minor league system and had a 0-4 record with 5.08 ERA for Triple A Nashville. Now he has two saves for a team trying to compete for a division title. Baseball is an amazing game, isn’t it?

For fantasy purposes, no Tampa reliever has any value. Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour, Joe Nelson, JP Howell and yes, Randy Choate don’t get consistent save opportunities to warrant a pick up. I would stay stay away from all of these guys until one of them establishes themselves as the full-time closer. With Joe Madden as the manager, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

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