Posts Tagged ‘Joakim Soria’

Recapping The Rule 5 Draft

December 11, 2009

Today, Major League Baseball held its annual Rule 5 Draft. The Rule 5 Draft takes place around this time every year at the Baseball Winter Meetings.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Rule 5 Draft, here is a great overview courtesy of Baseball America’s Alan Schwarz:

“Major league teams must protect players on their 40-man rosters within three or four years of their original signing. Those left unprotected are available to other teams as Rule 5 picks.

“Players who were 18 or younger on June 5 preceding the signing of their first contract must be protected after four minor league seasons. Players 19 and older must be protected after three seasons.

“But here’s the kicker: To prevent teams from drafting players willy-nilly, each Rule 5 pick must be kept in the major leagues the entire following season or be offered back to his former team for half of the $50,000 selection price. Few players are ready for such a jump, so only about 10-15 get picked each year. Fewer still last the whole season in the big leagues.

Now you might be thinking why would I care about a draft were the players aren’t good enough to make a team’s 40-man roster? Well, you should care because some of the best players in the game today were taken in the Rule 5 Draft.

Santana was a Rule 5 Draft pick

Johan Santana, Joakim Soria, Shane Victorino, Josh Hamilton, and Dan Uggla are all current players who were taken in the Rule 5 Draft. Past players who were taken include All Stars George Bell, Kelly Gruber, Bobby Bonilla, and Roberto Clemente.

So as you can see, a team can definitely find a diamond in the rough in this draft.

Here is a recap of the major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft:

1. Washington Nationals: Jamie Hoffmann, OF. Drafted from Los Angeles Dodgers

2. Pittsburgh Pirates: John Raynor, OF. Drafted from Florida Marlins

3. Baltimore Orioles: Benjamin Snyder, LHP. Drafted from San Francisco Giants

4. Kansas City Royals: Edgar Osuna, LHP. Drafted from Atlanta Braves

5. Cleveland Indians: Hector Ambriz, RHP. Drafted from Arizona Diamondbacks

6. Arizona Diamondbacks: Zachery Kroenke, LHP. Drafted from New York Yankees

7. New York Mets: Carlos Monasterios, RHP. Drafted from Philadelphia Phillies

8. Houston Astros: Jorge Jimenez, 3B. Drafted from Boston Red Sox

9. Oakland A’s: Robert Cassevah, RHP. Drafted from Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

10. Toronto Blue Jays: Zechry Zinicola, RHP. Drafted from Washington Nationals

11. Milwaukee Brewers: Chuck Lofgren, LHP. Drafted from Cleveland Indians

12. Chicago Cubs: Michael Parisi, RHP. Drafted from St. Louis Cardinals

13. Tampa Bay Rays: Armando Zerpa, LHP. Drafted from Boston Red Sox

14. Seattle Mariners: Kenekoa Texeira, RHP. Drafted from New York Yankees

15. San Francisco Giants: Steven Johnson, RHP. Drafted from Baltimore Orioles

16. St. Louis Cardinals: Ben Jukich, LHP. Drafted from Cincinnati Reds

17. Philadelphia Phillies: David Herndon, RHP. Drafted from Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

A couple of notes about this draft:

– Not every team had a pick because not every team had an open spot on the 40-man roster.

– The Red Sox, Yankees, and Angels had the most players taken with two each.

– The Rule 5 Draft is usually pitching centric and this year was no different. Out of the 17 picks, 14 were pitchers.

– Jamie Hoffmann was traded by the Nationals to the Yankees to complete the Brian Bruney trade.

– Benjamin Snyder was traded by the Orioles to the Rangers to complete the Kevin Millwood trade.

– Jorge Jimenez was traded by the Astros to the Marlins to complete the Matt Lindstrom trade.

– You can find the Triple-A and Double-A phase of the draft here.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Fantasy Week In Revew, Sept. 7 – 13

September 14, 2009

As hard as it may be to believe, there’s still fantasy baseball to be played. With fantasy football now in full swing, many people are forgetting that the fantasy baseball playoffs are in full swing.

Not me.

As always, here are the fantasy studs and the players who could kill your fantasy baseball hopes for the week of September 7th-13th.

Fantasy Studs

Billy Butler – .419/2/12 with one SB. It seems like Butler has been around forever, but he is only 23 years old. He could be in-line for a massive breakout season in 2010.

Russell Martin – .286/2/9/.385. It’s good to see Martin make a celebrity guest appearance in the fantasy stud column.

Juan Uribe – .409/3/7. Uribe has been red hot for the San Francisco Giants. Unfortunately, the rest of the Giants’ offense hasn’t followed suit.

Raul Ibanez – .333/4/7. Ibanez hasn’t been the same since coming back from a groin injury a couple of months ago. Hopefully for the Philadelphia Phillies Ibanez is getting hot at the right time.

Javier Vazquez – 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 17 K’s in 16 IP. Has anyone noticed the year Vazquez is having? If the Atlanta Braves gave him any run support, he would be right up there in the Cy Young race.

Pedro Martinez – 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 11 K’s in 14.2 IP. The good news — Pedro pitched eight shutout innings against the New York Mets. The bad news — it took him 130 pitches to do it.

Not sure how smart that was by Charlie Manuel leaving him in there for that long.

Jason Frasor – Four saves with a 0.00 ERA and three K’s in 3.1 IP. Frasor is making the case to be the Toronto Blue Jays closer in 2010.

Joakim Soria – Four saves with a 0.00 ERA and eight K’s in 3.2 IP. Soria has had a down year by his standards. A trip to the DL this year really hurt Soria.

Reasons for Concern

Alfonso Soriano – Soriano will miss the remainder of the season because of knee surgery. It’s been a pretty awful season for Soriano and for owners who depended on him.

I for one, have never been a fan of Soriano. Soriano will be 34 next year and I expect his production to be on a steady decline from here on out.

Brad Lidge – The Phillies officially removed Lidge from his closers duties. The plan is to have Lidge pitch in “low-stress” situations until he gets himself right.

Lidge has had six months to get himself right and if it hasn’t happened by now, I don’t think it will happen this year.

Tim Lincecum – Lincecum missed his last start because of back pain. His missed start caused a lot of fantasy owners first-round heartbreak.

The good news is that if you made it past the first round and have Lincecum on your team, he is expected to start tonight against the Colorado Rockies.

Jordan Zimmermann To Have Tommy John Surgery…

August 11, 2009

The Washington Nationals just can’t catch a break. According to the Washington Post, Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann will have season ending ligament replacement surgery – otherwise known as Tommy John surgery.

Not only will Zimmermann miss the rest of the 2009 season, but he might miss all of the 2010 season as well. Based on pitchers in the past who have had Tommy John surgery, it usually takes a pitcher a year and a half to fully recover from the procedure.

This is a huge blow to the Nationals.

Zimmermann, who is only 23-years-old was supposed to be one of the cornerstones of the Nationals’ starting rotation along with John Lannan and hopefully Stephen Strasburg.

Zimmermann should be ready to go in 2011

Zimmermann should be ready to go in 2011

Zimmermann was 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA on season, but showed great promise and had 92 K’s in 91.1 IP.

If there is anything positive to take out of this, it is that with the advancements in this procedure, Zimmermann should be able to not only pitch again, but make a full recovery. When Zimmermann returns at the age of 25, he will have his whole career in front of him.

If Zimmermann wants to feel better about things all he needs to do is place a phone call to Joakim Soria, Kerry Wood, Josh Johnson, Chris Carpenter, Erik Bedard, or AJ Burnett. They are just some of the many pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery and have gone on to have successful major-league careers.

The WBC And The Affects On Pitching Part 2..

May 18, 2009

Back in January, I wrote a post title “The World Baseball Classic And The Affects On Starting Pitching.” I wrote the post to show that most pitchers who pitched in the WBC in 2006 had a worse era that season than they did in 2005. Now that we are over 30 games into the season and the WBC is well behind us, I think is now a good time to see how some of the WBC pitchers are fairing this season.

Cueto is off to a good start

Cueto is off to a good start

Pitcher-Record-ERA

Jose Arredono – 1-0 5.51 era

Johnny Cueto – 4-1 1.93 era

Felix Hernandez – 4-2 3.53 era

Ubaldo Jimenez – 3-4 4.73 era

Rafael Perez – 0-1 15.19 era. Optioned to Triple A in May.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – 0-1 12.79 era. On the DL since April with Shoulder Fatigue.

Ian Snell – 1-5 4.93 era

Roy Oswalt – 1-2 4.50 era

Ted Lilly – 5-2 3.27 era

Jonathon Sanchez – 1-3 5.06 era

Jake Peavy – 2-5 4.30 era

Jeremy Guthrie – 3-3 5.21 era

Scot Shields – 1-3 7.90 era

JJ Putz – 1-2 3.86. Is currently pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow.

Joakim Soria – 1-0 2.08 era and 7/7 in saves. Currently on the 15 Day DL because of a sore shoulder. Royals GM, Dayton Moore wonders if the WBC led to Soria’s issue.  “I don’t think it helps,” Moore told the Kansas City Star. “We couldn’t control his work. If you can’t control a pitcher’s workload and you can’t script their preparation during spring training, it’s a problem.”

JP Howell – 0-2 2.81 era

Joel Hanrahan – 0-1 5.51 era and 3/6 in saves

Jonathon Broxton – 4-0 1.50 era and 9/11 in saves

Matt Lindstrom – 1-1 5.40 era and 7/9 in saves

Heath Bell – 1-0 0.00 era and 9/9 in saves

LaTroy Hawkins – 1-1 2.70 era and 5/7 in saves

Brad Ziegler – 0-0 3.86 era 4/5 in saves

Perez is having a terrible 2009

Perez is having a terrible 2009

John Grabow – 1-0 5.29 era

Oliver Perez – 1-2 9.97 era. Placed on the 15 Day DL because of a knee injury. In reality it was because he is terrible.

So that is 24 pitchers with a combined 37-41 record on a 5.08 era. Now can all these poor starts be solely attributed to the WBC? Absolutely not. That wouldn’t be fair saying that was the case. However, I do believe there is some connection between these poor starts and pitching in the WBC. Out of those 24 pitchers, it seems only Johnny Cueto, Heath Bell and Jonathon Broxton have pitched in the WBC and have pitched exceptionally well in 2009.

There is no evidence to suggest that the WBC is going away any time soon.  So when the next WBC comes around and if you see a pitcher on your favorite team on the roster, don’t expect a good year out of him.

*Please note all stats were calculated prior to Sunday’s games.

Fantasy Week In Review 5/4-5/10….

May 11, 2009

Good afternoon everyone!!! Hope everyone had a great weekend and again a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. It was a crazy week last week in fantasy baseball, with the Manny Ramirez suspension stealing most of the headlines. But there were other players last week who were worthy of headlines, either good or bad. Let’s take a look….

Fantasy Studs

Ryan Zimmerman – .469/1/6. Zimmerman currently has a 28 game hitting streak going and hasn’t been going 1-4 in the process either. Zimmerman in this streak has been tearing the cover off the baseball.

Damon has carried the Yankees

Damon has carried the Yankees

Johnny Damon – .419/5/15. If it weren’t for Damon, the Yankees would be 7 games under .500.

Jason Bay – .379/4/14. Bay is quickly becoming one of the most clutch players in the American League.

Adam Dunn – .345/4/10. Dunn impressed me with his play during the WBC and is making the most of a terrible situation in D.C.

Ryan Braun – .458/3/12. Is there ever a time when Braun doesn’t come through in the clutch?

Joe Saunders – 2-0 with a 1.15 era and 13 K’s in 15.2 IP. Saunders’ CGSO against Zack Greinke was one of the better pitching performances I have seen in quite a while.

Eric Stults – 2-0 with a 1.23 era and 1 CGSO. Stults is still available in most leagues and since he plays on a good Dodger team, he should be picked up. He could be a good source of wins.

Rick Porcello – 2-0 with a 0.75 era and 8 K’s in 12 IP. Porcello is growing up rather quickly in Detroit.

Maybin will be running in AAA

Maybin will be running in AAA

Reasons for Concern

Cameron Maybin – .202/1/3 in 84 AB’s this season. My pick for ROY was sent down to the minors today. I don’t agree with this move but apparently the Marlins feel he needs to improve things in Triple A.

Jimmy Rollins – .182/0/2. It’s really starting to look like his 2007 MVP season was the fluke, not his 2008 season.

Lance Berkman – .184/7/16 in 103 AB’s this season. The HR’s and RBI are there but the .184 avg for Berkman this late in the season is concerning. Berkman now has a bad wrist which has heightened his slow start.

Jon Lester – 1-1 with a 8.74 era and 16 H, 16 K’s in 11.1 IP. The Red Sox really rode Lester hard towards the end of last year. It looks early on that all those innings last year have caught up to Lester this year. He is clearly not as sharp so far as he was at this time last year. The 16 hits and 16 K’s in 11.1 IP shows the inconsistency of his pitches this year.

Matt Capps – 0-1 with a 36.00 era. I can get over the 1 bad appearance last week but his elbow has been acting up which is concerning. Capps threw a successful bullpen session on Sunday but with an elbow injury, you just never know.

Injury News

Joakim Soria – Placed on the 15 Day DL with a sore right shoulder. This has been going on now for a while with Soria, so it is no surprise he landed on the DL. I am very concerned with this injury because it’s a strain in the rotator cuff and that could lead to something more serious. Juan Cruz will replace Soria as the Royals’ closer.

Aramis Ramirez – Placed on the 15 Day DL with a seperated right shoulder. Ramirez will be most likely 8 weeks with this injury. That is a devastating blow not only to your fantasy team, but more importantly the Cubs. Ramirez’s replacement will be Aaron Miles so don’t get too excited. If you are the Cubs right now, how much do you miss Mark DeRosa?

Brian McCann – McCann was activated from the DL on Friday and has gone 5-11 with 1 HR and 4 RBI since returning. He should be in your lineup everyday. He also sports now Ron Kittle like glasses which are fun for everyone.

You Can Never Have Too Much Depth….

April 29, 2009

In my super competitive fantasy league I thought I had the ultimate bullpen. I had drafted Joakim Soria, Jose Valverde and Joel Hanrahan. Then I picked up Jason Motte because he was getting the majority of saves in spring training and he could be used as trade bait during the season. I was figuring with these 4 closers I would have somewhere in the neighborhood of 125-130 saves. I also figured that this was one area of my team that I would not have to worry about throughout the season. Boy was I wrong.

My fantasy closer. Oy Vey

My fantasy closer. Oy Vey

Motte lost his closer’s role seemingly on Opening Day, Hanrahan has a 8.64 era, Soria has a shoulder injury and has pitched once in the last 2 weeks and now Jose Valverde just landed on the DL because of a strained calf. Soria worries me the most because he has a shoulder injury. You never know if that is the start of something more serious down the road.

So what I thought would be a strength at the beginning of the season is now a weakness. My 2 closers are now Scott Downs and LaTroy Hawkins. Awesome!!! My point of this post is not to complain about my closer situation but to make a point that you can never have too much depth at any position on your fantasy team. What you think is a strength could turn into a weakness overnight. Injuries and poor performance can kill a fantasy team in split second.

So go out and pick up an extra OF, pick up a Phil Hughes, or pick up a Dexter Fowler. Get yourself some depth so you don’t get stuck with Scott Downs and LaTroy Hawkins as your closer.

Recapping My Fantasy Draft….

March 14, 2009

I play in 2 fantasy baseball leagues. One league is mediocre at best and my other league is about as solid as you can get. 12 teams, 12 owners who know the game and it is very competitive. I try to play in no more than 2 because after that players start to really overlap and things get confusing.

So with the completion of my solid league draft, I thought I would give a recap of my team and here what your thoughts were on how I did.

The league is a 12 team, total points, keeper league. The draft is 26 rounds (yes, it’s a long one) and you keep 5 players. When you keep a player, you lose that pick in next years draft. For example, if I decide to keep my first round pick from this year, I lose my first round pick in our 2010 draft. So we added a little strategy to the keeper format.

Here is my team with the round I picked the player and his ESPN fantasy position ranking. I had the 8th pick. And oh, one last thing. I won this league by 1/2 a point last year. Yes, a 1/2 of a point because Joe Mauer struck out (K’s = -.5 points) in the 1 game playoff against the White Sox. Sorry Odie, had to bring it up.

Catchers

Chris Iannetta – 8th round. #9 ranked C

1st Basemen

Albert Pujols – 1st round. #1 ranked 1B

2nd Basemen

Brian Roberts – 5th round. #5 ranked 2B

Shortstops

Miguel Tejeda – 13 round. #12 ranked SS

Elvis Andrus – 26th round. #16 ranked SS

3rd Basemen

Evan Longoria – 2nd round. #2 ranked 3B

I am hoping Gordon can break out

I am hoping Gordon can break out

Adrian Beltre – 17th round. #9 ranked 3B

Alex Gordon – 15th round. #13 ranked 3B

Outfielders

Nick Markakis – 4th round. #7 ranked OF

Nate McLouth – 6th round. #17 ranked OF

Jay Bruce – 9th round. #27 ranked OF

Jayson Werth – 19th round. #39 ranked OF

Rick Ankiel – 15th round. #46 ranked OF

Cameron Maybin – 21st round. #48 ranked OF

Starting Pitchers

Lackey leads my rotation

Lackey leads my rotation

John Lackey – 3rd round. #10 ranked SP

Aaron Harang – 14th round. #40 ranked SP

Clayton Kershaw – 10th round. #47 ranked SP

John Danks – 11th round. #48th ranked SP

Jeremy Guthrie – 22nd round. #60 ranked SP

Manny Parra – 18 round. 64th ranked SP

Dana Eveland – 24th round. 92nd ranked SP

Paul Maholm – 20 round. 97th ranked SP

Kyle Davies – 25th round. 118th ranked SP

Relief Pitchers

Joakim Soria – 7th round. #4 ranked RP

Jose Valverde – 12th round. #6 ranked RP

Joel Hanrahan – 23rd round. #21 ranked RP

My goal was to get at least one top-10 player at each position and I accomplished that with every position except for shortstop. I reached a little for Iannetta in the 9th round but I think I got steals with Maybin (21st round) and Jayson Werth (19th round).

Strengths – Corner IF’s, OF’s and RP’s

I think I did very well at the corner IF spots with Pujols, Longoria, Gordon and Beltre. I am hoping for a nice season out of Gordon. If I can get a .275/20/80 with 10 steals out of Gordon, he would be a steal in the 15th round.

I should be all set with the closer situation with Soria and Valervde. If one of them falters or should get injured, I drafted Hanrahan who will be closing for an improved Nationals team for insurance. Between Soria and Valverde, I am expecting 80+ saves.

My OF might be the best part of my team led by Markakis, McLouth, Bruce and Ankiel. Maybe McLouth takes a step back, but the expected solid seasons from Bruce and Ankiel should make up for it. I like Ankiel this year due to his impending free agency after the season. Boras will have him ready for the season. I was also able to nab a ROY candidate in Maybin in the 21st round. That might be a steal.

Weaknesses – Starting Rotation and Backup IF’s

I went with the Billy Beane philosophy when it comes to starting pitching… Buy in bulk and hope that one breaks through. I am really banking on the progression of Kershaw and a bounce back season from Harang. If neither of those happen, I will be in big trouble. I am also hoping that out of the Maholm, Davies, Parra and Eveland foursome, one of them have a breakout season. Davies is having a tremendous spring (0.71 era in 4 outings) so maybe that will carry over to the regular season. Fingers are crossed.

With so many starting pitchers and outfielders I fell a little short on backup infielders. My only back up middle infielder is Elvis Andrus who is a 20 year old rookie. I am going to need to address this during the season. If Roberts, Pujols or Tejeda go down at any point during the season, I could be in trouble.

So how do you think my draft went? Who did I reach for and who may be a bust?

Looking At Fantasy Closers In 2009…

January 29, 2009

I have always considered closers like kickers in the NFL. There are 5 or 6 great ones, some very good ones, some good ones and then there are ones I wouldn’t draft for my worst enemy. By using this theory, I have ranked all 30 current closers into different divisions. The guys who you should definitely take and the guys you shouldn’t.  Let’s take a look were the current crop of closers will fall in 2009.

Dennis Eckersley Division

These are your cream-of-the-crop, top closers headed into 2009. These guys are #1 closer material in any fantasy league

1. Francisco Rodriguez, Mets – Krod, who broke Bobby Thigpen’s record for saves with 62 in 2008 with the Angels will now attempt to close out games in Flushing. While many people point to Krod’s diminished strike out rate (declined every year since 04) and his rising BAA (increased every year in the majors), it’s not like Krod had 62 saves with a 4.50 era. Krod’s era was still a dominant 2.24. With the Mets offering their closers plenty of save opportunities (72 in 08), Krod figures to close 45-50 games in 09.

2. Mariano Rivera, Yankees – Many thought the 2007 was the beginning of the decline for the great Rivera because of a 3.15 era (highest since he became a reliever). 2008 proved that was anything but the case. The 39 year old had one of the best seasons of his career, netting 39 saves with a paultry 1.40 era. If all is well from off-season shoulder surgery, Rivera once again will be one of the top closers in 2009.

3. Joe Nathan, Twins – Nathan, one of the most consistent closers in baseball had another stellar year in 2008 with 39 saves anda 1.33 era. You can pretty much pencil in the Stony Brook product 35-40 saves with an era under 2.

4. Joakim Soria, Royals – “The Mexecutioner” burst onto the scene in 2009 for Royals posting 42 saves with a nice 1.60 era. The 24 year old has been practically unhittable since reaching the majors in 2007 as he has only given up 85 hits in 136.1 innings. Soria should be a top 5 fantasy closer again in 2009

5. Brad Lidge, Phillies – Lidge had a season for the ages in 2008, going a perfect 41/41 in save opportunities. While I don’t expect Lidge to be perfect again in 2009, he should once again be one of the top closers in baseball as the Phillies figure to contend in the NL East.

6. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox –The Red Sox closer set a career high in saves in 2008 with 41. Fantasy owners only concern with Papelbon would be he threw a career high 79.1 innings last year including the post season. Look to see what Papelbon does in April. If he is strong through April, then a typical Papelbon season is in order

Tom Henke Division

The next 4 are right under the great closers but will still put up solid numbers for you in 2009

7. Jose Valverde, Astros – Finished 2nd in baseball in saves with 44, high era of 3.38 but lots of K’s with 83

8. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers –With Saito off to Boston, Broxton takes over as the full-time closer in LA. 35-40 saves with 80+ K’s is more than doable in 2009

9. Francisco Cordero, Reds –With the Reds improved in 2009, Cordero might reach the 40 save mark. Something Cordero has done twice before. Unfortunately, Cordero’s usually high era will leave him out of the top 6

10. Kerry Wood, Indians – One of the better season signings in baseball, Wood gives something Cleveland hasn’t had in a very long time….A LEGIT CLOSER. There is always an injury risk when picking Wood but if healthy Wood is certainly a top 10 closer. I like 35+ saves for Wood in 2009

Jeff Montgomery Division

The perfect #2 fantasy closer. These next 5 guys are perfect #2 closers

11. Bobby Jenks, White Sox – How does a guy who throws 98 mph only strike out 5.55 guys every 9 innings? Just doesn’t make sense.

12. BJ Ryan, Blue Jays – Ryan isn’t the strike out pitcher he used to be but he still knows how to save a game. Pencil in 30+ saves again for Ryan in 2009.

13. Huston Street, Rockies –I am on the Huston Street bandwagon this year. A fresh start with the Rockies and this being an odd year, Street should have a nice bounce back year. Street, like Bret Saberhagen pitches very well in odd years

14. Brad Ziegler, A’s – Ziegler burst onto the scene last year by starting off his career with a 39 inning scoreless streak. I expect Ziegler’s era to increase from 1.06 to around the high 2 mark in 09. With the A’s very much improved expect Ziegler to register 25-30 saves

15. Brian Fuentes, Angels –I am not sold on Fuentes as most people are. He lost his closers role in 07 only to gain in back in 08. With Shields and Arredando looking over Fuentes’ shoulder it will be interestingto see how Fuentes fairs. The Angels offer a lot of opportunities for saves so 30+ saves with an era in the high 2’s is not out of the question

Armando Benitez Division

These guys can get you saves but when you need them the most they will blow a big one in September

16. Brian Wilson, Giants – 41 saves, 4.65 era in 2008

17. Trevor Hoffman, Brewers – It will be weird to see Hoffman in a Brewers uniform. At this stage of his career Hoffman will get his saves, perhaps 25-30 with an era of around 4.50

18. Matt Capps, Pirates – Good for 15-25 saves on once again a very bad Pirates team

19. Mike Gonzalez, Braves – Had 14 saves in 36 games in 2008. High era of 4.28. Injury always a concern with Gonzalez

20. George Sherrill, Orioles –1st time closer in 2008, Sherrill had 31 saves before an injury ended his season. Lots of hits and a high era is something to be wary of in 2009

Al Reyes Division

These closers are usually 8th inning set-up types that are forced into the closers role because the team has no one else. These are the guys you only draft if you desperately need to fill a closers spot

21. Brandon Lyon, Tigers

22. Dan Wheeler, Rays

23. Chad Qualls, Diamondbacks

24. Heath Bell, Padres

25. Ryan Franklin, Cardinals

26. Joel Hanrahan, Nationals

27. CJ Wilson, Rangers

28. Tyler Walker, Mariners – With the Heilman trade yesterday, it looks like Walker might get the 1st shot at the closers role. Officially the worst closer in baseball headed into 2009.

Octavio Dotel Division

These are the 2 question marks going into the season. Great as 8th inning set up guys but are now asked to close games. Big difference between the 8th and 9th innings. These guys can either be in the Tom Henke division or the Armando Benitez division

?. Carlos Marmol, Cubs – Only 3 other relievers were in more games than Marmol was in 2008. Will the over use of last year come back to bite the Cubs this year? I am not sure if Marmol has the mental make up to be a closer, especially in Wrigleyville. I will go with 33 saves, an era in the low 3’s and a lot of tums for Sweet Lou

?. Matt Lindstrom, Marlins – As I wrote in my post about the Marlins, Lindstrom is the X factor for the team in 2009. I like Lindstrom more than Marmol because of less pressure in Florida and Lindstrom proved he can do the job by going 5-5 in September. I like 25 saves and an era in the mid 2’s for Lindstrom

Norm Charlton Division

Top set up guys who are waiting in the wings and could fill in adequately if something happened to the current closer

1. Kevin Gregg, Cubs

2. Scot Shields, Angels

3. JJ Putz, Mets

4. Ryan Madsen, Phillies

5. Grant Balfour, Rays

Mark Davis 1989 Division

This is for the one guy who I will think have that ridiculous year, seemingly out of nowhere. Good the year before and this year explodes on the scene

Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers –As I mentioned earlier, I really like Broxton this year. The Dodgers offered their closers 55 save opportunities last year, so racking up saves shouldn’t be a problem for this 24 year old. Playing in the NL West, the worst division in baseball should help Broxton dominate in 2009