2019 Fantasy Baseball: Week 1 Closer Report
Entering the first week of the 2019 baseball season, many teams have started to name their closers. There will be many situations where we'll have to see the ninth inning play out on the field. Here's a look at the major league bullpens that have made some recent changes in job roles:
Jose Vizcaino will start the year as the closer for the Braves after A.J. Minter was placed on the IL list with a left shoulder injury.
In a surprise move, Arizona named Greg Holland the closer to start the year despite a poor spring (five runs, eight baserunners, and two HRs over 4.2 innings). Archie Bradley will have to work his way toward the 9th inning after a down March (9.00 ERA and 2.17 WHIP).
I’m still keeping an eye on Miguel Castro as a possible closing option for the Orioles after throwing the ball well in spring training (one run over 8.1 innings with 11 Ks). Mychal Givens will have the first shot at saves for Baltimore, but he didn’t look good in March (nine runs, 12 baserunners, and three HRs over 5.2 innings).
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox named Alex Colome the closer before the start of the season. He’s had enough success and experience in his career to keep the job for the long haul.
Kansas City Royals
Brad Boxberger didn’t pitch well in March (six runs and 12 baserunners over 4.2 innings), but he converted his first save chance of the regular season after recording the last out of the game.
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Sergio Romo appears to be the closing favorite for the Marlins after winning the spring training battle (three runs over 7.1 innings over ten Ks) over Drew Steckenrider (eight runs, 13 baserunners, and two HRs over 7.2 innings).
The 9th inning job in Minnesota will be a work in progress over the first couple of the season until someone pulls away from the field. Trevor May looks to be the top option while Taylor Rogers is the best arm. Rogers tossed 1.1 shutout innings with three Ks to pick up the first save of the year for the Twins.
St. Louis Cardinals
Jordan Hicks started to gain momentum late in spring training in the high-stakes drafts. Over six innings in March, he allowed two runs with 11 Ks, but Hicks did issue seven walks. Andrew Miller had a tough spring training (seven runs and ten baserunners over 5.1 innings). I get the excitement of Hicks while understanding his lack of command is going to be frustrating to watch early in his career.