March 20, 2006
March 20, 2006

Table of Contents
March 20, 2006

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Fantasy Baseball Preview 2006


Fewer than half the closers on this list are likely to hold the job all year

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

This is an article from the March 20, 2006 issue Original Layout

1.ALMariano Rivera, Yankees743800.871.38 
2.ALFrancisco Rodriguez, Angels245911.142.67 
3.NLBilly Wagner, Mets438870.841.51 
4.NLChad Cordero, Nationals247610.971.82Though not overpowering, he was majors' save leader in first full season asa closer.
5.ALJoe Nathan, Twins743940.972.70 
6.ALHuston Street, A's523721.011.72 
7.NLBrad Lidge, Astros4421031.152.29Averaged 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings last season, highest rate inmajors; has 260 K's over last two seasons.
8.NLTrevor Hoffman, Padres143541.112.97 
9.ALB.J. Ryan, Blue Jays1361001.142.43 
10.ALFrancisco Cordero, Rangers337791.323.39 
11.ALBob Wickman, Indians045411.262.47 
12.NLArmando Benitez, Giants219231.374.50 
13.NLDerrick Turnbow, Brewers739641.081.74 
14.NLEric Gagne, Dodgers18220.982.70 
15.NLTom Gordon, Phillies52691.092.57Back to closing after serving as Yanks' setup man for two years, he's hadmore than 12 saves twice in his 16-year career.
16.NLJason Isringhausen, Cardinals139511.192.14 
17.ALKeith Foulke, Red Sox515341.555.91 
18.ALBobby Jenks, White Sox16501.252.75Four saves in five postseason opportunities, but he's just 25 and hasthrown only 391/3 regular-season innings.
19.NLRyan Dempster, Cubs533891.433.13 
20.ALTodd Jones, Tigers140621.032.10 
21.NLJose Valverde, Diamondbacks315751.072.44 
22.ALEddie Guardado, Mariners236481.192.72 
23.NLBrian Fuentes, Rockies231911.252.91 
24.NLMike Gonzalez, Pirates13581.322.70 
25.ALChris Ray, Orioles10431.282.66 
26.NLDavid Weathers, Reds715611.293.94Part of a closer-by-committee that includes Todd Coffey, Kent Mercker andRyan Wagner, he should get a majority of the saves.
27.NLChris Reitsma, Braves315421.273.93 
28.ALMike MacDougal, Royals521721.323.33 
29.NLJoe Borowski, Marlins10271.084.47 
30.NLDan Miceli, Devil Rays10191.755.89 


Huston Street

After learning hehad been voted the AL Rookie of the Year last fall, Street got this reactionfrom his father, James, a decorated athlete himself as quarterback of the 1969national champion Texas Longhorns: "Now, what are you going to do to getbetter?" Considering Huston is only 22 and will begin this season as theA's closer--he took over for the injured Octavio Dotel last May and finished5-1 with a 1.72 ERA and 23 saves in 27 opportunities--he should only getbetter. Now he's developing another pitch. Already tough to hit with his wickedsidearm delivery, Street has been working on a changeup, which could bedevastating for batters when mixed with his darting fastball and sharp slider."He could have three solid out pitches," says one scout, "whichmakes him pretty much unhittable."


TRAVIS BOWYER,Marlins The former Twins farmhand was 23 for 23 in save chances in Triple A in'05, but he'll have to beat out journeyman Joe Borowski for the closer's job orwork as a setup man.

CHAD ORVELLA,Devil Rays The first change in closers this season could have Orvella takingover for well-traveled Dan Miceli. Orvella had a 1.22 ERA in 111 minor leagueinnings over the last three seasons.

ANDREW SISCO,Royals Keep an eye on this 6'10" southpaw, a Rule 5 pickup from the Cubs inlate 2004. The 23-year-old had 76 strikeouts in 751/3 innings as a rookie lastyear.