The biggest question hanging over fantasy owners finally got a resolution, with the Rangers revealing that Neftali Feliz will remain the team’s closer for 2011. Of course, with one solution comes numerous other issues. Several closers are currently hurting, while others are struggling to find their form. Let’s take a look at how things currently shape up:
- Heath Bell – San Diego Padres
- Brian Wilson – San Francisco Giants
- Joakim Soria – Kansas City Royals
- Neftali Feliz – Texas Rangers
- Mariano Rivera – New York Yankees
- Jonathan Papelbon – Boston Red Sox
- Jonathan Broxton – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Francisco Rodriguez – New York Mets
- Carlos Marmol – Chicago Cubs
- Andrew Bailey – Oakland Athletics
- Huston Street – Colorado Rockies
- Jose Valverde – Detroit Tigers
- J.J. Putz – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Matt Thornton – Chicago White Sox
- Chris Perez – Cleveland Indians
- Brian Wilson may be hurting, but that doesn’t mean that he should fall down draft boards. The injury appears to be minor, at least for now, and there’s actually a chance that he avoids a trip to the DL. Even if he misses the first week or two, so he ends up with 39 saves and 74 strikeouts? Would anyone really complain? Obviously you will want to proceed with caution, but I’d still select him early.
- The situation with Andrew Bailey does cause a little bit more concern, though he has proven to be too good when healthy to drop too far. I know they will likely move cautiously, with Brian Fuentes in place, but the upside of Bailey is far too alluring to ignore. At this point I have him as the last “sure” closer, if there is such an animal.
- Falling off the list is Joe Nathan, who has been horrible this preseason as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. At this point he is sporting a robust 11.05 ERA over 7.1 innings with just three strikeouts and four walks. Meanwhile, Matt Capps has a perfect 0.00 ERA with five strikeouts and no walks over 8.1 innings of work. You have to believe that, sooner or later, Nathan will return to the closer’s role, but for now it seems like he has pitched his way out of contention from the outset.
- I know Jonathan Broxton is no sure thing, especially after losing his job for a time in ’10. Still, for why I am so high on him, check out my thoughts by clicking here.
- For a recap of the closers who appear to open the season on the DL and who may replace them, click here.
What are your thoughts on these rankings? Who’s too high? Who’s too low?
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Make sure to check out our 2011 rankings: