Closer Report 2010: Mariano Rivera Of the New York Yankees Has a Reason to Smile

April 12, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

A League of His Own: A+

Mariano Rivera (Yankees): At first I wanted to put Paplebon and Broxton in the same class as Rivera (Joe Nathan also if he wasn’t hurt), but then I looked at the stats and teams they were on. In Paplebon’s case, he was a little shaky last season and has already recorded a loss this year. Broxton is a flame thrower and undoubtedly has some of the best stuff in the game, but he won’t get nearly as many chances as Mo.


Can They Either Keep it Up or Continue to Get Better: A

Johnathon Broxton (Dodgers), Johnathan Papelbon (Red Sox), Francisco Rodriguez (Mets), Trevor Hoffman (Brewers): K-Rod had one of the best seasons ever as a closer in 2008 with the Angels. Unfortunately, he decided to sign a contract with the Mets. His numbers blew up to a 3.71 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. I, for one, still believe he is amongst the game’s best, but he will need to show he can stay healthy and dominate once again.

In regards to the ageless wonder, Trevor Hoffman, as long as he still puts up numbers like he did last season (1.83 ERA, .91 WHIP, 37 Saves) he belongs here.


On the Verge of Automatic Status: B

Joakim Soria (Royals), Brian Wilson (Giants), Heath Bell (Padres), Andrew Bailey (Athletics), Ryan Franklin (Cardinals), Jose Valverde (Tigers): Some of these players people may not agree with, but they all have the stats to back up where I have placed them.

Valverde is intense and instills fear in hitters with his 1.13 WHIP and 2.33 ERA.

Ryan Franklin doesn’t get the K’s such as a Broxton might (44 compared to 114 in ‘09), but he is stellar on the mound every time he goes out. A 1.92 ERA and 1.20 WHIP makes it difficult to put him any lower─playing for the Cardinals doesn’t hurt either.


Pay Close Attention: C

David Aardsma (Mariners), Brian Fuentes (Angels), Rafael Soriano (Rays), Bobby Jenks (White Sox), Francisco Cordero (Reds): This group of closers will certainly come much cheaper than the previously mentioned, but some may produce just as much, if not more.

Soriano is a guy who could have a big year playing with the Rays. His numbers may be skewed a little, having played with the Braves in ‘09, but still 102 K’s and a 1.06 WHIP is tough to overlook.

Jenks may be a little high here, but he still has great stuff, and if he can gain the confidence of management he should find himself again.


Buyer Beware: D

Billy Wagner (Braves), Brad Lidge or Ryan Madson (Phillies), Frank Francisco (Rangers), Chad Qualls (Diamondbacks), Jon Rauch (Twins), Chris Perez or Kerry Wood (Indians), Leo Nunez (Marlins), Matt Lindstrom (Astros), Carlos Marmol (Cubs): It’s hard to believe names like Lidge and Wagner are this far down with how much success they have had in their careers, but do you trust either one?

Me neither!

I like Rauch as a sleeper, as he has shown he can close in the past and the Twins always seem to get the most out of their relievers.


Desperation Mode: F

Mike Gonzalez (Orioles), Jason Frasor (Blue Jays), Franklin Morales or Houston Street (Rockies), Octavio Dotel (Pirates), Matt Capps (Nationals): The one guy I could see coming out of this group as a formidable closer is Frasor. The Blue Jays closer doesn’t give up many hits or walks, as his ‘09 WHIP of  1.02 would prove.

If you are like me and don’t like spending a high draft pick or a lot of money on a closer, pay close attention to WHIP. This is where guys in the lower groups can become “Diamond in the Rough” kind of guys.

David Aardsma is a player who came out of nowhere last year and was able to post a 1.16 WHIP while recording more saves than the likes of Johnathon Broxton, Joakim Soria, and Franciso Rodriguez. Monitoring setup guys’ WHIP is one way to get a closer that can help your team such as Aardsma did in ‘09─if you are willing to take the risk.

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