Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Andrew Bailey, Kevin Gregg, more

by Nicholas Minnix on April 30, 2013 @ 13:45:30 PDT


Pages 1 | 2 | all's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series gives you no-nonsense ratings of performances, injuries and managerial decisions in MLB bullpens. Get your arm loose: Let's find fantasy baseball players in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league who'll get saves.

Job Security (JS):
1 (unstable)
5 (untouchable)
Health Outlook (HO):
1 (fragile)
5 (durable)
: Up
+: Added
INJ: Injured
: Down
M: Minors
DL: Disabled List

Boston Red Sox
Koji Uehara

Obviously, Bailey has done the job well while Hanrahan (strained right hamstring) has been on the DL. John Farrell has noticed, but the manager had been unclear about what the roles of those two pitchers would be once Hanrahan was off the DL.

Chicago Cubs RP Kevin Gregg
Full circle?

On Tuesday, Farrell appeared on the radio, confirmed that the Boston Red Sox have activated Hanrahan and indicated that he'd be having a sit-down meeting to discuss with the reliever what the right-hander's job would be. That pretty much tells Bailey owners believed should happen and wanted to hear. Rob Bradford reported verification.

Is this temporary? From an administrative standpoint, it's hard to say, but Bailey possesses the skills to retain the role. Of course, we all know that he stands a reasonable chance to miss time with an injury at some point. Hanrahan is, at minimum, a candidate to close in that event.

Folks in very deep mixed leagues and AL-only leagues probably want to retain Hanrahan just because of that prospect. It's possible that Bailey will stumble and open the door, too, but it seems likelier that Hanrahan will have to wait for Bailey to hit the DL.

Chicago Cubs
Kyuji Fujikawa DL Kevin Gregg Carlos Marmol
James Russell
Shawn Camp

C'mon, is anyone really buying this Gregg nonsense? "Calming presence" is presumably the feeling Chicago Cubs get when anyone goes 4-for-4 in save chances and doesn't allow a run in six appearances. How often does that happen on the North Side? Let them savor it.

As Tim pointed out yesterday, Gregg has apparently ditched his cut fastball, a pitch that has, wholly, been his least effective offering, according to PITCHf/x values on Fangraphs. How helpful will that be in the long term? TBD. His four-seam fastball still has a lot of life, if not speed (low 90s).

It's worth noting that the righty was very effective (zero free passes) in 11 ST innings with the Los Angeles Dodgers, when he was pitching for his livelihood (and they cut him loose anyway). Although Gregg has walked only two in 5 1/3 frames, he's not in the zone quite as frequently thus far, so we'll see how long that lasts.

As multiple outlets have reported, like did, Dale Sveum isn't naming a closer. He doesn't want to screw with what the Cubbies have going with silly things like titles, body armor and goggles.

But Gregg still brings his own goggles to the party, and he still wants to be a closer, and it sounds like that's how the Cubs are going to use him, when they have the chance. The organization's short-term goal involves getting Marmol back in the ninth eventually, so Fujikawa (strained right forearm) probably won't be returning to the exclusive role, at least as long as Gregg is effective. Who knows? Stranger things have lasted for a while.

Mound Meetings....

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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