Closer Circle of Trust: July 2012
|Steve Cishek||Chris Perez||Jonathan Broxton||Huston Street||Alfredo Aceves
|Addisod Reed||J.J. Putz
||Craig Kimbrel||Jason Motte||Rafael Soriano||Aroldis Chapman|
|Ernesto Frieri||Fernando Rodney||Jim Johnson||Jonathan Papelbon||Joel Hanrahan||Jose Valverde|
|Glen Perkins||Tom Wilhemsen
||Brett Myers||Tyler Clippard|
|Bobby Parnell||Kenley Jansen
||Ryan Cook||Santiago Casilla||Casey Janssen||John Axford|
Trusted: As the year goes on, the “trusted” group widens. These nine closers have really no fear of losing their jobs, due to superior performance and low possibility of being traded. Of this group, three are worth discussing. J.J. Putz hasn’t been lights out this year, but he’s had eight straight scoreless appearances, recording four saves in that time, and finally looking like the dominant guy from last year…Rafael Soriano, New York’s prized purchase from a year ago, is finally paying dividends. He’s sitting in Mariano Rivera’s seat, on a team that will constantly be in the lead. Going forward, he’s probably the leader of the pack…Finally, Aroldis Chapman, the man with a lethal arm. He’s got 19 K and six SV in his last 7.1 IP. Think Carlos Marmol from two years ago and multiply it by 1000.
Solid: There are a lot of usual suspects in this group, headed by Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, and Jose Valverde. You know these guys. We don’t need to mention them (except for Street, who is borderline “danger” based on potential trade). The three most noteworthy dudes from this section are Brett Myers, Alfredo Aceves, and Jonathan Broxton. Both Myers and Broxton are having fantastic years, but clearly are on the trading block. Neither are on teams who are competitive and if you’re an owner, you should at least be aware of the possibility of a trade. Aceves isn’t in danger of being traded, mostly because he’s not that valuable, but he could see a demotion when Andrew Bailey returns.
Danger: The “danger” section seems to diminish as the season progresses, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t guys who could easily be without a job very soon. Steve Cishek isn’t getting paid $30 million over the next three years, Heath Bell is. How long do you think he’s going to be the closer?…Lastly, Bobby Parnell has blown two consecutive saves and only has two to his credit. Be prepared for a change really soon.