The Twins Closer Situation

Gardy today gave a little clarity to the Twins closing situation in the wake of  Joe Nathan’s season ending Tommy John surgery, saying that Jon Rauch will NOT be the Twinkies’ primary 9th inning guy.  Instead, each of Rauch, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares, and Jesse Crain will get opportunities early in the season.  This is contrary to reports that the Twins were after Blue Jays closer Jason Frasor, although the report never mentions the possibility of the trade. still coming to fruition.  Additionally, while Gargenhire had previously stated that Francisco Liriano was a candidate due to his dominating stuff, Liriano publicly stated his desire to be a starter and Gardy seems to have acquiesced to his request.  Right now, I would handicap the closer priority list as Rauch, Mijares, Guerrier, and Crain.  Rauch pitched well last year but lacks the overpowering stuff Gardy looks for in a closer (since he’s been spoiled for years by Nathan).  Mijares has the stuff and will definitely be the go-to guy when an opponent’s order is lefty-heavy in the 9th (.83 WHIP vs. lefties in 2009), but struggled against righties last year (1.55 WHIP), most likely limiting him to platoon duty.  Guerrier really lacks the power stuff (5.54 K/9) but gets results, and would make a Ryan Franklin-style closer.  Crain brings a good fastball/slider combo (94.7 MPH on the FB), and was once called the Twins’ closer of the future, but fell out of favor last year and was even optioned to AAA at one point.  In a deep league, grab as many of these guys as you can afford to roster until the situation becomes more clear.  In a shallow league though, I would still go with Rauch, based on the mythical “experience” in the closer role and intimidation factor he offers (6’11” and tatted out of his mind).

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3 Comments

Filed under Closers, Fantasy Baseball, MLB

3 responses to “The Twins Closer Situation

  1. ….or get lucky and draft frasor with you last picks anticipating the trade then get lucky as he steps up- unintended genius.

  2. The Professor

    Either way, Frasor is worth a pick ahead of these guys, and should be drafted even in shallow mixed leagues. He has been named the Blue Jays closer by Cito Gaston, so whether he stays there and is the #1 guy or he gets traded to MIN and instantly becomes the closer, drafting him is a smart choice.

    That said, the Jays’ signing of Gregg didn’t make sense unless they intended they use him as closer to boost his value in a midseason trade, as they already have a strong righthanded bullpen corps. MIN has made sense as a trade partner with TOR all along due to their wealth of OF, which the second biggest area of need in the Jays’ system (next to SS). So, both teams’ public proclamations (that MIN will go with closer-by-committee and TOR will use Frasor as closer) could easily be bluffs. We shall see, but whatever happens Frasor is a person of interest.

  3. Pingback: UPDATE: Rauch is Twins’ Closer « Ducks on the Pond

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