Fantasy Baseball Closers in Trouble: Casilla, Cook, Francisco, Axford, Capps, and Chapman
Bloomberg Sports Anchors Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria discuss closers who are struggling right now and provide insight on who may replace them.
Santiago Casilla, Giants
Casilla allowed a run to score for a third straight game on Sunday when he gave up three earned runs to the A’s in his second blown save of the year. Sergio Romo appears to be next in line for closer, as he has both righties and lefties hitting less than .200 this season. Romo, however, is a specialist often used for less than an inning of work. Another option for the Giants could be Jeremy Affeldt, who has some closing experience with more than 25 saves in his career.
Ryan Cook, A’s
Cook, the A’s third closer this season, suffered an ugly blown save on Friday when he gave up two walks, two hits and four runs. In total, he has walked 20 batters in 31.2 innings pitched. Cook could be replaced by Grant Balfour, who started the season as the closer. Balfour has had eight consecutive scoreless outings, which could be good enough to win back his job as closer.
Frank Francisco, Mets
Francisco got a save and the only Mets win against the Yankees in the Subway Series over the weekend, but has landed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain. Bobby Parnell could take over as closer, as his control has improved and he is pitching better this season. Over the next couple weeks, he could emerge as the Mets’ closer for the future.
John Axford, Brewers
Axford may be struggling the most of all the closers on this list. He has given up nine runs in his last nine outings with three blown saves during that span. His primary issue has been walking too many batters, as he has 18 walks in 28.1 innings pitched. The pitcher ready to fill in for Axford is Francisco Rodriguez, who has 292 career saves.
Matt Capps, Twins
Capps has a 3.41 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, but a sore right shoulder will likely land him on the disabled list. Glen Perkins and Jared Burton are two replacement options for the Twins. Perkins has been very good this year, with 40 strikeouts in 30.2 innings pitched. Burton picked up his first save of the season Sunday, though he walked two batters.
Aroldis Chapman, Reds
Chapman is the hardest thrower in Major League Baseball and has a 2.03 ERA and a dominant 0.76 WHIP. However, in his last seven outings, he has given up eight runs and has three blown saves during that stretch. Chapman came in as closer for Sean Marshall, who may now take over for Chapman as he has given up just one run in his last 17 outings.
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