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Braves Likely to Split
Closing Duties: Kimbrel and Venters
Already some panic from fantasy managers before the season
has even commenced because Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez uttered the dreaded
words: “a closer’s platoon.”
The Braves seem to be loaded with talent on the hill and two
young hurlers coming off incredible 2010 performances are in position to pitch
the ninth inning.
First is Craig Kimbrel, who in 21 appearances surrendered
just one earned run, and a ******** 40 strikeouts. He does walk a lot of batters, but if his
first look is any indicator of what’s to come, he could be even better than
Billy Wagner. Right-handers hit just
.079 off him last season.
Then there is Jonny Venters, who struck out 93 batters in 83
innings. A southpaw, lefties hit just
.198 against him. So maybe not as
dominant as Kimbrel, but he is more proven with a full season under his
Both players are worth drafting due to their great
peripheral numbers. Kimbrel gets the
slight edge, but is also more risky.
Millwood to the
Despite rumors that have the 36-year old signing with the
Yankees, Millwood is likely returning to Cleveland, where he posted a stellar
2.86 ERA in 2005. Of course, since then
there have been struggles.
Millwood has lost 10-plus games in six straight seasons and
last year hit a new low with a 4-16 record and 5.10 ERA.
Millwood is very hittable and gives up a lot of home runs,
so a move out of the American League East is probably a good move for the
signs with the Orioles
One of the great hitters of his generation and a likely Hall
of Famer, the 36-year old Vladimir Guerrero is fresh off a monster year with 29
home runs, 115 RBI, and a .300 average for the Rangers. The good news is that he was not just a
product of the ballpark, as 13 home runs and 52 RBI came on the road.
Now that he will join the Orioles lineup, you should expect
a solid season with 20-plus home runs and a .280-plus average, but the
combination of another year under his belt and a less power-friendly confines
should keep expectations lower than a year ago.
Guerrero enters the season just 73 hits shy of 2500 for his
career and 24 home runs shy of 450.
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