Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening Day ?!?! and AL Bullpens

Sorry but I miss the good old days when all of the Opening Day games were on one day!  The fact that the season starts in Japan might be good for international exposure to the game but I find it takes away from the spectacle that is the first day of the season.  You remember right?  When there was a full day of games, most of them in the afternoon where plenty of people who should have been working were at the ball park. Anyway, I'm being nostalgic.  Baseball should continue to spread its wings internationally and for scheduling purposes they have to play the Japan games well ahead of the regular season.

As usual the closer situation in the major leagues is in fluctuation.  The AL appears to be more volatile thus far where there are new closers in Boston, Tampa and Kansas City.   Alfredo Aceves, Joel Peralta and Jonathan Broxton have inherited the roles thus far and are probably long gone in most fantasy leagues.  Also, I think the roles in Chicago, Minnesota, Cleveland and Baltimore are hardly locks.  Although every statistician revels in Matt Thornton's abilities, he struggled in the role early last season, is left handed and is 36 years old.  Most managers prefer a right handed closer. That being said, I'm confident if Thornton can hold on to the job he could end up as a top 10 closer this season.  The Twins closer Matt Capps is coming off an awful 2011 season but the internal options aren't much better.  That being said, Glen Perkins, although left handed, boasts excellent skills from 2011.  He's the handcuff if Capps struggles.  In Cleveland, Chris Perez blew a save against the Blue Jays in an Opening Day marathon 16 inning loss.  With Vinnie Pestano showing considerably better skills last season, it would not surprise me if he takes over the role in Cleveland, possibly in the early going. Baltimore closer Jim Johnson didn't look very good in the spring and I kind of like Matt Lindstrom  as a sneaky source of saves.  Lindstrom has become a better control pitcher as he has aged.  If Johnson struggles, do not be surprised if Buck Showalter makes the change.

Wow, this post ended up being mostly about the bullpen.... next time out we'll step onto the field a bit.

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