March 9, 2010

Closing time

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Fantasy

Well I hope you didn’t draft your fantasy baseball team already; you could be into some closer trouble already. Aside from races that are far from being settled, like the Rays and Jays, one of the premier ninth-inning men has already gone down.

Joe Nathan of the Twins, who had 47 saves and a 2.10 ERA last season, has a torn ulnar collateral ligament. I won’t pretend to know exactly what that means, but will say that if you have a torn ligament in your elbow, that usually means Tommy John surgery and a year out of your playing career lost.

So, let’s chalk up the Twins into that unsettled closer debate. With Jon Rauch or Matt Guerrier likely to land the job, I’m not sure you’d want to reach for a Minnesota’s man this year, like previous times.

Rauch has some experience closing, but that was with the Nationals and D-Backs, two not exactly stellar situations to have been in. Plus, coming over to the American League always takes some adjustment.

Guerrier had 33 holds and a 2.36 ERA last season for Minnesota, but time and time again have proven setup men failed to grab the reins and close out games.

At least with a few weeks left in spring training, the Twins – and every other team for that matter – have plenty of time to hash out these issues before opening day.

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