Thursday Night Observations

I can accept coaches sometimes make sub-optimal decisions on play calls and what to do given certain game situations, downs and distances. But Thursday’s contest was a display of cowardice and ignorance by which even Jim Caldwell and Dan Quinn would be astounded. Here are a few of the highlights:

Five Potential New Closers for 2016

The Hot Stove is just firing up and yet we’ve already seen a lot of turnover in the closer market. Hell, I even wrote that first sentence before Francisco Rodriguez was dealt to the Tigers (though I did see him being dealt at some point as the first run of this list had a Brewer on it even w/K-Rod in place, too). We’ve seen one of the very best dealt in Craig Kimbrel and that was after his obvious backfill – Joaquin Benoit – was traded to Seattle which totally opens up San Diego’s situation.

We all know how volatile the closer market is for fantasy baseball so none of this is surprising. Just looking back at our top 20 RPs from the Rotowire Magazine, we see four in the top 15 who didn’t even log double digit saves. The 18th-ranked closer, Trevor Rosenthal, had 48 saves. And this isn’t to say we did a bad job in the magazine, but rather to underline how difficult it is to project this position because it’s so heavily tied to a statistic that only one guy can get in any single game.

Rk Closer SVs
1 Kimbrel 39
2 Chapman 33
3 Holland 32
4 Betances 9
5 Jansen 36
6 Melancon 51
7 Uehara 25
8 Robertson 34
9 Doolittle 4
10 Allen 34
11 Cishek 4
12 Britton 36
13 Papelbon 24
14 Street 40
15 Aa.Sanchez 0
16 Storen 29
17 Perkins 32
18 Rosenthal 48
19 K-Rod 38
20 Rodney 16

Roberto Osuna wasn’t even sniffing the radar in Toronto last spring with Brett Cecil, Aaron Sanchez, and even Miguel Castro getting attention ahead of him. He wound up saving 20 games and being one the best second-half closers in the game. Who knew A.J. Ramos would become a stud closer? Hector Rondon even lost the job for a brief spell in-season, but still wound up topping his impressive 2014 with 30 saves and a 1.67 ERA. Who’s next? Who will be talking about this time next year as a top closer option?

Here are five guys who could emerge as the next-big-thing in the ninth inning:

Week 10 Observations

The Sunday night game turned out to be pretty good in the end, but it took forever with all the penalties, injuries and reviews. At one point, the refs spotted a Russell Wilson third-down run too generously, calling it a first down. Bruce Arians challenged it, there was a review, and he won, so Seattle had fourth and inches. They handed it to the fullback, he was stopped behind the line initially, but turned around, planted his feet and fell backwards toward the line of scrimmage into a crowd of linemen. The refs again spotted the play a first down, Arians challenged again, there was another review, and because it was impossible to tell, the play stood – first down for Seattle, at exactly the spot it was erroneously ruled 10 minutes before.