The Twins go from one of the most reliable and best closers to the problematic uncertainty of a closer-by-committee. Fun times in Minnesota.
According to a report from MLB.com, Jon Rauch, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares and Jesse Crain are all the Twins closers. If they split Joe Nathan evenly into quarters we’re talking 10 saves each. If you’re rewarded for holds, snag Rauch, Guerrier or Mijares. Otherwise own one while they’re committee chairman and dump them as soon as they get kicked from the head of the table.
Around fantasy baseball on Sunday:
Ian Desmond — Was named the starting shortstop for the Nationals. He’s among the brightest talents in the organization. We weren’t sure if he’d get his chance in the majors to start 2010. Now that he is a line that features .285 with 15 homers and 25 steals is not out of the question.
Milton Bradley — Named the every day cleanup hitter in Seattle. I’m not a huge Milton Bradley fan and I don’t think the Mariners offense is going to ‘splode into a juggernaut. However, we should bump Bradley’s RBI numbers up a bit in 2010.
Casey Kelly — The Red Sox’s top prospect will be the starting pitcher against the Rays on Tuesday. Kelly insisted he wanted to be a shortstop, but his not-so-good showing in 2009 helped him fall a little more in line with the organization’s plans. It’ll be interesting to see how he throws. Take notes. Even if they send him down before the season starts, we could see him return this summer.
John Mayberry — Keeping the prospects theme going, the Phillies sent three players to triple-A. One of them was Mayberry, who has impressive power potential. However, for another year he wasn’t able to put it together enough to make the Major League club. It doesn’t help that he’s got lots of competition in the outfield. He can play first base, too, but he’s not ousting Ryan Howard.
Hunter Pence — Put whatever stock you want into spring stats, but Pence has been crushing in 2010. He leads the Grapefruit League with a .422 average, .822 slugging, 37 total bases and is second in RBI with 16.
Francisco Liriano — Looks like the closer talk was just talk. He’s staying in the rotation.
Kaz Matsui — Again, digest with a few grains of salt, but Matsui leads all National League players and the Grapefruit league with 16 runs scored this spring.
Brad Zeigler — With Andrew Bailey, Michael Wuertz and Joey Devine all licking wounds of various severity, it looks like Zeigler is going to open the season as the big dog in Oakland’s ‘pen.
Yunel Escobar — He missed another game with a “tight back.” I’m no expert, and I could be wrong, but this sounds like something that wouldn’t keep Escobar out of a real game.
I’ve really got to boil these lists down, cutting out things like the Padres setting their rotation, Clay Bucholz striking out seven in 4 1/3 and Ian Kinsler feeling 95 percent certain that he’ll be ready for opening day.
What did you see Sunday that I missed? Let’s talk about it in the comments.