M as in Mancy: A Fantasy Baseball Experiment (Closer Edition!)

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I was rocking. I swear I was. All week I was winning 10-1 or 9-2, until yesterday my opponent puts up these bullshit stats:

So even though my team crushed it last week, I got narrowly passed in 7 categories on the final day to lose 4-7. Life ain't fair, I tell ya.

This week we're going to talk about relief pitching. Namely, the league's lack of it.

Let's backup a bit. When I was deciding which letter-gimmick to play this year, relief pitcher was the only real gap. There's Mark Melancon and nobody else. Literally nobody who is an established closer. So my strategy was to pick up Matt Bush with the assumption that he would win the closing spot sometime this year. I live in DFW and have Rangers season tickets, so I was pretty confident Bush would be my huckleberry. And it was unfolding perfectly: Sam Dyson blew three consecutive saves this April, and Bush was looking more and more likely.

But then I did something stupid. Bush had shoulder fatigue, and was sent home to get some platelet injections in his arm. I made the mistake of listening to local sports radio, where everyone was doom-and-gloom. "His four years not playing in prison is biting him in the ass," they said. "He's not used to a real workload," they claimed. So with Bush looking like he was heading for a trip to the DL, I dropped him, confident that I could pick him up later.

He didn't get put on the DL. He was back pitching two days later. And someone in my league snagged him immediately.

Now I'm sitting here with one really good closer and not a lot of options. So let's take a look at all the available relief pitchers who have a chance at becoming closers, and the guys ahead of them in the bullpen. I'll be using Closer Monkey for all my rankings here. 

Mike Dunn, COL (7.2 IP, 10 K, 1.17 ERA, 0.91 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Greg Holland (9.0 IP, 10 K, 2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9 SAVES)
  • Adam Ottavino (8.1 IP, 12 K, 2.16 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 75,000-to-1 (the odds of Greg Holland being hit by a meteorite thanks to the thin Coors Field air--though when park-adjusted the meteorite's size is actually below-average)

Mychal Givens, BAL (9.0 IP, 8 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Zack Britton (7.0 IP, 6 K, 1.29 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, 5 SAVES)
  • Brad Brach (9.0 IP, 12 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 3 SAVES)
  • Darren O'Day (6.0 IP, 6 K, 7.50 ERA, 2.17 WHIP, 1 SAVE)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 10 million-to-1 (the odds of the Baltimore Orioles team plane crashing over the Appalachian Mountains on their May 12 trip to Kansas City; Mychal Givens walks away unscathed like the guy from Unbreakable and plays the rest of the season with the newly-promoted AL East Norfolk Tides)

Matt Bowman, STL (9.2 IP, 8 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.52 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Seung-hwan Oh (9.2 IP, 8 K, 5.59 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 5 SAVES)
  • Trevor Rosenthal (5.1 IP, 11 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 1 SAVE)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 10,000-to-1 (Oh suffers a freak toilet-related injury; Rosenthal is subsequently injured while breaking down the stall door trying to save him)

Miguel Socolovich, STL (7.0 IP, 5 K, 7.71 ERA, 2.00 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him: the same guys as above (Oh, Rosenthal, and Bowman). Aren't you paying attention? 

Odds of inheriting closer role: 20,000-to-1 (Matt Bowman sprains finger dialing 911 after seeing what has befallen Oh and Rosenthal #NeverForget)

Michael Lorenzen, CIN (11.0 IP, 12 K, 5.73 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 1 SAVE)

Guys ahead of him: 

  • Raisel Iglesias (11.1 IP, 14 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 3 SAVES)
  • Drew Storen (8.1 IP, 10 K, 1.08 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 1 SAVE)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 40-to-1 (Raisel Iglesias pitches lights out and gets moved back to the rotation; Storen re-breaks his thumb playing MLB The Show 17 will a little too much passion)

Marc Rzepczynski, SEA (5.2 IP, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.53 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Edwin Diaz (6.2 IP, 7 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2 SAVES)
  • Nick Vincent (9.1 IP, 9 K, 2.89 ERA, 0.86 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 100-to-1 (manager Scott Servais decides that closers should be selected based on the Scrabble point value of their last name)

Matt Belisle, MIN (7.1 IP, 8 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Brandon Kintzler (8.1 IP, 4 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 4 SAVES)
  • Ryan Pressly (6.2 IP, 6 K, 10.80 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 1,000-to-1 (Kintzler gets injured; Pressly quits baseball after learning he's the long lost heir to the Elvis Presley estate who was overlooked due to an unfortunate birth certificate typo)

Miguel Diaz, SD (8.1 IP, 4 K, 5.40 ERA, 0.84 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him: 

  • Brandon Maurer (7.2 IP, 10 K, 3.52 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 3 SAVES)
  • Ryan Buchter (7.2 IP, 8 K, 3.52 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 1 SAVE)
  • Brad Hand (9.0 IP, 11 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: whatever the odds are of Miguel Diaz not sucking at baseball, because that needs to happen before we even consider him as an option.

Matt Barnes (10.0 IP, 11 K, 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Craig Kimbrel (9.1 IP, 17 K, 1.93 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 7 SAVES)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 1 million-to-1 (the odds of Craig Kimbrel being struck by lightning. Alternatively: the Orioles throw a high-and-tight fastball at Pablo Sandoval as revenge for Matt Barnes throwing at Machado, and Kimbrel is injured in the ensuing brawl. All part of Matt Barnes' evil plan.)

Mauricio Cabrera (injured)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Jim Johnson (7.2 IP, 10 K, 3.52 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3 SAVES)
  • Arodys Vizcaino (9.0 IP, 11 K, 5.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
  • Jose Ramirez (10.1 IP, 7 K, 1.74 ERA, 0.87 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Alright. Who'd I miss? Are there any hot up-and-coming prospects who might prove themselves in the bullpen that I missed?