Fantasy411 Podcast: Analyzing closer carousels

Fantasy411 Podcast: Analyzing closer carousels

The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of their discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.

Leach: Let's look at some closer carousels. We lead with one that was done really quietly. Nobody really thought Jim Johnson was in any trouble, and suddenly Arodys Vizcaino was closing for the Braves. Hard for me to think that Vizcaino hasn't been picked up anywhere, but if he's sitting there, that's a guy who was almost certainly the best pitcher in that bullpen all along. To me, the question is not, "Is he a pickup?" but, "How highly do you rate him?" I think he's a top-half closer. Don't you?

Zinkie: I think he's right around that point. He's still available in more than half of Yahoo leagues. That's why I quietly put this in our notes for today, I think this flew under our radar as much as any closer ascension I've ever seen. Like you said, Johnson was going along, then he blew a couple saves, had a couple rough outings, and then they didn't really make a big announcement. They just started using Vizcaino in save situations. It all happened in late July when you, me and everyone who plays fantasy baseball was focused in on all the rumors about who would be traded and who would be the next closers, and we're racing out to get Brad Ziegler and Shane Greene and Brad Hand. And very quietly, Vizcaino became the closer, and nobody really talked about it or picked him up. He's owned in fewer leagues, and I really think we both agree he's at least a mid-tier closer for the rest of the season, so this is a great guy for owners to look at. He could be as successful down the stretch as any of those closers that emerged through the Deadline deals.

Leach: I also think he's at least as safe as any of those guys.The Braves like him a lot, and I think it was as much deferring to the veteran Johnson, who they had signed, as it was to not wanting Vizcaino to be the guy. They like him a lot, they're going to stick with him.

Again, we're going to play a sort of a lightning round with these guys. Matt Belisle: You buying at all, you like at all, you believe it?

Zinkie: I want to say something nicer about Belisle. I don't really believe it except to say that he probably is their closer for right now. I kind of thought it would be Taylor Rogers, but it looks like it's really Belisle. I don't really believe that in a 15-team league that I would grab him. With all the closer options that have come up in recent weeks, like if you really needed a closer and you didn't get one or two of the players we talked about when we were talking about Vizcaino, I guess if you're in a league that deep, then I'll try Belisle.