August NL Central Closer Report

Posted: August 21, 2011 in Articles

By David Kerr

NL Central Closer Report

Milwaukee Brewers

Since acquiring Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford has saved 14 games and has an ERA of 1.00. There is no question of who the closer is in Milwaukee.

Current Closer: John Axford

St. Louis Cardinals

Fernando Salas has done very well as St. Louis’ closer this season and should continue that good production down the stretch. He’s only saved six games since the All-Star break, but has sported an ERA of 2.45 in that time. There is no ninth inning issue in St. Louis.

Current Closer: Fernando Salas

Cincinnati Reds

After struggling in July before the All-Star break, Francisco Cordero has saved 9 games and has a 0.64 ERA since. He is playing for a contract, so expect good production for the next month and a half.

Current Closer: Francisco Cordero

Pittsburgh Pirates

Though he has only saved five games since the All-Star break, Joel Hanrahan has been rock solid. The Pirates haven’t been winning many games as of late, which is why Hanrahan hasn’t been saving many games. He should still have no problem getting 7-10 more the rest of the way. He’s a great guy to own.

Current Closer: Joel Hanrahan

Chicago Cubs

Carlos Marmol is a guy I want to own only if my back’s against the wall and he’s one of my last options. He could blow up at any time. He was pitching well before his latest blown save last Tuesday, but I wouldn’t be confident in recommending him. He could blow three saves this week! He’s been pretty good when he’s not having a meltdown, but as you know, those are unpredictable. He’s not the worst option out there, but it’s nice to have stability in the ninth inning. Especially when you’re gunning for a title!

Current Closer: Carlos Marmol

Houston Astros

The lowly Astros won’t win many games, but if there is a closing situation, Mark Melancon will get the ball. He isn’t a great option, but I’d rather own him than someone like Kevin Gregg or the Jason Isringhausen/Bobby Parnell combo.

Current Closer: Mark Melancon

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