Put That Coffee Down! Coffee Is Closers Only: Top 5 Closers Projected For 2013

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Tuesday February 12th, 2013

Fernando+Rodney+Tampa+Bay+Rays+v+Minnesota+DsZ1C9fAXm_l

Fernando Rodney had one of the best seasons for a reliever in baseball history in 2012. It will be interesting to see if he can build on his strong season in 2013.

MLB Reports:

From the movie Glengarry Glen Ross came one of the most compelling scenes ever – when Alec Baldwin took the stage in an office setting – spewing out some of the greatest and powerful insults over a failing sales crew that included Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris.  In the scene, Baldwin himself is a powerful corporate executive that has been sent down to yell at these guys – from the powers to be of the operation.  At the beginning  point in Alec Baldwin’s lecture, old sales veteran (Lemmon) goes for a cup of coffee. Baldwin yells out “Put the coffee Down!  Coffee is for closers! 

The same can be said for closers that are not doing the job in nailing down games.  Many teams have bullpens that blow games at the most inopportune times.  Nothing is as deflating as losing a lead in the late Innings.  It is bad for team moral, the players and managers try to not play the blame game, however it is a tough pill to swallow when your team can’t close down baseball leads….  Just like the guys in Glengarry Glen Ross the movie couldn’t.  After you view this clip, you can move past it and read on who the best players that nail down victories.  The last part of the speech also works:  A.B.C.:  Always Be Closing.  It is Close or hit the bricks!  Great movie BTW…

Glengarry Glen Ross – Explicit Language so Parental Guidance is advised (Not for the Weak Of Heart):

By Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

With Pitchers and Catchers reporting for most teams at the beginning of this week, it seems only fitting to outline who I think will be the best closers of 2013. Most of these guys are not strangers to a list like this, so the selections will most likely not be surprising.

1. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves

200px-Craig_Kimbrel_9-12-11

Craig Kimbrel will look to prove his consistency in the NL East in 2013.

Kimbrel was one of the top-performing closers in 2012, putting up stellar numbers. The young Braves fire baller went 3-1 – with a sterling 1.01 ERA and 116 K. I do not see any regression from Kimbrel this year, and if anything he will improve. The Braves have an improved offense, so this could mean more Save Opportunities. I think 45-50 is a reasonable number of  Saves for Kimbrel in 2013. The Braves definitely struck gold with Craig Kimbrel anchoring the back of the bullpen.

2. Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies

This closer has been Mr. Consistent over the years, only having a few hiccups here and there. Throughout his whole career, Papelbon (aside from pitching in 17 games for a short stint before his rookie season) has never appeared in less than 59 games in a season, Saving no less than 31 games. This is exactly what the Phillies hoped they were getting when they signed him for a 4 YR/$50 Million Deal. In his first year with the Phillies—last season—Papelbon had 38 Saves – and a 2.44 ERA. Look for more of the same in 2013.

3. Jason Motte, St. Louis Cardinals

The current Cardinals closer came into the role almost out of a lack of options. 2011 started with a large amount of turmoil at the back-end of the bullpen, and the team went through multiple closers including Ryan Franklin, Fernando Salas, Mitchell Boggs, and Jason Motte. The big guy from Montgomery, NY, was one of the later options, but kept his role into the playoffs and all through the World Series, which the Cardinals won. Motte had the job for 2 012 and flourished. He saved 42 games – and held a 2.75 ERA and .92 WHIP. The closer’s role will be Motte’s to lose in 2013 and, pending some catastrophe, I do not see him giving it up.

Jim Johnson Highlights 2012:

4. Jim Johnson, Baltimore Orioles

Jim Johnson was a pleasant surprise for the Orioles in 2012.

Jim Johnson was a pleasant surprise for the Orioles in 2012.

Johnson essentially came out of nowhere in 2012, only saving 21 games over six years previously. When the time called for Johnson to step up last year, he was ready, nailing 51 Saves in 71 Appearances – while carrying a 2.49 ERA. I think it is safe to say that Johnson has proven to the Orioles that he is a reliable closer. The AL East will be even tougher this year than it has in the past with the Blue Jays making big winter moves, so Johnson’s job will not be easy. But, after seeing last year’s performance, I am confident that he will have no problem producing similar numbers.

5. Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays:

Joe Maddon has been notorious for not having the same closer for multiple years, but I believe Fernando Rodney will be an exception to that rule. Rodney had one of the best years for a closer ever in 2012, posting a stunning o.60 ERA. I do not think that there is any way Rodney could repeat his 2012 performance, but he will continue to be a dominant closer. The Rays will not have to worry about solving a bullpen issue this year.

Jonathan Papelbon led a rockstyle life while being the closer in Boston.  It is one of the hardest pressured gigs in all of baseball

Jonathan Papelbon led a rockstyle life while being the Closer in Boston. It is one of the hardest pressured gigs in all of baseball.  He has gone to Philadelphia where pressure is just as intense. So far so good, but lets see him do it while in an NL East Pennant race this year of 2013.

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter.

Bernie Olshansky

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About bernieolshansky

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve experienced some exciting times with the local baseball teams—the Giants winning the World Series being the most memorable highlight. Some of my favorite players include Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, and Cliff Lee among others. I played baseball up through my freshman year of high school and transitioned into being a full time fan. I regularly attend major and minor league games when I have free time. I enjoy working at a baseball store. I’m in my senior year of high school and hope to major in Journalism or Sports Administration in college. Follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky).

Posted on February 12, 2013, in Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I am a huge fan of bullpens…been following Jim Johnson for a few years. He was one of the biggest surprises last year. Loved the list. Thanks for sharing.

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