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Chris Perez and the Entire Red Sox Bullpen Go on Early Notice: An Owner’s Take
Welcome back to the major leagues, Bobby Valentine.
Over-managing his hand in the first game of the season, Valentine set up both his potential closers for failure. First he ushered out Mark Melancon in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game and yanked him after three batters - a fly out and two singles. He summoned former Yankee cast-off Alfredo Aceves who promptly hit the number nine batter with a pitch and gave up the game winning hit to Austin Jackson.
In the process, Valentine managed to anger most every owner of Melancon and Aceves while the Red Sox Nation wonders whatever happened to the prospects of Daniel Bard closing for Boston.
April 5th and Bobby V managed as if it was the deciding game of the World Series.
Meanwhile in Cleveland, it appeared that the Indians were on their way to a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Enter Chris Perez for the save. Five of the seven batters he faced reached base (two walks) as he allowed the tying run to score. He needed to be bailed out by Vinnie Pestano who got the Indians out of the inning with J.C. Arencibia grounding out to third.
The bullpen blow-ups in Boston as well as Cleveland presents a combination of frustration and opportunity for fantasy owners.
The Red Sox situation is a mess and probably will not be sorted out any time soon. The reality is that Melancon saved 20 of 25 games for the Houston Astros last season and pitched well enough to deserve the first opportunity to close. He struck out 66 in 74.1 IP last season against just 26 walks. The 30 year old Aceves has never closed consistently in the majors and has struck out 167 in 240 IP in his career. That's hardly an elite strikeout ratio.
Who will close long term for Boston? It should be Melancon but this is 'Bobby's World.' Perhaps fantasy owners should just be happy John Franco and Armando Benitez have retired.
Cleveland's closing situation seems a little more clear. Chris Perez is better suited for middle relief while Vinnie Pestano looks to be closer material. Though just one game, this could be the window of opportunity necessary for Manny Acta to pull the plug on Perez and audition Pestano. If Pestano is available in your league run for his services.
Sources: Yahoo! Sports
Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A native New Yorker until 9/11, he considers Pa. his adoptive home. A passionate Yankees fan and Pennsylvania sports enthusiast, Robert is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.
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