2013 Fantasy Baseball, Closer Carousel Begins in Chicago and Milwaukee

By Brian Fischler
Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports

I believe what the great Yogi Berra said, “It’s like deja vu all over again.” We are one day into the 2013 fantasy baseball season, and the closer carousel is spinning out of control again in Chicago and Milwaukee.

I’m surprised Vegas didn’t have an over/under set to the date the Chicago Cubs Carlos Marmol was removed as closer. If they did, I am sure the house would have cleaned up, as no one would have picked under one game. Marmol came in to the 9th promptly walked a guy, hit a batter, gave up a hit, a run and was gone. James Russell was brought in and then, Kyuji Fujikawa closed the game.

For now, Cubs Manager Dale Sveum is saying the typical thing that Marmol hasn’t been removed as closer. If you are a wise fantasy manager, and are in one of the few leagues where Fujikawa wasn’t drafted, pick him up immediately. Winning your fantasy baseball league is all about anticipation. If you own Marmol, and Fujikawa is available, I would recommend dumping Marmol for him. Sure in the short term Marmol might get a save or two, but in the long run Fujikawa will be much more valuable with more saves for the Cubs in 2013, a lower ERA and Whip, plus more strikeouts.

The closer situation for the Milwaukee Brewers is much different. Last season it seemed like John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez were in a competition to see who could blow more saves. Does Axford realize that K-Rod is gone and that the closer job is all his now? While the Cubs have several other options at closer, the Brewers do not. The job is Axford’s and it would take an awful lot of blown saves for him to lose it. A really dark horse candidate to take over the closer’s role should Axford’s struggles continue for multiple games is Mike Fiers as he has been moved to the bullpen with the Kyle Lohse signing. This is purely speculation on my part, but the Brewers might be willing to give Fiers a shot at the closing role, but I expect Axford to have a long rope.


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