Question: do you really need a closer when you’re playing out the last three weeks of a lost season? Eh, probably so. If not, who would we yell at when games go south? If not, what would the guys who are somehow — against all odds — still paying close attention to their fantasy rosters do to pick up a cheap save here or there?
So yeah, you still probably need a closer. But for the Mets it may not be Bobby Parnell anymore. He blew a two-run lead in the ninth against the Marlins last night. The Mets still won, but Terry Collins is not content to stand pat at closer any longer:
Asked if it might be beneficial for Parnell to get some non-save opportunities in order to right himself with the game not on the line, Collins intimated that was the case.
“Well, we’re going to talk to Bobby tomorrow,” Collins said. “I mean, there’s a couple things (pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) had talked about with him, a couple of little pitch-location stuff that he’s just got to be able to make. He’s got to make some pitches.
Potential closers for the rest of the way: Josh Stinson, Manny Acosta, Pedro Beato and Jason Isringhausen. Gentlemen, scan your waiver wires.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.