With Sergio Romo out as Giants closer, who should you turn to?


Sergio Romo has had his issues this year while closing baseball games for the San Francisco Giants.  You never want to see a closer with a 5.17 ERA.  That said, his WHIP is a respectable 1.02.  Romo has never been a huge strikeout guy, so the ball is put into play more often than not with him on the hill.

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This year, it seems as if more balls in play are finding grass rather than leather.

Romo started the season out fine, making it through April with a 2.38 ERA and seven saves.  His ERA ballooned to 4.63 in May.  He was downright dreadful in June, posting a nasty 9.72 ERA for the month.  That should be his K/9 ratio, not his ERA!

He had five blown saves, all since May 11th.

San Francisco Giants relief pitcher

Santiago Casilla

(46) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning . Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This finally led manager Bruce Bochy to make a change.

Bochy said that Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt would be closers in a committee approach, depending on what hitters were due up in the ninth.

Casilla has posted an impressive 1.15 ERA on the season, and was the Giants’ closer in 2012 before Romo took his job.  Affeldt will likely see less of the save opportunities since he has spent much of his career as a left handed relief specialist.  His 1.98 ERA looks good enough for him to get a shot.

Jean Machi has had a great season, but has given up four runs in his last two outings, so he is likely out of the mix.

Fantasy owners hate committee situations, and rightfully so.  If you are desperate for saves, Casilla would be a nice add, and Affeldt could be worth a shot.  But what about other players that are out there on waivers?  Could someone outside of the Giants’ bullpen help you more?  Let’s take a look.

These players are available in 40% or more of ESPN leagues.

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Hector Rondon throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Grilli, Angels: The Halos sent Ernesto Frieri packing to get Grilli, so I doubt anyone takes his job right away.  That said, his numbers are nearly as bad as Romo’s (4.57 ERA 1.57 WHIP).  Have antacids ready if you take a flier on Grilli.  At least until he settles down.  If he settles down.

Hector Rondon, Cubs: If roulette is your thing, you will love Rondon.  He has given up nine runs in his last seven appearances, but four of those have been clean appearances.  Meaning when he implodes, he doesn’t mess around!  Still, his 3.73 ERA is not that bad, and he does have 10 saves in 12 chances.

Grant Balfour, Rays: He returned from a two week banishment from the ninth inning to pick up his eleventh save last night.  The bad news?  He walked two batters.  His WHIP will always hurt you, but if you’re desperate, he may be back in as the Rays closer.

Jenrry Mejia, Mets: Saves will be hard to come by with the Mets, but his is 8/9 in save opportunities with a 2.57 ERA as the closer.  That is a safer bet than most others on this list.

Jake Petricka, White Sox: No official word has come as to whom will replace Ronald Belisario, but Petricka was given the first chance, and he converted.  With his 2.03 ERA on the season, he is worth a look