Closers have gotten off to a pretty slow start across the board this year. Mariano Rivera blew his first save opportunity of the year, giving up 2 runs while recording just 1 out against the Rays. After 1.1 innings of work in 2 games, Mo Mo is sporting a 13.50 ERA. He's not alone.
Carlos Marmol, Cubs (20.25 ERA, 3 runs 1.1 IP)
Chris Perez, Indians (10.13 ERA, 3 runs 2.2 IP)
Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (27.00 ERA, 3 runs, 1 IP)
Heath Bell, Marlins (13.50 ERA, 2 runs, 1.1 IP)
John Axford, Brewers (13.50 ERA, 2 runs, 1.1 IP)
Set up men Mark Melancon, Kerry Wood, Aaron Crow, and George Sherrell have all sucked as well, putting zero pressure on the closer behind them, or in front of them, you know what I mean.
You always take the early part of the season with a grain of salt. It is just 3, 4, or 5 games out of 162, but you can tell that Marmol is still as shaky a 9th inning as there is in the majors. He has great stuff, but he has no clue where the hell it's going. Aceves will NOT be the closer when Bailey comes back and he may lose the job (despite a save last night) even sooner.
Corey Hart, Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Omar Infante, and Miguel Cabrera all have 3 home runs already to lead the league.
Great sign for Hart who is coming off an injury. Cespedes is the Cuban rookie CF for the A's who has quickly moved into the cleanup spot for Oakland. 3 of his 4 big league hits have left the yard, the other was a double. Infante will probably only hit 3 more the rest of the year, but enjoy it while it lasts. Bruce, if healthy could hit 30, while my man Miguel will contend for the A.L. MVP award this year.
Rafael Furcal (10/23, .435) and David Freese (10/24, .417), Cardinal teammates are tied for the league lead in hits. Freese is picking up where he left off last year as the NLCS and World Series MVP. A healthy Furcal will help St. Louis not miss Albert Pujols... as much.
Matt Kemp is bringing it for Magic Johnson's Dodgers... .412, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R, 1 SB.
Looking for Steals?
Emilio Bonafacio, Marlins... 4 SB. He is tied with Cubs SS Starlin Castro for the ML lead.
Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: 0-12
James Loney, Dodgers: 0-12
Jamey Carroll, Twins: 0-13
Mark DeRosa, Nationals: 0-11
Alex Gordon, Royals: 0-14
Ike Davis, Mets: 0-15
Jayson Werth(less), Nationals: 1-14
Dan Uggla, Braves: 1-13
Todd Helton, Rockies: 1-12
And the following starting pitchers allowed 5 earned runs or more in their first starts of the year:
Josh Beckett, Red Sox: (7 earned over 4.2)
Clay Buchholz, Red Sox: (7 earned over 4)
James Shields, Rays: (6 earned over 5)
Yovani Gallardo, Brewers: (6 earned over 3.2)
CC Sabathia, Yankees: (6 earned over 5)
Dan Haren, Angels: (5 earned over 5.1)
Tim Lincecum, Giants: (5 earned over 5.1)
Matt Cain, Giants: (5 earned over 6)
Fantasy baseball is a time consuming, aggravating, mind screw. If you are in the top of your league right now, enjoy it while you can, if you're at the bottom just know you got around 5 months to turn things around.
Best of luck to you.