Return of the Closers

Return of the Closers
With the All-Star Game and the first closer trade in the rearview, it's time to do some good old fashioned closer talk.
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Rangers acquired RHPs Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson from the Tigers for RHP Joakim Soria.

Knebel, the No. 39 overall pick in the 2013 draft, is a fast-moving reliever who has already made eight appearances with the Tigers this season. The right-hander has a 1.26 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 84/27 K/BB ratio in 64 1/3 minor league innings since turning pro. Knebel should find a home in the Rangers bullpen and could end up closing sooner than later.
Jul 23 - 11:38 PM

Rangers acquired RHPs Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel from the Tigers for RHP Joakim Soria.

Thompson, a second-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft and a Texas native, has the highest upside of the two right-handed prospects acquired in the deal. The 20-year-old owns a 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 203/69 K/BB ratio in 200 2/3 career innings between rookie ball and Double-A Erie. He was the Tigers' No. 4 prospect coming into the season according to Baseball Prospectus.
Jul 23 - 11:30 PM

Tigers acquired RHP Joakim Soria from the Rangers for RHPs Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel.

In Soria, the Tigers are acquiring one of the best and most experienced closers on the trade market. Soria has a 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 42/4 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings this season, saving 17 games for the beleaguered Rangers. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has a decision to make as to how he wants to handle the closing duties between Soria and current closer Joe Nathan, so fantasy owners should pay attention to Ausmus' words and actions over the next few days. Neither closer should be dropped in fantasy leagues until one or the other is anointed as the clear-cut stopper.
Jul 23 - 11:25 PM

Ben Revere finished with two hits in four at-bats on Wednesday as the Phillies were defeated by the Giants 3-1.

After missing a few games with a sore ankle, Revere has scratched out back-to-back multi-hit games. He's one of the few Phillies consistently swinging a good bat. However, he was picked off by Madison Bumgarner in the bottom of the sixth, ending what could have been a rally. Revere is slashing .298/.318/.354 with one home run, 12 RBI, and 28 stolen bases on the season.
Jul 23 - 11:24 PM

A.J. Burnett had one of his best starts of the season on a rain-soaked night against the Giants, tossing eight shutout innings in a no-decision.

With the two clubs short on relievers due to Tuesday's 14-inning affair, Burnett sat through a rain delay and pitched through eight innings on 130 pitches. He allowed four hits, walked four, and struck out six. Depending on what the Phillies do over the next few days, it may have been his last start in red pinstripes. If he's still around on Monday, he'll open a road series in New York against the Mets, sporting a 3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 119/62 K/BB ratio.
Jul 23 - 11:21 PM

Madison Bumgarner shut the Phillies out over eight innings, picking up his 12th win on Wednesday.

Bumgarner had to sit through a rain delay but the Phillies were still no match for the talented left-hander when he came back out to finish his start. He allowed just five hits while walking zero and striking out six. Bumgarner has won three starts in a row and now has a 3.19 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP and 141/34 K/BB ratio. He'll open up a series at home against the Pirates in his next start.
Jul 23 - 11:18 PM

Hunter Pence was 0-for-3 with a walk until clearing the bases with a double to break a scoreless tie in the top of the ninth in Wednesday's win over the Phillies.

Pence has killed his former team in this series, entering the night with six hits in 13 at-bats. He now has 6 RBI in the series and can help the Giants wrap up a four-game sweep on Thursday afternoon. Pence has been among the most productive hitters in baseball, slashing .304/.361/.479 with 13 home runs, 41 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.
Jul 23 - 11:14 PM

Twins prospect RHP Kohl Stewart was scratched from his scheduled start at Low-A Cedar Rapids on Wednesday due to shoulder soreness.

Twins director of minor league operations Brad Steil said Stewart is dealing with "a little shoulder soreness," an affliction he dealt with toward the end of the 2013 season as well. It's not a huge cause for concern for the No. 4 overall pick in 2013, and he should be back on the mound sooner than later. Stewart owns a 2.42 ERA through 81 2/3 innings of work at the minor league level this season.
Jul 23 - 11:03 PM
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