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Monday, April 9, 2007

Astros Promote Dan Wheeler to Closer

Get to your waiver wire quickly folks. Dan Wheeler has just surpassed Brad Lidge as Astros closer. He may already be gone, but Wheeler is a great pitcher who should rack up some saves for Houston. His fantasy score is 9.22. Lidge is still a pretty good pitcher and could resume the role later in the year, but you should feel confident riding Wheeler for now.


Dread Pirate Robert said...

He's 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA, one save, and one blown save in five games this season.

He went 3-5 with 9 saves in 12 chances and a 2.52 ERA in 75 relief appearances in 2006.

Lidge is going to get his job back soon...

Derek Carty said...

Perhaps, but unless Wheeler seriously falters and Lidge starts lighting it up like he did a couple of years ago it seems unlikely. Wheeler was a great setup man and should make for a fine closer. He has nice peripherals, and a 9.00 ERA in 4 IP doesn't mean much. Besides, ERA is rather meaningless, especially for a reliever. But if we are looking at it, why would a 2.52 ERA last year be bad?

I'm trying to have you guys look past these numbers that are easily compromised by misfortune and look at numbers that mean something. Wheeler had an 8.58 K/9 and 2.83 K/BB last year. His GB Percentage was lower than you'd like, and Brad Lidge has gotten absurdly unlucky over the past two years (he is a much better pitched than his surface numbers would indicate), but I don't see Wheeler pitching so poorly that he would lose the job.

I could be completely wrong, but the way I rationalize it, I see Wheeler as the closer for quite a while. I think Lidge would have to be lights out for a month or two before getting the job back. This is a definite possibility, but for a free waiver wire pickup, you could do much worse than Wheeler.