Reliever Roulette: Jake McGee Implodes

Rockies Closer Jake McGee

This has not been a good season for Jake McGee and things only got worse this past weekend. As if giving up four runs in less than an inning and blowing the save wasn’t enough, the Rockies closer has now landed on the DL with left knee inflammation. I’ve joked several times that the Jake McGee Colorado traded for was not the same guy we previously saw dominating out of the Tampa pen and honestly part of me still thinks we may have all been bamboozled here. I mean I get moving to Coors, but we’re talking about a pitcher who had a sub-one WHIP and a K/9 over 11 in each of the past two seasons suddenly regressing to a Ziegler-like strikeout rate of 6.2 and a WHIP that looks more like an ERA. Anyways enough about my personal frustrations with McGee, the more important question is where do his owners go from here?

Jason Motte, Boone Logan and Carlos Estevez have all seen time in the 9th inning since McGee’s injury and there have been some rumblings about a committee approach moving forward. That said, Estevez has received and converted each of the team’s last three save opportunities and has done so without allowing a single base runner during that stretch. It sure looks like he’s the favorite to hold the job until McGee is back so go and make the add where necessary. Keep in mind however that the upside of any Rockies reliever is already limited and Estevez is someone who has really struggled with walks both this season and last. Squeeze some saves out of this situation while you can, but don’t make the mistake of viewing this as a reliable long-term solution.

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Is Will Harris the guy to own in Houston? (Photo: Mike Carlson, Stringer)

Is Will Harris the guy to own in Houston? (Photo: Mike Carlson, Stringer)

In more positive news, Will Harris has earned the Astros’ last three saves and looks to be entrenched as the club’s new closer. And given how well he’s pitched over the past two seasons I can’t see him losing this gig due to performance issues. Still, part of me has a feeling that Houston may try to force Ken Giles back into the role at some point so both he and Luke Gregerson are probably still worth owning in deeper formats. Yet while Harris doesn’t have the security of some other names at the position, I have no qualms about him being a top 12-fantasy option while he has the job.

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