It seemed like a foregone conclusion thatJeanmar Gomez was going to be removed from his closerrole at some point this season.
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin made the move sooner than later Monday when he named 39-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit as the team's new closer.
Who is Joaquin Benoit?
Benoit is a veteran hurler who posts reliable numbers, exemplified by his2.81 ERA with over a strikeout per inning in 2016. He has already tossed three scoreless innings this season.
Normally an eighth-inning specialist, Benoit hadjust 51 saves in 1,021 1/3 career innings heading into Monday's game against the Mets. His most saves in one season came in 2013, when he recorded 24with the Tigers.
Is Benoit worth an add in fantasy mixed leagues?
Anyone with the closer label holds value to mixed fantasy baseball leagues. Assuming the league you are in carries saves as a category — most do — then Benoit can add immediate value as a producer of saves.
Benoit also adds value with strikeouts, low ERA and a solid WHIP. Philadelphia, however, is not expected to win many games this season, so Benoit's save chances could be few and far between.
For now, he is worth picking up, but don't drop a promising young hitter or reliable starting pitcher to get him.
Clearly, Mackanin is not in favor of having Gomez closegames for his team. That could change, as managers can be fickle at times.
Benoit's main competition, in the immediate future, will come fromHector Neris, a 27-year-old who already has two holds this season. Neris has the best "stuff" in the Phillies' bullpen, so he could get a crack at closing gamesthis year at some point.