2016 Fantasy Baseball Bullpen Previews: American League Central

Source: David Sherman/Getty Images North America

Source: David Sherman/Getty Images North America

MINNESOTA TWINS

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Glen Perkins has been going strong as Minnesota’s closer for several years now, though last year was a step back. He hadn’t posted a FIP over 3.17 since 2010, but last year it jumped up to 3.82 as he gave up more fly balls and surrendered plenty more home runs.

His fastball worked well for him, but the slider struggled to make an impact, as it earned a very poor -4.1 value (a career worst). He doesn’t have the overpowering stuff that many other closers possess, but he does enough to hold onto the job while the Twins don’t really have anyone pressing him.

That was before they brought in Kevin Jepsen though, who was able to step in for Perkins after he got hurt and couldn’t keep things together in the second half last year. Jepsen has struggled with consistency during his career, but last year he was traded to Minnesota after posting a 2.81 ERA with five saves for Tampa Bay, and did very well.

He logged a stellar 1.61 ERA, and when the year was over he had struck out 59 batters in 69.2 innings pitched. While his FIP and SIERA point to more of a 3.70 ERA type pitcher, he has had a strong couple of years leading into 2016 and should get a chance to work the eighth inning for the Twins.

Trevor May is the other interesting name here, but given the Twins’ low hopes of contending for a championship alongside May’s contract status, he may be more of a closer for the future, but probably not yet. May’s strong fastball works very well out of the pen, and if he can improve his secondary offerings then he becomes a game-changer.

He cut his walk rate by over 50 percent last year, and can strike out a batter per inning. He should get holds alongside that this year, which will certainly play in some leagues. Casey Fien used to carry relevance, but he has lost his strikeout stuff and his best case scenario appears to be providing you with some empty ratios, so look elsewhere.

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