This article is part of our Spring Training Job Battles series.
With spring training games starting up, it's time to take a long look at what exactly is up for grabs. This list is primarily geared toward those in deeper leagues where everyone with a role matters, as most players that get taken in shallow formats are good enough that they're locked into jobs. There will be players in this article worth noting for leagues of all sizes, however, with the up-for-grabs closer jobs being particularly noteworthy.
Madison Bumgarner and Robbie Ray are locked into the first two spots in the rotation, but the rest of the group isn't entirely clear. Based on his performance, which included a 2.81 ERA and a 28.7 percent strikeout rate in 15 starts as a rookie, Zac Gallen should have a locked-in spot as well, though he'll reportedly be forced to fight for his place. He made 29 total starts last season, so it would be a surprise to see him held back purely for workload reasons. Luke Weaver was in the middle of a breakout season before missing most of the year with a strained elbow (he did return for one late-September appearance). His 2.94 ERA, 26.5 percent strikeout rate and 5.4 percent walk rate in 12 starts suggest he should be able to hold onto a spot as long as he's healthy.
That would leave a pair of veterans fighting for the final spot. Merrill Kelly returned from South Korea last season and performed respectably in his big-league debut, recording