What are the odds that you still own the relief pitchers you rostered in your fantasy baseball draft? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series gives you no-nonsense ratings of performances, injuries and managerial decisions in MLB bullpens. Get your arm loose: Let's find fantasy baseball players in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league who'll get saves.
|Job security (JS) score
||1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
|Health (H) score
||1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)
Closer: Fernando Salas
Understudy: Eduardo Sanchez (DL), Mitchell Boggs
Lurkers: Jason Motte, Ryan Franklin, Trever Miller
Capps looked strong
The three-run homer that tagged Salas in his Thursday loss was the first he has allowed in 2011; he now sports a 6.14 ERA in 7 1/3 June innings.
Though he probably isn't in much jeopardy, Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan have pulled the bullpen trigger upon signs of prolonged trouble. See: Sanchez, earlier this season. He's on the DL with shoulder issues, so he isn't a threat yet, but maybe Boggs will get another shot if Salas' stumbles continue. He has thrown five scoreless innings with four K's since resurfacing from Triple-A Memphis. Motte has performed well but is becoming a specialist to come in with runners on.
Salas has had the most leash of any attempted closer since Franklin's dismissal, but the threat of a change looms. In deep leagues, Boggs could be a decent tuck-away if you need something with a remote chance at saves, but it'll require patience and falling dominoes.
Job security score: 2
Health score: 5
- Jon Rauch took the loss while pitching in another non-save situation for the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday, saddled with two runs (one was allowed to score after Rauch was pulled) on two hits without recording an out. This is frustrating for his owners, but once again, this is luck of the draw in John Farrell's usage.
Rauch wasn't used in a save situation Wednesday, which was wrapped up by Frank Francisco, because the former pitched two innings on the previous day. With Thursday's game coming at home and it being a tied game heading into the ninth, there was no reason to save Rauch. He remains the lead here; save opps just haven't lined up for him recently.
- In registering the Minnesota Twins' Thursday save, Matt Capps made his first appearance in eight days after dealing with wrist issues. The righty struck out two batters, challenging both inside. His four-seamer topped out at 96 mph, so it looks like he's ready to let it fly again. With Joe Nathan (forearm) still rehabbing and on a long course to prove he can close again, Capps has some rope as stopper.
- Koji Uehara owners were rooting for Kevin Gregg to blow the Baltimore Orioles' lead Thursday. The latter didn't comply, registering the closure, but gave us all another nail-biter in the process, allowing a leadoff dinger before settling down.
It seems that as long as Gregg keeps notching the "SV" next to his name in the box score, Buck Showalter will keep him in the role, regardless of how ugly it gets. The righty has been better of late, too. Still, it doesn't hurt to stash Uehara, whether you own Gregg or not.
- Jonathan Papelbon's suspension for his tirade against an umpire was reduced to two games. The Boston Red Sox closer will begin serving tonight, meaning Daniel Bard would be in line for saves; pick him up for short-term help if he's still available.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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