Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Carlos Marmol, J.J. Putz and more
by Nicholas Minnix
on July 19, 2011 @ 14:35:07
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.
- In his first appearance since his demotion, Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday - with a 6-1 lead. He walked two and fanned two. Prior to that contest, Mike Quade wasn't sure if he was willing to use the righty in a save sitch yet, and that it would depend, per the Chicago Cubs' official site.
Putz's return around the corner
Quade reported that Marmol has made the most of his time away from game action so far. Marmol said that his feel for his signature slider and his fastball were improved. Pitching coach Mark Riggins had told the Chicago Sun-Times that Marmol's slider didn't have the same depth it had earlier in the year, so this could be a positive step. Riggins said that the correction should be a simple fix. It shouldn't be long.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks' official site notes that a Sunday throwing session went smoothly for J.J. Putz (right elbow tendonitis). Yahoo!'s Tim Brown reports that he's expected to throw again on Tuesday and Thursday and could be activated this weekend.
On Monday, David Hernandez notched his seventh save in a row in Putz's absence. The club has to feel good about its fallback plan. GM Kevin Towers has scouts examining approximately 20 relievers who might be available for trade, says Brown.
- On Monday, Kyle Farnsworth registered his third blown save of 2011. The Tampa Bay Rays held a 4-2 lead against the New York Yankees in the eighth, with one out, when the righty entered and allowed two inherited runners to score. He gave up two consecutive hits, the second of which drove in the first run. An FC ground-out plated the second.
Farnsie has plenty of job security, but it's worth noting any time you can wonder if the wheels may fall off, or if Tampa intended to use him for the last five outs if he'd been successful in the eighth.
- Neither Sergio Santos nor Matt Thornton had pitched since the break, which might explain why Ozzie Guillen used each pitcher in the ninth of Monday's 5-2 win against the Kansas City Royals. The left-hander retired a pair without incident, so when Ozzie called on the righty, who struck out the only batter he faced, the save situation died.
Guillen hasn't given any indication that he's re-examining roles. Santos had a rough close to the first half, though, and Thornton has now made 14 consecutive scoreless appearances. The skipper's loyalty gene should give Santos a good bit more room to work through his difficulties, though, as long as they're temporary.
- Confirmed: Brad Lidge (partially torn rotator cuff) will resume his rehab assignment on Wednesday with Class A Lakewood. The Philadelphia Phillies' assistant GM said that team doctors will evaluate the right-hander afterward, and he could be activated this weekend. The Phils may be eager to guesstimate how much they'll be able to rely on Lidge down the stretch as the trade deadline approaches.
- Coincidentally, Jayson Stark (ESPN) reports that Philly has been on the horn with the Florida Marlins about Leo Nunez.
- FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking at the Baltimore Orioles' Koji Uehara, among others. If the Japanese import were dealt, Kevin Gregg might feel a little less heat, but he doesn't seem to feel it, anyway.
- FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi has some sources who say that the Cincinnati Reds have expressed some interest in, among others, the New York Mets' Jason Isringhausen and Uehara.
Neither, particularly Izzy, would be likely to threaten Francisco Cordero's hold on the closer's job. Izzy's departure would make Bobby Parnell stashers happy, however, and Pedro Beato might then get a shot.
- "Update" on Jonathan Broxton (bruised elbow): The Los Angeles Dodgers' official site relayed that the right-hander still isn't throwing. Don Mattingly said that the only thing he's seen Brox do is arm exercises, which would indicate that he's still not free of pain. It's becoming harder to imagine him on an MLB mound again this season.
- Joe Nathan was reportedly available for the second game of the Minnesota Twins' Monday doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians. They didn't call upon him - they dropped both ends, in fact - but had probably hoped to avoid that scenario, anyway. That would've been the fourth day in a row on which he worked. Sunday marked the first time he'd worked three days in a row since October of 2009.
- Chad Durbin couldn't put a dent in the Twins' comeback hopes from a 5-0 deficit in the first game of Monday's twin bill, so Chris Perez started to throw. Vinnie Pestano was already pretty warm because he'd loosened up in the eighth, as Sheldon Ocker notes in the Akron Beacon Journal, though, so he recorded his second save of 2011. Perez gave up a run in the nightcap in a non-save situation.
- The Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson speculates that the Boston Red Sox may try to re-sign Jonathan Papelbon this winter after all. The market is expected to be flooded with relievers, which may drive down the righty's price.
The scenario hardly seemed possible when the season began. It still seems that, if the BoSox are smart, they'll be more efficient with their resources, and a mild discount on a high-priced closer doesn't sound like the way to do it, especially when Daniel Bard is around.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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