Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Ryan Madson, Antonio Bastardo, more

by Nicholas Minnix on July 21, 2011 @ 14:33:21 PDT


What are the odds that you still own the relief pitchers you rostered in your fantasy baseball draft?'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.

Mound meetings

  • Charlie Manuel seemed to confirm the recent speculation that Antonio Bastardo could hang on to the closer's role, or at least share duties, for the foreseeable future. Tweeted quote from The Wilmington News Journal's David Hale: "Bastardo might be able to do whatever he wants to do with the way he's been." Sit tight, Ryan Madson owners, because Manuel said that he has confidence in both of them. Shared duties may be in store.
  • Kirk Gibson wants to see J.J. Putz (elbow tendonitis) pitch on back-to-back days before he returns to the Arizona Diamondbacks, per the official site. The righty felt good after his Tuesday outing. He's expected to go on Friday and Saturday for Triple-A Reno and then, if all goes well, he could be activated at the beginning of next week.
    David Hernandez owners might be sad. They should know by now that his performance while Putz has been sidelined and the latter's history of injuries means that the former must remain tucked away.
  • The Mets seemingly don't intend to trade Jason Isringhausen by the deadline, says SI's Jon Heyman. The organization would like the vet to mentor Bobby Parnell. If accurate, the news ensures that Izzy's 300th will come in a Mets uni, that Parnell won't see save opps until sometime after that, and that Pedro Beato may not see them at all. That is, except on days when Isringhausen is unavailable, like Thursday - Beato was lined up.
    Jason Isringhausen, RP, New York Mets
    Izzy staying put

    In the eighth inning on Wednesday, Parnell allowed the go-ahead run to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets tied it again before Pagan homered in the 10th to hand Izzy (two frames of scoreless ball, three K's) a win. Parnell is still a decent wager to see save opps, but not for quite a while.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals clearly want an upgrade in the bullpen. And the fact that Fernando Salas is their best late-innings option may, on occasion, work against him. He blew a save against the Cincinnati Reds last Friday; a tough hitter in Brandon Phillips took him deep, but that's on him.
    On Wednesday against the New York Mets, however, the right-hander pitched a spotless ninth frame in a tied ballgame to carry his club into extras. He proceeded to give up a walk-off jack to Angel Pagan with one out in the 10th. Salas has been a bit less dependable when he goes more than one frame. Two of the five dingers and five of the 14 runs he's yielded this year have come in his 5 2/3 frames (of 47 total) in overtime.
  • Florida Marlins manager Jack McKeon apparently doesn't want to see Leo Nunez end up elsewhere, but if he does, the grizzled manager said that he would lean on Edward Mujica in the ninth. McKeon thinks that Mujica has the kind of aggressiveness which would allow him to succeed in that role, if asked. If you need saves, it wouldn't hurt to stash Mujica.
    Perhaps overlooked is the fact that McKeon also iterated his willingness to use Nunez for more than one inning and in non-save situations. He'd considered doing so in a recent series, but his coaches told him that his closer hadn't done it yet in 2011. The old-school McKeon scoffs at the notion that he shouldn't challenge his players, so it'll be interesting to see how Nunez reacts in expanded outings.
  • Javy Guerra tossed a perfect ninth frame, with one strikeout, following Clayton Kershaw's eight brilliant innings on Wednesday. It was the right-hander's first spotless stanza since June 22 (a span of seven appearances), but he's 6-for-6 in save situations.
    That fact can't be lost on Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly - especially since Hong-Chih Kuo suffered the loss the day before in a tight one with the San Francisco Giants. The southpaw walked three on his way to yielding two runs and the lead, at a time when Mattingly was showing more confidence in him.
  • Gossip sections: FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says that, according to sources, the Toronto Blue Jays have expressed interest in the San Diego Padres' relievers, including Heath Bell. The Jays' goal might be to net draft picks if Bell walks after 2011, or they may want to re-sign him. It's uncertain, but it seems like a farfetched future transgression.
    Mike Adams, perhaps a more valuable commodity because he's under team control through 2012, debunked a report that Friars owner Jeff Moorad told the righty he'd be staying put. The club wants a top prospect for Adams, though; he's still a solid bet to replace Bell at back end after July 31.
  • If Francisco Rodriguez wants to see save chances while with the Milwaukee Brewers, he should probably avoid blowing 2-0 leads in the eighth inning, like he did on Wednesday. Fortunately for John Axford owners, the road team tallied three times in the 10th frame, which created a save opp against the Arizona Diamondbacks bottom half. No sweat for the Ax.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays' official site notes that the club will give normally next-in-line Joel Peralta off for at least a couple of days. His throwing program between appearances is lighter, too. The righty has pitched in 47 games (43 2/3 innings), including four of six since the break. Peralta believes that the fatigue he's feeling is affecting his control.
    If Kyle Farnsworth is unavailable again in the very near future, maybe this will present an opportunity to test Jake McGee? Joe Maddon said that he'll try to use Peralta only when absolutely necessary.
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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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