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.
Ozzie Guillen is favoring results over statistics. Not a bad thing for the Chicago White Sox, but not the ideal circumstance for fantasy owners of Sergio Santos. With Chicago holding a three-run ninth-inning lead Monday, Ozzie used Chris Sale to retire leadoff hitter Brennan Boesch before Santos recorded the final two outs. However, this eliminated a save chance; you can only register one with a three-run advantage if you pitch the entire frame.
Not so fast....
Though Santos remains the clear choice for closures, he might lose the occasional opportunity if the Sox keep using a lefty in tandem. Maybe it gives more reason to trade him if you're set in the category, but it's hardly a deal-breaker for owning him.
- Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Florida Marlins are now unlikely to trade closer Leo Nunez. With the debut of their new park coming next season, it seems they prefer to keep their core intact. They might even be opting to extend some of these key players instead of doing their typical fire sale.
It still doesn't hurt to grab Edward Mujica - or, if you miss out on him, Mike Dunn - on the cheap in case Florida opts to ship out Nunez.
- Jordan Walden suffered his MLB-leading seventh blown save Monday, allowing a game-tying RBI double with one out. After a walk and an HBP (on an 0-2 slider), the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim removed him. Hisanori Takahashi came in and allowed the game-losing tally.
There are some trade rumors swirling for the Halos' bullpen, but not enough to jeopardize Walden's hold on the job. He'll have his occasional rough outings, but if LAA doesn't bring in new personnel, Walden is safe. His gaffes haven't been enough to yank him yet.
- If the New York Mets are auditioning Jason Isringhausen, he'll surely get a part for another squad. The veteran recorded his 296th career save (third of the season) with a scoreless inning Monday. Bobby Parnell is still worth tucking away with the trade deadline coming up, but despite the possibility of Izzy wearing a new uni soon, his value as a mentor to the young relievers has made the Mets reluctant to deal him.
- The Colorado Rockies are keeping Rex Brothers in important setup innings and have hinted he might be next in line for saves. The southpaw has a closer pedigree, and Jim Tracy hesitated to place Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle on the backup closer level along with Matt Lindstrom.
Brothers is a long-term stock that could hold the fort down if Colorado decides to ditch Huston Street. It won't happen in 2011, but the Rox have a team option on Street for 2013, and if their plans change at some point, Brothers would be a worthy alternative.
- Another Jerome Holtzman special: On Monday Mitchell Boggs recorded the last two outs in the eighth, and the St. Louis Cardinals' offense padded his armor by scoring two runs in the bottom half. A cozy five-run lead made the ninth much easier for the man once considered St. Louis' future stopper.
As for their current fireman, Fernando Salas, the Cards are still pursuing other relief options, and he could be out of a job soon. Gauge your closer crop; if you have plenty in stock and would be best suited trading from saves depth, see if anyone would buy Salas.
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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