Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Joakim Soria, starter? White Sox have no doubts

by Tim Heaney on August 30, 2011 @ 10:58:38 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

  • Citing the need to monitor Sergio Romo's workload with him coming off the DL, Bruce Bochy said Santiago Casilla would've served as closer Monday night. Skip wouldn't commit to him doing the San Francisco Giants' job by himself until Brian Wilson (elbow) returns from the DL. Considering Wilson's return date is unknown and Casilla is merely being played as the hot hand, you're still better off picking up Romo if you have a choice. Romo is the more fitting long-term bet if a fill-in will have an extended opportunity with Wilson sidelined.
  • Chicago White Sox RP Sergio Santos
    Santos to enter 2012 as closer
    Kansas City Royals pitching coach Bob McClure is thinking about turning Joakim Soria into a starter next spring training. Hang on - it isn't to move him to the rotation. It's an effort to have him calibrate all of his offerings and avoid early-season stumbling. McClure is considering building Soria up to four innings per spring appearance by grouping him with the club's starting pitchers, before returning him to bullpen work as the season draws near.
    The Monarchs have toyed with making Soria a starter, considering that's what he did before he became their 2006 Rule 5 prize. Maybe this would streamline his approach; maybe it would bring on more early-season fatigue. Luckily, this plan is in pencil, but it's something for his keeper owners and prospective drafters to monitor.
  • Despite a 1.35 ERA in 6 2/3 August innings, Jordan Walden said he's suffering from fatigue. He looks a little more hittable of late with a 1.35 WHIP and two blown saves in four chances this month. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stopper probably won't be replaced on a full-time scale, and his workload has been manageable this month.
    Maybe he gets an extra day off in a save situation, with someone like Scott Downs, Fernando Rodney or Hisanori Takahashi filling in. They might be worth AL-only speculation, but they're not worth tucking away in mixed leagues at the moment.
  • Bobby Parnell logged his second save of 2011, working around a solo homer to wrap up the first game of the New York Mets' Monday doubleheader; he also finished the second-game, non-save win. Expect the 'Ropolitans to give Parnell nearly free reign over the closer gig with Jason Isringhausen merely serving as a mentor and fill-in, which is what he'll do Tuesday with Parnell unavailable.
  • The Chicago White Sox expect Sergio Santos to close when the 2012 season begins, even though Ozzie Guillen or GM Kenny Williams, or both, might not be around to see it happen. Either way, Santos entered the ninth frame Monday with a three-run lead and due to face a lefty stick followed by two righties. He went 1-2-3.
    Santos owners will continue to hope for situations like this; Chris Sale will be used to close out spots with two-plus lefties due up.
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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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