Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Bobby Parnell's break, St. Louis Cardinals' takeover, more

by on September 7, 2011 @ 11:09:05 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.


Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)


New York Mets

Closer: Bobby Parnell

Understudy: Jason Isringhausen

Lurkers: Josh Stinson, Pedro Beato, Manny Acosta

Skipper Terry Collins hinted at giving Parnell a rest from the closer gig so he can refine pitch location, learn to cut down on walks and reduce instances of falling behind in counts. Parnell's Tuesday outing (two hits, two walks, two runs) marked his second blown save in his last three tries.

St. Louis Cardinals RP Jason Motte
Motte nudges his way into lead

Collins wasn't sure whether he'd use Isringhausen, Stinson, Beato or Acosta on a consistent basis if he removes Parnell. Stinson, who saved six games for Double-A Binghamton this year, saved last night's extra-inning affair.

If Parnell were to be removed or paused, the best guess would be either Izzy or the 23-year-old Stinson. Izzy has done the job (albeit with mixed results) when called upon and is the likelier default fallback plan, but that's not set in stone.

Though he wasn't expected to pitch important frames upon his call-up, Stinson shouldn't be written off; the forward-thinking Mets are open to trying all potential saviors. He has a closer-like fastball but spent his entire 2011 Triple-A Buffalo stint as a starter. Stinson's unimpressive 4.67 K/9 there compared to that at Binghamton (7.42) could mean he's destined for the 'pen anyway.

Both could be worth speculation in cavernous leagues, but neither will cure your save deficiency because it'd probably be a rotation of sorts sans Parnell. Even if the lead chair has to take a break, hang on to him; the Mets will still give him plenty of chances (if they produce them) for the remainder of the season.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 5

San Francisco Giants

Closer: Brian Wilson (DL)

Understudy: Santiago Casilla, Ramon Ramirez

Lurkers: Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez

With Ramirez emerging from the San Francisco Giants' bullpen with the Tuesday save, this picture was confirmed to be murky with Wilson (elbow inflammation) sidelined. Casilla was called the front-runner by Bruce Bochy recently but was yanked in the final frame after allowing a double and hitting two batters with two outs. His control unraveled, and he appeared rattled. A Ramirez K finished the game.

It's becoming less likely that Romo will be used to close because Bochy doesn't want to push the righty's elbow. Casilla, meanwhile, has been rock steady for most of the season and probably will get more chances. He was lined up for the save, but the fact that he couldn't finish might give Ramirez the next shot at this painful musical chairs.

If you have to jump in, stick with Casilla but be ready to switch at a moment's notice. If you don't feel like playing, don't be ashamed. You can try grabbing Ramirez, but it's hardly a guarantee to pay off.

Wilson is expected to throw off a mound today and be re-evaluated at some point afterward to update his timetable. If the Giants give up on the playoffs and decide to shut Wilson down, you should expect this messy setup to continue.

Job security score: 5

Health score: 4

St. Louis Cardinals

Closer: Jason Motte, Fernando Salas

Understudy: Kyle McClellan

Lurkers: Eduardo Sanchez (DL), Lance Lynn (DL), Octavio Dotel

Salas pitched in the seventh inning to record a hold last night. Motte, on the other hand, worked around three hits and an earned run (his first allowed since June 23) to record the St. Louis Cardinals save. Hmm.

Salas has been on point for most of his time at the back end, but maybe his back-to-back poor outings last week, combined with Motte's brilliance of late, has prompted a silent changing of the guard. After all, Sanchez stumbled only a few times before being exiled from closing.

Either way, Motte should be grabbed immediately if still floating on your waiver wire. Salas owners should remain patient; even if Motte is the top option, the possibly deposed stopper could be option 1A and still contribute a few to the SV column.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 5

Mound meetings

  • Sergio Santos rebounded Tuesday after a rough weekend. The Chicago White Sox's kind-of-sort-of closer fanned two in a scoreless one-inning closure. Chris Sale will still poach some opportunities depending on matchups. Both are worth fantasy ownership.
Facebook Twitter Google +


Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts


Don't miss these great reports....

What do you think? Sound off!

Recent KFFL releases