Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Jason Motte takes throne; Jim Johnson, Joel Peralta to follow suit?

by Tim Heaney on September 12, 2011 @ 11:12:15 PDT

 


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.

Mound meetings

  • St. Louis Cardinals RP Jason Motte
    All but locked up
    Kyle Farnsworth gave up two runs on three hits and a walk Saturday to blow his second straight opportunity. Turns out he's suffering from right elbow tenderness (not the Otis Redding kind). Farnsie will be reevaluated Tuesday, and the Tampa Bay Rays will enable a closing committee for as long as he's out. They're hoping he'll be back by the end of the week, but this could easily last longer than that.
    Joel Peralta probably stands ahead of the pack, but two young southpaws - Jake McGee and possibly new call-up Matt Moore - could be involved, too. Go with Peralta first, saves seekers.
  • The silent coup of the St. Louis Cardinals' closer chair gained volume as Jason Motte closed out the Birds' Saturday and Sunday victories. Fernando Salas set him up Saturday. Motte must be picked up everywhere. Salas owners should look elsewhere; even if you're clinging to any possible saves hope, he's dead weight at a time when you can't afford any.
  • Kevin Gregg pitched a scoreless outing in a tied situation Wednesday, and Jim Johnson eventually logged an 11th-inning save in that contest. Routine if the stopper pitches earlier in such a spot, right? Well, Johnson got the closer ball on Friday, the day after Gregg tossed 29 pitches in another tied circumstance.
    A shared setup? Buck Showalter probably still considers Gregg the leader but seems more willing to give Gregg rest. Not a bad idea. Johnson is worth a dart throw in deep leagues; he has closer-worthy skills.
  • After Manny Acosta botched a save chance Friday, Terry Collins offered Bobby Parnell the next New York Mets opp Saturday. Parnell didn't return the favor, allowing two unearned runs and taking the loss. It was his third gaffe in his last four attempts.
    Parnell still has a slight lead as the Metropolitans try to determine their 2012 stopper, but the fantasy value coming from this race appears limited. You can try owning one or both of them, but prepare to be frustrated.
  • Javy Guerra saved the Los Angeles Dodgers' Saturday victory while dealing with a cracked fingernail. He hit 94 mph late in the inning, and this issue shouldn't affect his use. But since Guerra had pitched on each of the previous three days, Kenley Jansen was slated to wrap things up Sunday if needed; he wasn't. He's the target if you still want to speculate here.
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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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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