Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Jim Johnson flying, Craig Kimbrel grounded?

by Tim Heaney on September 14, 2011 @ 10:16:46 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

  • Atlanta Braves RP Craig Kimbrel
    Don't fret yet
    Pick up Jim Johnson. In the last seven days, he has as many Baltimore Orioles saves as Kevin Gregg has recorded since the start of August. JJ logged a one-out closure Tuesday. Gregg's last opp? Sept. 10 - and, naturally, he blew it.
    Johnson has been penciled in to join the rotation eventually, but his skills are shining when he's a stopper. Buck Showalter hasn't addressed a change, but his actions say it all, a la the Jason Motte takeover in the Gateway City. Even if skip still wants Gregg in save situations, it won't be every instance, which still makes Johnson a worthy fantasy addition.
  • Though the Atlanta Braves are losing a bit of their Wild Card lead, they're still concerned about how they're going to use Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty down the stretch. Obviously, the first commodity is most worrisome for readers. It could also mean, however, that Venters might steal more closing opps, but it might just mean Kimbrel is only going to appear in actual save chances from now on.
    That being said, Kimbrel's Sept. 9 stumble was the first time he yielded an earned run since June 11, spanning a shutout stretch of 38 appearances (37 2/3 frames).
  • Guess he got the rest he needed: Jordan Walden has logged five consecutive scoreless outings since recently complaining of fatigue. His latest breeze came Tuesday in a perfect save frame for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
  • If Francisco Rodriguez is available in your daily transactions league and you're desperate for saves, today is a solid day to try snaking a save out of him. John Axford will be unavailable for the Milwaukee Brewers.
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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

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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