Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Rafael Soriano, Drew Storen, more

by Nicholas Minnix on June 12, 2012 @ 11:45:20 PDT



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

Wallace Matthews ghostwrote a thought that might've crossed the minds of many viewers and box score checkers on Monday night: "Had Soriano's blown save on Sunday afternoon meant the end of his days as a closer come Monday night?"

Boston Red Sox RP Daniel Bard
Bard barging way into bullpen?

But Joe Girardi doesn't typically overreact like that. He told Matthews and other media members that he simply didn't want to risk anything with his right-hander. On Sunday, Rafael Soriano noticed a small blister on the tip of his right index finger after the game against the New York Mets in which he took his first BS of the season.

Perhaps the development of the blister even explains a little of his unraveling this past weekend. The New York Yankees' manager thinks that his closer will be ready to pitch on Tuesday.

The skipper used both Cory Wade (righty) and Boone Logan (lefty) to protect a three-run lead going into the ninth of the club's victory against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, so there was no registered save. Girardi played the matchups, but he might've even gone out of his way to ensure that no one picked up an SV so as to avoid squirting a little gas on the flame.


Related Yankees info: Today, David Robertson started a game for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and pitched one frame. It marked his second rehab appearance. Andrew Marchand reported some details of the 1-2-3 stanza. It looks like the Bombers will activate D-Rob this weekend, possibly on Friday.

Marchand notes that Robertson will return in a setup role, which is practically certain. Soriano's hiccup this past weekend was likely only that, and, without question, he could easily lock things down from here on out. There are three and a half months left in this season, though, so don't take it for granted.


On Monday, Drew Storen threw off a mound for the second time since his operation to remove bone chips from his right elbow. Afterward, he felt fine, according to Davey Johnson. As long as he doesn't have any significant setbacks, Storen should be back after the break.

Storen may not get his job back, at least right away. It'll likely depend on how well Tyler Clippard does in the meantime and the Washington Nationals' place in the standings, at least.


The Boston Red Sox have asked Daniel Bard to work in relief in the minors for the time being. The idea, according to Bard as well as the organization, is to let him pitch in situations in which he's more comfortable to help him regain his command and confidence. An report elaborates.

While the reasoning might be sound, Bard will have to become comfy working every five days for at least five innings eventually. It sounds like the process to get him to that point could be a rather extensive one, considering how much work he put in this past offseason to make the transition to starter in the first place.

Even if he and the BoSox remain committed to his goal to start, the smart money is on his return to the big club this year as a reliever. It probably won't be a fantasy-friendly role.


On Monday with advanced Class A Charlotte, Kyle Farnsworth (strain in right elbow) began his rehab assignment with a scoreless frame. Grant McAuley reported that the right-hander gave up a hit but needed only five pitches to get through the stanza.

More important than the result was that Farnsie dealt with no pain at any point in the inning or afterward. He's scheduled to pitch again for Charlotte on Thursday and could be back with the Tampa Bay Rays by the beginning of the second half. It just won't be as the closer if Fernando Rodney is still healthy and getting the job done.

Other Monday saviors

Heath Bell (13), Marlins Fanned side after issuing leadoff BB
Ernesto Frieri (5), Angels Taking L for Dodgers: Kenley Jansen



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

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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