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.
After this space broke down his Wednesday blown save and overall picture yesterday, Rafael Betancourt rebounded with a scoreless, two-strikeout frame Thursday for a clean Colorado Rockies save. It was the first time all year he had a chance to wrap up a win two days in a row. He still has some red flags, but he'll have plenty of time to work on them in this capacity.
A clean ninth inning Thursday gave Alfredo Aceves his 18th closure of the season. The Boston Red Sox's interim closer hasn't blown a chance since May 27, though he has been roughed up even when successful in his duty.
A perfect clip for Clippard
Andrew Bailey (torn right thumb UCL) threw a Wednesday bullpen session and is expected to log another one today. He started throwing in general around seven weeks ago with a brace on his thumb. The right-hander has reported no issues with his rehab work. A return sometime around the midsummer break in Kansas City is a realistic expectation. Aceves' utility allows the Sawx to play it safe with their offseason relief investment if they don't feel he's ready.
Still, if you have other saves plans and can dump off Aceves to some unsuspecting opponent in the coming weeks, do so. He's worth hanging on to if you can, though, just in case Bailey has more difficulties upon his return. Just be sure to make plans to cover yourself when he gives up the role.
Speaking of imminent closer returns.... Following a scoreless frame Thursday, Tyler Clippard is 11-for-11 in save opportunities in taking over the interim gig for the Washington Nationals. Drew Storen (elbow) has been throwing at 85 to 90 percent effort and is on track to face live hitters Saturday as he works his way toward an All-Star break return.
Even with Storen slated to slide back into the stopper role, Clippard, a relief ace regardless of role, is worth owning all year in all formats.
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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