Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Greg Holland, Ernesto Frieri, Frank Francisco, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 2, 2012 @ 13:30:29 PDT'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

Greg Holland didn't strike out anyone, but no one reached against him either on Wednesday in his first appearance as the Kansas City Royals' new closer. The righty had nothing to fear with a three-run lead against the Cleveland Indians.

Since his return from the disabled list, Holland has posted a 2.10 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP (thanks primarily to control problems that he's finally getting in order) and a 12.06 K/9.


Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Ernesto Frieri
Frieri fire snuffed out

Ernesto Frieri's first blown save chance as a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was part of the aftermath of the Texas Rangers' possibly momentous comeback victory on Wednesday night. Free passes weren't the pitcher's undoing, at least.

The right-hander gave up a one-out solo shot to Ian Kinsler in the bottom of the ninth to knot the game at 7. He then opened the 10th frame, this time with a three-run lead and a chance to record a W, by serving up a 470-some-foot bomb to Nelson Cruz. The next man reached on an error, and then he walked a batter, before Mike Scioscia went to get him.

Things had to go south at some point, right? Texas' hitters were jumping all over the righty early in the count. Perhaps that's how to beat Frieri, or perhaps that's carryover from the Rangers' recent offensive woes.

Either way, especially with Scott Downs (shoulder strain) on the DL for a couple of weeks, Frieri is still the main man for the Halos.


In that wild Halos-Rangers affair, Joe Nathan was on the hook for the loss because he gave up a Chris Iannetta solo job and a two-run shot to Albert Pujols. Texas' astounding re-comeback in the bottom of the 10th netted him a hard-earned win, however.

Of course, Nathan isn't in danger of losing his gig. Last night's debacle was just more of the scheduled corrections to the 37-year-old's marks that Tim pointed out were coming a few weeks ago.


Frank Francisco (strained oblique) has made four consecutive scoreless appearances (two back-to-back) on his rehab assignment. The New York Mets plan to activate the right-hander on Friday, when, per Terry Collins, he'll nudge Bobby Parnell (and friends) from closing duties.

To his credit, Parnell did his part on Wednesday, slamming the door shut on a 2-1 victory at the San Francisco Giants for his fourth save of the year. He didn't allow a base runner and struck out one. The Mets will probably give him another shot in a save chance, at some point, this year or next. He's not worth holding in anticipation of that time, however.


In the first game of his rehabilitation assignment, Andrew Bailey (thumb surgery) pitched a scoreless frame for the Gulf Coast League (rookie ball) Red Sox. He surrendered a hit and fanned two. He's expected to need most of this month on the farm before he rejoins the Boston Red Sox as Alfredo Aceves' setup man.

Bailey may receive a few token appearances in save situations in September. It's not a sure thing, but it's possible. If you're that desperate for saves, have at 'er.

Other Wednesday saviors

Fernando Rodney (31), Rays
Jonathan Papelbon (23), Phillies
Aroldis Chapman (23), Reds
Jose Valverde (21), Tigers
Addison Reed (18), White Sox
Tom Wilhelmsen (15), Mariners
Steve Cishek (5), Marlins
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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

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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