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.
Aceves: nothing to fear?
Chris Perez pitched a perfect top of the ninth against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday to notch his 30th save of the season. The right-hander had blown his two previous opportunities in glorious awfulness, so this appearance was encouraging.
(This squeaky-clean stanza was obviously made possible by Perez's freshly shaven mug, which is completely conspicuous when he raises his head, 20 seconds in. Now the brother could use a haircut.)
The short-term turnaround came on the same day that the Cleveland Indians dismissed pitching coach Scott Radinsky. Coincidence? Almost certainly. But Perez told the club's official site that he couldn't argue with some of the reasons for Radinsky's pink slip.
It's unclear whether the fired coach's theoretical discovery - that Perez was tipping his pitches - was a factor in the closer's rebound effort on Thursday.
As many New England outlets have reported, Andrew Bailey is very close to making his return to the Boston Red Sox - which would make it a good bit sooner than anticipated.
With his second appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, the right-hander pitched in back-to-games for the first time in his rehab assignment. His numbers on this stint - five frames, six hits, one run, one walk and nine strikeouts - suggest that he's darn near ready to face MLB hitters.
WEEI noted that Bailey's velocity was just as good in that appearance as it was in his previous one. The pitcher who was acquired to close said that his cutter wasn't quite as sharp in the follow-up appearance, but he made up for it. That will come in short order, likely.
He's scheduled to appear for the PawSox again on Sunday, and that could be it. Bobby Valentine told the club's official site that he would examine the info from Bailey's rehabilitation stretch before making a decision.
Given that Bailey might be back in the bigs by mid-August, it's more than conceivable that he'll see work in save situations before the season ends. Bobby V's affinity for Alfredo Aceves may be an obstacle, but not necessarily a difficult one. Saves seekers should definitely add Bailey if he's still available.
Other Thursday saviors
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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