Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Marlins, Frank Francisco, Sergio Santos
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.
The Miami Marlins were clinging to a 3-2 lead in their tilt against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night. Ozzie Guillen used Heath Bell to set up in the eighth before opening with Mike Dunn in the bottom of the ninth.
The skipper of the Fish reportedly indicated afterward that his playbook involved the southpaw and righty Steve Cishek, who ideally would be retiring Dan Uggla for the final out. Historically, leadoff hitter Chipper Jones is slightly less accomplished from the right side of the dish. The Bravos' Freddie Freeman has had significantly more trouble versus lefties, naturally.
As Juan C. Rodriguez notes, in the span of seven of Dunn's pitches, Chipper roped a double and advanced to third on wild offering, and then Freeman took the reliever deep. Game over.
Whether Bell's "taken out of context" comments about his manager on the radio on Monday had anything to do with his lack of opportunity to participate in the closing party last night is unclear. It's clear that Ozzie still views Cishek as his lead saves horse, however. He cited the reliever's recent struggles against left-handed hitters as his reason to pair him up with Dunn.
Guillen is apparently ready to go to a pseudo-committee approach, like in cases where Cishek would open against unfavorable matchups, but the righty is still "the man." Expect the Marlins to add plenty of arms to its bullpen in 2013 - perhaps to support the pricey Bell and without the input of Guillen.
Frank Francisco has no structural damage in his elbow, but it seems increasingly likely that the New York Mets will shut him down for the rest of the season. Terry Collins said that the closer was unable to play catch on Tuesday, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.
The reporter also received confirmation from a team official that the injury isn't anything more serious. There's so little time left in this campaign, however, that Frank Frank would unlikely have the time to prepare for game action, even if New York was willing to let him.
According to his team's official site, Sergio Santos (shoulder surgery) has been doing rehab work in California three times per week. If all goes according to plan, in December he'll begin a program that involves throwing. The forecast calls for projected 2013 closer to be ready for game action sometime in spring training.
Of course, if he's not, the Toronto Blue Jays have to believe that they have a quality fallback option in Casey Janssen. Would they entertain a competition for the role? Probably not, but the 31-year-old righty has proven his mettle in the bullpen.
Other Tuesday 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. Follow @NicholasMinnix
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