Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Carlos Marmol, Tigers committee, more

by Tim Heaney on April 2, 2013 @ 11:52:09 PDT

 

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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.

Team
JS
H
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
Chicago Cubs
2
5
Carlos Marmol Kyuji Fujikawa Arodys Vizcaino DL
James Russell

Marmol wasted no time spoiling his tenuous hold on Chicago Cubs closures. Going into the ninth on Monday with a three-run cushion, he struck out the first batter but then hit Andrew McCutchen, who promptly stole second before scoring on a Pedro Alvarez single off a 1-2 hanger. After Marmol walked the potential tying tally, Russell entered and retired a batter. Fujikawa came in and induced the game-ending pop-up.

Detroit Tigers RP Phil Coke
Just for the taste of it?

Dale Sveum says Marmol is still his closer, and that's probably true for at least a few more opportunities. Russell's entry into the spot was merely matchup-based; Fujikawa would come first as a replacement if he builds on his brief but uneventful debut.

The former Hanshin Tigers fireman stood among the most coveted save speculations during draft season. Expect him to be one of the most popular waiver grabs this week, and if you have the need - especially if you're clinging to Marmol - you should follow suit, even if you must wait things out.

Team
JS
H
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
Detroit Tigers
N/A
N/A
Committee Phil Coke
Joaquin Benoit
Octavio Dotel
Bruce Rondon M
Al Alburquerque
Brayan Villarreal

The Detroit Tigers committee has its first session Monday. Benoit, who pitched the eighth, stayed on to face righty stick Josh Willingham to open the ninth. After forcing a pop-up, Benoit was removed for Coke, who retired lefty launcher Joe Justin Morneau and switch-hitter Ryan Doumit to pound the gavel.

It won't always work this way. Probably due to Doumit's disadvantage in career numbers batting right-handed, Leyland stuck with his lefty, despite Coke's shaky numbers versus righty bats. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Jim Leyland has fond memories of Coke quenching such situations from last postseason and has previously expressed doubt over Benoit's ability to pitch on back-to-back days. While that assessment may be ... um, less than accurate according to the numbers, at least in recent seasons, it's not to be taken lightly.

Coke holds as much of a lead as possible in these tight quarters. Carriers of the right-handed RPs will have less of a payoff, but owning any of these three pieces of this early-season arrangement wouldn't be a wasted trial.

Team
JS
H
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
Milwaukee Brewers
3
5
John Axford Jim Henderson Brandon Kintzler
Mike Gonzalez
Mark Rogers DL

With the Milwaukee Brewers leading by one in the ninth yesterday, Ax's first two opposing batters ran the count to 3-2, but he punched both of them out with fastballs. The pitch immediately following the second K was crushed by Dexter Fowler for the game-tying bomb. Ax didn't keep that one low in the zone, and it hurt him. In fact, that's what crippled much of his 2012.

This blown assignment won't jeopardize Axford immediately. His recovery last year helped him earn some rope, and this time, he was eventually bailed out in extra stanzas. But if his location starts to waver and mistakes multiply, he may fall back into trouble. Deep leaguers should keep close ties with Henderson, who logged a 1-2-3 10th versus the heart of the Colorado Rockies' order and eventually garnered the W.

More in Mound meetings....

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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, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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