Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Carlos Marmol, Jason Motte, more

by Tim Heaney on April 5, 2013 @ 11:23:44 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

The Marmolcoaster made us strap in for another Chicago Cubs ride Thursday. Protecting a ninth-inning, three-run lead turned into a chore: He coughed up a single, a free pass and two RBI singles before striking out Pedro Alvarez and inducing a game-ending double play.

Chicago Cubs RP Carlos Marmol
Saved? Sort of

His walk started out 0-2 before he started getting greedy with his slider, trying to guide it out of the zone while removing any hint of deception from his intentions. When he came back onto the plate, hitters were sitting on it.

To his credit, the ends at least diminished the means' importance and probably brought him more time. Dale Sveum expressed no rush to make a change after yesterday's tilt and said it was Marmol or bust in the ninth. Chris Bosio's mound visit also seemed to calm Marmol, and maybe he'll find another unique motivational method to extract positive results.

Of course, it was same old, same old for the righty, and if he can't continue his escape act, Fujikawa will move up the hierarchy. However, considering Chicago won't always save him as an in-game fallback plan, remember that others may have to clean up Marmol messes, which could include closing opps. Those arms aren't worth stashing in mixed leagues, however.

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

Nick already broke down the breaking news from yesterday when the Detroit Tigers came crawling back to Papa Grande, who becomes an instant fantasy add. The interest swelled following Coke's blown save Wednesday, which turned into a loss thanks to sloppy outfield defense.

Valverde coming to Detroit isn't set in stone; he has an opt-out clause if he's not in the bigs by May 5. This one-month trial is a risk-free move - Dave Dombrowski and company will get a chance to see if he's ironed out his 2012 issues.

Though Detroit claims they weren't worried about Valverde's ... well, resemblance to a papa (potato en Espanol), Valverde shed some pounds during his sabbatical. More importantly, Detroit was pleased with how his split-finger fastball looked during a recent session; he must re-embrace that pitch to succeed, considering his four-seamer-leaning ways during his disastrous 2012.

You'll likely have to wait a few weeks for MLB stats from him unless he wows them immediately and they have enough with their current stable - possible, but not probable. Still, it's the most logical long-term fantasy play. Of course, if Valverde's farm stint doesn't go well, Detroit may veer in another direction. Be ready to adjust.

Team
JS
H
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
St. Louis Cardinals
5
4
Jason Motte DL Mitchell Boggs Trevor Rosenthal
Edward Mujica
Fernando Salas

Turns out Motte (elbow) doesn't yet have a return timetable, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Dispatch told InsideSTL.com. "It's at least weeks and maybe months before it's resolved," he said. "There's reason for concern."

Boggs was handed the St. Louis Cardinals saves job to start the year but dropped the ball Wednesday in his first chance, yielding a leadoff single, hitting a batter and allowing a sac fly to blow the opp. The fact he stayed on for the next inning for a 1-2-3 rebound probably worked in his favor, but if he has more stumbles, someone else - best fantasy bet is Rosenthal - may step in.

In fact, Rosenthal is worth owning for his skills in any deep format, and despite the fact he's also considered a backup for the rotation, if Boggs' contact-first approach doesn't work, maybe Mike Matheny will value Rosenthal's big-arm makeup in sealing victories.

Mound meetings

Toronto Blue Jays RP Casey Janssen
You better watch your speed

His Wednesday appearance didn't involve a save try, but John Axford failed to limit the Milwaukee Brewers' deficit to one run. The Colorado Rockies tagged him for five hits and three runs, which came on two homers. It's only 1 2/3 innings on the year, but he's allowed three taters (six hits total) while displaying sloppy velocity and location.

Ron Roenicke isn't likely to make a move just yet, but there's no reason to avoid stashing Jim Henderson, the presumptive choice to replace a dethroned Ax man.

***

Casey Janssen did his best to show his shoulder is up to speed by appearing on consecutive days, striking out three in two combined stanzas (27 pitches), with Thursday's effort producing a save. In an effort to continue monitoring his early-season work, however, the Toronto Blue Jays have removed him from consideration for Friday action, leaving a possible brief takeover for Sergio Santos (Steve Delabar? Darren Oliver?).

It doesn't hurt to keep Santos within waiver wire reach, but so far, so good for the incumbent.

***

The San Francisco Giants let Sergio Romo loose on back-to-back days as he logged a save on Tuesday and Wednesday. He struck out two over two perfect frames on just 26 pitches (14 and 12, respectively). When he's active, he's dynamite. The Giants, in fact, stated this winter and spring that they wanted to preserve his arm; this is a positive step for their stopper, but don't ignore the possibility they'll start resting him more when the season hits the summer months.

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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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