Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: J.J. Putz, Craig Kimbrel, more

by Tim Heaney on May 10, 2013 @ 13:00:00 PDT

 

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Mound meetings

Los Angeles Dodgers RP Brandon League
Skipper settling for League average?

On Wednesday, Dale Sveum confirmed the widely guessed notion that Kevin Gregg would handle Chicago Cubs saves for now, citing that the vet's sample size was big enough to back his decision. Kyuji Fujikawa (forearm), now that he has been activated from the DL, will serve as the next-in-line setup man while he works back into form. (Sorry, Carlos Marmol speculators ... maybe later this summer.)

Gregg and Fujikawa must reside on deep-mixed rosters, with the latter still deserving a stash in case Gregg's improvements lose luster. He'll have to give up a run at some point, yet his successful focus on keeping pitches down looks to have revived his career. Stop being stubborn and start believing at least that Gregg has evolved into something more than roto excrement.

***

The Closer Depth Charts docked Brandon League's Job Security score this week thanks to this aside from Don Mattingly. A move probably isn't imminent, but it's a good time to grab Kenley Jansen if he's still available, possible in casual or shallow mixers. League's last two game entries have come in tied situations, and he's taken the loss by allowing a solo jack in each.

Remember, however, that of eight save situations this year, he's cinched seven. Of course, he's allowed a run in three of his successful attempts and at least one walk or hit in five. He's making it interesting. Mattingly may simply want someone with Jansen's skills to make things calmer, but League's contract and superficial success dictate he'll actually have to fail at his job a few more times to warrant getting kicked out.

***

CHS must've pissed off Fernando Rodney with the note Tuesday that his approach and stuff looked shoddy. On Thursday, in ninth-inning but non-save Tampa Bay Rays work, he ran into a bit of trouble with a two-out HBP and single, but he averaged 98.4 mph on his four-seam fastball, including touching 100 twice in burying Melky Cabrera.

Rodney was still pitching from the first-base side of the rubber, however, so if he sticks there, continue expecting bumps unless he can keep blowing away hitters or makes another, similar modification. The best way for him to regain his punch is to move to the other side of the hill. Tuck away Joel Peralta if you want to take a conservative toe-dip, but you'll have to remain patient.

***

On two days' rest, Sergio Romo was tagged for two runs on two hits and a walk to let a closure slip away Wednesday, but the San Francisco Giants picked him up with an extra-innings win. Those were the first runs Romo had allowed in six games and, though the recently lights-out Santiago Casilla and the steady Jeremy Affeldt will chime in during San Fran's conservation efforts, there's no job change coming anytime soon.

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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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