Rafael Betancourt tweaked his groin on Tuesday and had to exit the Colorado Rockies' affair with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Alarm bells sounded, but the club doesn't appear to be concerned. The closer received anti-inflammatory medicine and is expected to be available this weekend.
Walt Weiss stated that he wasn't sure what he'd do on Wednesday, with Betancourt unavailable, and thus it's fair to wonder what he'd do if Betancourt were to need a DL stint. A pretty good indication: Rex Brothers closed door on Wednesday without incident. Weiss could ponder other options, but his previous comments suggest a preference for simplicity and reduced ambiguity. The way Brothers has pitched, he'd likely accomplish that.
Rafael Soriano registered his third blown save, his second consecutive one, on Tuesday night at the San Francisco Giants. As you probably heard, the Washington Nationals' closer wasn't pleased with ... something. Bryce Harper's effort (following his recent face-plant into an outfield wall)? His positioning (determined by the staff)? Soriano explained himself by explaining that his comments were supposed to be off the record and in jest.
Davey Johnson reportedly chatted with his closer, who later pulled the organization's face aside. Problem solved. This isn't a big deal, by any means -- as long as that's the end of it. There's a line in the sand, and the way to cross it is to displace accountability and question teammates. Soriano, after all, grooved one that was ripped into the gap.
The closer bounced back on Wednesday with a clean inning and a save. If Soriano were to let selfishness get the better of him, Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard would jump in value, but that seems extremely unlikely.
Ryan Madson (recovery from Tommy John surgery) isn't timing his setbacks very well. He had another, the latest one coming without much of a timetable. Will he factor into the saves race before the All-Star break, at this point?
Ernesto Frieri struggled in a save situation on Thursday. He recorded two outs but yielded three hits, two runs and a walk with his 35 pitches. Mike Scioscia pulled him for recent call-up Robert Coello, who coaxed a fly-out and preserved a one-run win for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Frieri's job is pretty safe, in part because Madson is taking his sweet time. The Halos don't have an alternative, really, unless they mix and match. Coello may eventually emerge as a fallback plan, an occasional fill-in, if he keeps pitching as he has. He's bringing the forkball back, apparently.
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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