Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Chris Perez, Addison Reed, more

by Nicholas Minnix on June 7, 2013 @ 13:54:27 PDT


Pages 1 | 2 | all'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.

Job Security (JS):
1 (unstable)
5 (untouchable)
Health Outlook (HO):
1 (fragile)
5 (durable)
: Up
+: Added
INJ: Injured
: Down
M: Minors
DL: Disabled List


Cleveland Indians
Chris Perez DL Vinnie Pestano Joe Smith
Cody Allen

Were you high on Perez coming into this season? The latest incident involving him may raise your paranoia level. He's been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, which he apparently doesn't have for medicinal purposes related to his recent shoulder discomfort.

Cleveland Indians RP Chris Perez
CP abides?

Perez has taken some hits this season. Four knocks against him were going, going, ganja. Those bombs have seriously hurt because of the 10 free puff-puff-passes he's issued in 16 2/3 frames. The right-hander's 18 spl-- errr, whiffs have helped him to prevent worse damage.

Perez isn't looking at any serious legal consequences as a result of this news. In fact, he may beat the rap. It's possible that he'll face disciplinary action from the Cleveland Indians or the league, but if he does, it's unlikely to be substantial.

The real concern is this strained muscle in his right shoulder. That joint has been the source of mild discomfort for him on a few occasions in the past couple of years. There's nothing to suggest it's more serious, at least, but it'd be nice if he put it behind him. He was supposed to resume throwing this past week, but it's unclear if The Man's sting on Perez and his wife has delayed his schedule. If not, he could be back within a couple of weeks.

Pestano, assuming he experiences no elbow problems in the near future, remains a good piece to own for the foreseeable future, as any fantasy owner would've expected entering this season. In AL leagues, Smith and Allen remain solid players to tuck aside. Perez should be fine once all this blows over, but he remains a polarizing figure in a number of arenas.

Mound meetings

Closer Hot Seat isn't saying that it's definitely time to abandon ship. But it is suggesting that fantasy owners consider gauging the market. Or at least ponder adding Jesse Crain.

Addison Reed was unavailable to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday because, on Wednesday, he threw three innings (requiring 55 pitches, 26 of them in his first stanza) in the wildest game of the 2013 MLB season thus far. He was his club's last available reliever when he entered in the 14th stanza. (Robin Ventura may want to give Reed off Friday and Saturday, too.)

Prior to that game, Reed had never appeared for two innings at the major league level. When he first came on, with a five-run lead that he failed to protect, his stuff didn't have its usual zip. He'd be taxed that inning and then stay in for two more to record a victory for the ChiSox.

Yes, Reed battled for another two innings to come out on top. At what cost? Are his declining pitch speeds by month part of his concerted effort to maintain control and create greater separation between his fastball and changeup or the result of something physical? If it's the latter, how much worse is Reed for the wear of that appearance? Time will tell.

Don't panic. Do monitor this situation and keep eyes peeled for relevant news.


Bobby Parnell blew a save chance on Tuesday night. As readers can deduce from Adam Rubin's account, it's the right-hander's first ignominious appearance in such a situation this year. The Star-Ledger's recap opened with a reference to the perceivable "uncertainty about (his) ability to close full-time."

Whoa, whoa. Parnell missed his spots on several occasions, and Terry Collins' comments afterward suggest that the righty was overdoing it just a little. The closer's pitch speeds were a hair greater than they've been ordinarily this season. It does sound as if the New York Mets summoned the ghost of the old Parnell for an evening.

Old habits die hard, but they don't necessarily become habitual again. And no one is suggesting that, hopefully. This is Parnell's first real chance in 2013 to learn from a bad one, so it could easily turn out to be a good thing.

San Diego Padres RP Luke Gregerson
Safe as interim

In the bottom of the eighth inning on Thursday night, Dale Thayer made the San Diego Padres' two-run lead versus the Colorado Rockies vanish with a wave of Wilin Rosario's bat. That outing should add a little cement to Luke Gregerson's standing as top steed in Huston Street's stead.

Incidentally, in what could be considered a possible gaze into the Friars' crystal ball, righty Brad Boxberger picked up the closure in the 12th inning by protecting a one-run advantage. He struck out Nolan Arenado, coaxed a ground-out from Carlos Gonzalez, walked Troy Tulowitzki and then retired Michael Cuddyer on a grounder to third.


For whatever they're worth:

Both hurlers have regained some authority, perhaps more so in the fantasy community than from their respective managers, who seemed to be steadfast in their support.


The Miami Marlins have reportedly told other organizations that relievers Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn aren't available in trades prior to the July 31 non-waiver deadline. They, along with Chad Qualls, may continue to jockey for save opportunities for what will seem like an eternity but should take a little less than four months.

In a related story, the club has placed both trapped hurlers on suicide watch. They're already on the endangered-species list: Fish who are actually not trade bait.

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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

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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