Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Jason Grilli, Brad Ziegler, more

by Tim Heaney on July 23, 2013 @ 10:06:08 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.

Mound meetings

Arizona Diamondbacks RP Brad Ziegler
Ziegler here to show the world

Jason Grilli exited Monday's contest with an injury to his throwing arm. He had no cheese.... The right-hander threw a pitch and quickly walked off the mound. Vin Mazzaro had to come on to finish the save.

We'll have more on this as we hear it. If he were hit the DL, the Pittsburgh Pirates would turn to Mark Melancon among in-house options. Of course, despite Melancon's short but solid run as a stopper in his career, if Grilli's injury will cost him the rest of the season, Pittsburgh may seek outside help for their chase of a playoff berth.

Grab him wherever possible, but beware the possibility that the Buccos pillage someone else for a fireman.


If you missed it Monday amidst the other load of news, Brad Ziegler was named the closer for the Arizona Diamondbacks, for the moment. Grab him now. J.J. Putz is probably who Kirk Gibson prefers all things equal, but Ziegler has been clutch in getting outs. His elite grounder rate trumps his dull fastball velocity; he's not the prototypical fireman but is skilled enough to do the job all year. Don't assume he'll lose it. A lot of people probably have done so with Edward Mujica, too. Either way, like his WWE counterpart, Ziegler may be ready to show off.


Busy last few days: Rafael Betancourt (appendix) hit the disabled list Saturday, and Rex Brothers (have you picked him up yet?) will settle into save chances. He got a head-start Sunday, working around a run and registering his fifth wrap-up of the year.

This throws a wrench into the progress of the club's reported dalliances with other teams who want Betancourt's services. Brothers' SVO rule unfortunately for speculators might be tied solely to Betancourt's health. By the time Betancourt is eligible to come back, it'll be past the trade deadline; maybe the Rox will swing something with a waiver trade, but that's hardly a guarantee.

Brothers remains worthy of deep-league ownership even if he's not closing, but his worth to any lineup dwindles without a chance to wrap up games.


Francisco Rodriguez has received widely reported interest from competitors. The Milwaukee Brewers, who via Ryan Braun's acceptance of Biogenesis discipline have, for all intents and purposes, thrown in the 2013 towel, would do well to swap K-Rod, or maybe Jim Henderson or John Axford, to rebuild.

Rodriguez logically could wind up closing for the Detroit Tigers, and maybe part-time for the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, though LA is the least likely scenario. Maybe the Pirates will jump in now, too. Either way, any of these three RPs deserves a pickup if you're hoping to fall into saves after July 31, depending on how things shake out.


More discussions....

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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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