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.
Henderson could still be dealt, too
Yesterday's Diamond Market highlighted the spiking interest of picker-uppers in Jim Henderson, widely considered the top option to replace former savior Francisco Rodriguez, whom the Milwaukee Brewers shipped to Baltimore. Ron Roenicke said that John Axford and, in lefty-heavy instances, Mike Gonzalez could have their say, as well.
Henderson received the first post-K-Rod call, however, and answered in the affirmative with a scoreless frame Wednesday. Ax chopped 'em down in the eighth, continuing his brilliance in setup work this season. You wouldn't be crazy to acquire Axford because of his experience and the remote possibility Milwaukee also trades Henderson. As long as he remains in town, though, Henderson seemingly will have to stumble noticeably to give up the chair, and he's shown few signs of doing so.
Following a Wednesday BS, his second in eight chances this month, Kevin Gregg has a 6.30 ERA in July. This correction of his shiny first three months doesn't constitute the best timing as the Chicago Cubs ramp up their efforts to trade him. This weekend is the last chance to speculate on Pedro Strop and, to a lesser but possible extent, Blake Parker, so get moving.
On Thursday, Brian Wilson (elbow) threw for scouts from at least seven teams, including his former employers, the San Francisco Giants. Reports said the free agent sat at 90-93 mph on his four-seamer and isn't "far away" from being game-ready. The Pittsburgh Pirates were among the teams that attended, and the recent injury to Jason Grilli (forearm) may prompt them to act. Wilson probably would only have a chance to record saves for one or two of the teams in attendance (maybe the Arizona Diamondbacks) but shouldn't be left out of the discussion if you're willing to try anything at this juncture.
Some other desperation trials would be the Philadelphia Phillies' Antonio Bastardo; maybe the Minnesota Twins' Casey Fien and Jared Burton; and, ugh, maybe Jose Cisneros for the Houston Astros? Who knows with that one.
It's been a rough month for Casey Janssen, despite some bright spots. Steve Delabar probably has been exiting a few deep-league waiver wires in recent weeks as many try to capitalize on or protect themselves from Janssen's issues. The incumbent hasn't had many chances to work lately because of the Toronto Blue Jays' swoon.
Don't blame him entirely for the Wednesday gaffe that cost him his latest opening. Janssen came in to guard a one-run advantage, walking the leadoff batter but fanning the next two. A subsequent single to center was made worse when it bounced over Colby Rasmus' head, which scored the runner from first to tie it. Of course, Janssen was in trouble, but at least he could've had a chance to get out of it.
Keep tabs on Janssen's performance (we might not see him for the next few days if Toronto keeps scuffling), and if you have room and the need, Delabar isn't a terrible tuck-away.
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
Don't miss these great reports....