Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Josh Fields, Ernesto Frieri, more

by Tim Heaney on August 6, 2013 @ 12:25:00 PDT

 

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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.

Team
JS
HO
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
Houston Astros
1
5
  Joshua Fields
Wesley Wright
Jose Cisnero
Chia-Jen Lo
Josh Zeid

Some unpleasant life tasks remain necessary: filling out taxes, changing diapers and, sorta like the latter, dissecting this Houston Astros bullpen.

Seattle Mariners RP Danny Farquhar
Will Farquhar last as closer?

Cisnero, the once presumptive heir to new Detroit resident Jose Veras, gave up a run on three hits on Friday night to blow a save chance in the eighth. (Since June ended, he has a 9.00 ERA in eight frames and has allowed at least one run in five of those 10 contests.) Fields cleaned up that mess before bowing out to Lo with one on and one out in the ninth. Lo and behold (sigh), the replacement gave up a walk and a single to earn a BS of his own.

Fields decided it was prudent not to yield his time on the mound. He entered with two down in the eighth last night and proceeded to fan all four batters he faced for his first career wrap-up. He's had a rough go this year, as well, with a 5.85 ERA, but all things equal, the Rule 5 pick boasts the best remaining closer profile in this 'pen -- someone in whom this forward-thinking organization believes.

Will Bo Porter continue with a committee setup or let him run with it? Wright being the only southpaw with back-end experience could set him up for matchup spots, but the dual-universe payoff doesn't excite. If you have to dig here, Fields has inched (millimetered?) his way in front. At least he makes sense as someone to chase.

Team
JS
HO
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
1
5
Ernesto Frieri Dane De La Rosa
Kevin Jepsen
Michael Kohn

More hellish output from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim bullpen: Frieri was charged with a pair of tallies and a blown save in Sunday's ninth inning after yielding a single and hitting a batter. A single off De La Rosa drove in the runs, leaving Frieri with the loss in absentia.

To be fair, a questionable call on a Halos pickoff attempt could've helped if it had gone the other way, but it had little to do with Frieri's continued lack of pitch variety -- an ongoing issue. Sixteen of his 19 pitches were four-seamers (he threw three sliders while recording the final out in the eighth).

De La Rosa, lightly considered the top speculation among the understudies, didn't help his cause in failing to clean up Frieri's mess. The incumbent also worked around a knock to punch out three in a scoreless inning Friday, for his 26th save of 2013.

The Angels released the embattled Ryan Madson (elbow) and, as Nick noted Friday, still don't have a singular, authoritative challenger to Frieri, whose brief spell with success Friday should buy him a tad more time. The other options' ineptitude has been a bigger help than his own performance, though, which sustains his vulnerability.

Mound meetings take place: Mariners, Mets, Indians

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

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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