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.
After what fantasy owners can only presume was a heavy few days of meditation on the subject, Mike Scioscia decided to remove Ernesto Frieri from the closer's role. The manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim intends to use his flame-throwing reliever in less threatening situations for the foreseeable future.
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Closer Hot Seat has spent a few episodes now recounting and dissecting Frieri's fall from grace. His fastball-dependent arsenal has finally claimed its host as victim, following a period of a year-plus of virtual dominance. It's clear that Frieri has the heat and mentality to get the job done, but the job requires the maintenance of something complementary.
Without a changeup like the one he worked on this past spring or a breaking pitch that has danced between a two-seam fastball and slider-hood but never long-term reliability, the outlook isn't promising. Of course, Frieri may eventually discover the formula for such an offering and be right back in the mix for save opportunities.
Until then, De La Rosa, Jepsen and Kohn figure to be saves hopefuls. The former has already been a popular fantasy addition, smartly so. The others figure to be AL-only targets for the desperate.
Scioscia prefers not to step too far outside his comfort level, so if De La Rosa handles a couple of opportunities successfully, the skipper may have his man. Those who can afford to hold Frieri should make an effort to do so, at least for the time being.
New York Mets manager Terry Collins wanted to stress to the public on Friday that he had no intention of relying on LaTroy Hawkins exclusively in save situations while Bobby Parnell (herniated disc in neck) is sidelined. Of course, the skipper called on the 40-year-old righty again on Saturday and Hawkins answered the bell, notching his third save in as many opps in less than a week.
TC is no doubt being honest here. That's not his intention. David Aardsma's four-seamer may look like the ideal weapon in certain situations. Carlos Torres may get a look, depending upon availability of others. Still, it seem like Collins is most comfortable with the use of his most effective reliever, whether Hawkins is as comfortable with it or not. Fantasy owners needn't worry about chasing others, probably even in NL-only formats.
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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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