Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Jim Johnson needs break, Rafael Soriano blown up, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 16, 2013 @ 12:30:00 PDT

 

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Walt Weiss confirmed that he's uncertain whether he'll allow Rafael Betancourt (appendectomy) to reassume closing duties when the right-hander returns from the disabled list, at least right away. The Colorado Rockies plan to activate Betancourt Saturday. The skipper told the media that he may ease the veteran back into the job.

Weiss indicated that he'd take into account Betancourt's performance in his lone rehab appearance, which took place on Thursday. The hurler gave up a run on two hits and fanned one in one inning. That sounds to Closer Hot Seat like part of a good excuse to stick with Rex Brothers in the ninth initially. The left-hander has been a bit shaky recently, so the performances of both pitchers will affect the arrangement.

Still, as CHS has discussed in previous editions, the Rockies have broadcasted that Betancourt is available. They still have two weeks to deal him via waivers. It's not inconceivable that Brothers, the closer of the future, remains the closer of the present for the rest of this campaign. One way or another, Betancourt may be a setup man for the same period.

***

Danny Farquhar picked up his first blown save on Wednesday. He failed to retire any Tampa Bay Rays, giving up four hits and a free pass that resulted in a pair of runs and the Seattle Mariners' loss that day.

An inevitable outcome for a pitcher who entered that contest with a 4.70 ERA and two MLB innings under his belt prior to this season? Perhaps. Farquhar's stretch of 14 2/3 scoreless innings prior to that outing wasn't the result of a magic spell, however. There's a light bulb here, and it has come on. Reportedly, while the right-handed flame-thrower made mistakes, a couple of Tampa Bay's knocks were fortunately well-placed.

Farquhar is 5-for-6 in SVOs now. The M's established confidence in him quickly after he began to take off with the help of catcher Henry Blanco. There's no reason to expect an immediate ouster, considering their alternatives. Farquhar displayed the right attitude after that letdown effort, too, so he and his stuff are a decent bet to get on another roll.

***

LaTroy Hawkins (bruising in the reproductive region) was unavailable on Thursday. Instead of going to another reliever in the New York Mets' Thursday save situation versus the San Diego Padres, Terry Collins stuck with right-hander Gonzalez Germen for a second inning. It probably didn't hurt that the Mets had extended their two-run lead to three.

Germen, 25, walked two in the eighth frame, but he also struck out a pair and didn't allow a hit. He then pitched a perfect ninth to seal the deal.

It's not clear whether Bobby Parnell (herniated disc in neck) will return this season. If he doesn't, Hawkins is the favorite to see the majority of save chances the Mets generate.

Germen is clearly the next man up, though. His resume doesn't scream guaranteed success, but his stuff is nasty, and TC is infatuated. (As Adam Rubin notes, Germen threw 36 pitches to register his first big-league save, so David Aardsma looks like the guy on Friday.)

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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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