Rays Place Reyes on DL; Any Fantasy Sub out There?

by Bryce McRae on July 4, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


SportsTicker reports the Tampa Bay Devil Rays placed closer Al Reyes (rotator cuff) on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, July 4, with a strained right rotator cuff. For the Devil Rays this season, Reyes had gone 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 34 appearances. More importantly, he had converted 17 of his 18 save chances.

The move comes two days after Reyes gave up four runs in just two-thirds of an inning. He didn't blow a save or pick up a loss, but it continued a worrying stretch during which he allowed nine earned runs in his last 5 1/3 innings pitched. Also worrying is Reyes' injury history. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2005, and it was something of a surprise that he was able to come back so well, especially at 37 years of age.

What does this mean for your fantasy team? Well, the team called up pitcher Jon Switzer, but he has little chance of closing a game in the immediate future. Relief pitcher Gary Glover has the potential to close and is available to do so in the immediate future, according to manager Joe Maddon. However, he is not a viable option for your team unless you are very desperate. He has appeared in 33 games this year and has gone 3-3 with a 5.36 ERA. Combine that with the Devil Rays' recent nine-game losing streak and it would be best to look elsewhere to replace Reyes.

This could be difficult, as closers are a hard-to-come-by commodity. The Colorado Rockies have recently demoted their closer, Brian Fuentes. While manager Clint Hurdle has not stated who will be his new closer, relief pitcher Manny Corpas is the most likely to take over for Fuentes. He would likely be worth picking up in this situation. In 42 games this season, Corpas has a 2-2 record with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He has also allowed just two runs in his last 13 outings. With the Rockies sitting on a four-run lead Monday, July 2, Corpas was the pitcher Hurdle went with in the ninth inning. He is available in around 90 percent of leagues polled.

Also worth considering are Rockies pitchers Jeremy Affeldt or Jorge Julio. Affeldt has appeared in 40 games for the Rockies, going 4-1 with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Julio seems to finally have found a home with the Rockies after struggling earlier this season with the Florida Marlins. In 16 1/3 innings pitched with Colorado, he has a 2.76 ERA, three holds and 12 strikeouts. He has blown two saves, however, and could be at best the third option behind Affeldt and Corpas. Affedlt is available in more than 99 percent of leagues while Julio is available in around 98 percent of leagues polled.

If you can't get either of those players, it could be worth looking at Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Rafael Soriano. Brought in from the Seattle Mariners this past offseason, Soriano has looked impressive with a 3.03 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and 32 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings pitched; he also has five saves. He is still behind Braves closer Bob Wickman, but Wickman has struggled of late, blowing his last save chance and two of his last five save opportunities. His ERA now sits at a lofty 4.33 and his WHIP is at 1.56. Even if Soriano doesn't get any save opportunities, he should still help you in the ERA, WHIP and strikeout categories.

As you can see, finding a replacement closer is tough, but with the rocky situation in Colorado (pardon the pun), you should be able to find a replacement there. As for Reyes, rotator cuff injuries can be among the worst in baseball, so keep an eye on KFFL for any further developments on his status.

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About Bryce McRae

Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.

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