Find a Fill-in now that Brian Fuentes is on the DL

by Bryce McRae on July 13, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


The Colorado Rockies have placed relief pitcher Brian Fuentes (lat) on the 15-day disabled list with a mild strain of his left lat muscle. The move was retroactive to Wednesday, July 4.

Fuentes' last appearance came Tuesday, July 3, when he retired all three batters he faced. However, Fuentes' numbers tailed off severely in June as he blew five of 10 save chances and lost four consecutive games. The blown saves have caused Fuentes to be demoted from the closer's job. So far this season he has posted a 4.06 ERA over 40 appearances and converted 20 of 26 save opportunities.

Fuentes' value took the expected hit because of his demotion. Closing games in his place has been relief pitcher Manny Corpas. Corpas picked up his first save of the season Saturday, July 7. Since the beginning of June, Corpas has allowed just four runs in 17 innings. Over the whole season he has a 3-2 record with a 2.51 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched. He also has 16 holds on the season.

Corpas is worth picking up for the simple fact that he holds down a position (closer) that is hard to find this late in the season. One should note that manager Clint Hurdle has not committed to Corpas as the closer, but he will likely be used in that capacity over the short term. He is available in roughly 72 percent of leagues polled.

If Corpas is unavailable, take a look at Tampa Bay Devil Rays relief pitcher Gary Glover. Glover has been filling in as the closer for the Devil Rays with Al Reyes (rotator cuff) out. However, Reyes is expected to return Wednesday, July 18, likely pushing Glover back into a setup role. Glover did pick up his first save of the season Friday, July 6, although he was a bit shaky, allowing two hits and one run. In July he has a 7.36 ERA and just one strikeout in 3 2/3 innings pitched. However, he is still being used at the backend of games for the Devil Rays and would make a desperate option if you need to pick up some saves, as long as you can afford a hit in WHIP or ERA. He is available in around 86 percent of leagues polled.

One final option to consider is Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Rafael Soriano. Soriano has a 2-1 record to go along with a 2.79 ERA and 0.83 WHIP this season. He also has five saves and 15 holds. He is not closing games for the Braves, but over the second half of the season, he could be moved into that role if closer Bob Wickman struggles or suffers anymore injuries. At the very least he should bolster your team in the WHIP and ERA categories. He is available in around 60 percent of leagues polled.

With Fuentes' earlier demotion, you have probably already covered yourself. The likelihood that he eventually regains the closer job means that fantasy owners must stash him if they have the room. Keep an eye on KFFL in the coming weeks as more information becomes available regarding his injury. It was only a mild strain, and the move was retroactive to Wednesday, July 4, meaning Fuentes could return soon.

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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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