Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said relief pitcher Fernando Rodney would replace reliever Todd Jones as the team's closer, according to The Associated Press.
The 40-year-old Jones has 18 saves this year, but the erratic righty has blown three of his last seven save opportunities. He has allowed 46 hits in only 39 2/3 innings, with 15 walks and just 13 strikeouts. Opposing batters are hitting .293 against him this year.
Jones holds the club record with 235 saves and is 14th on the all-time list with 319.
Rodney, who missed the first two months of the season with an injury to his right shoulder, is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA, but opposing batters are only hitting .192 against him. In 14 innings, he has allowed 10 hits, walked eight and struck out 12.
He has one save in 2008 and 21 in his career but has never had more than nine saves in any given year. He gave up one run (along with another inherited runner) in a non-save situation Sunday, July 27.
Righty Joel Zumaya left the same game with tightness in his throwing shoulder. He's currently listed as day-to-day but could also see some time at the back end if Rodney struggles.
The flamethrower has a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings with 16 strikeouts and 15 walks. He has a career-worst .258 batting average against, though.
Pick up Rodney immediately in all formats, but don't give up too much for him, even if you're desperate for saves. The Tigers could still acquire a closer before the trade deadline, meaning Rodney would go back to setup duty. For now, though, ride him until the team makes a change.
Jones can be dropped in shallow mixed leagues but could be stashed for save-hungry owners in deep mixed and AL-only leagues in case the team switches back. However, owners in those leagues should note that Jones' value is almost completely stripped without save chances since his poor control doesn't give him much setup fantasy value.
Put Zumaya on your watch list in mixed leagues, but he's likely already owned in AL-only setups.
About Jared Byrd
Byrd has served as a Hot Off the Wire Analyst with KFFL since 2003,
covering both the NFL and MLB. A recent graduate of the University of
Pennsylvania, he has played fantasy football since 1997, and fantasy
baseball, basketball, and hockey since 2001.
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