St. Louis Cardinals RP Jason Isringhausen back to closing

by Tim Piotrowski on July 28, 2008 @ 03:59:06 PDT


Matthew Leach, of, reports St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan said relief pitcher Jason Isringhausen will resume the closer's role.

Izzy lost his closer's job May 10, after he blew his fifth save of the season, but he now has the job back because the team believes he gives them the best chance to win in that role. He is still having a poor season compared to previous seasons. He is 1-5 with 11 saves, a 5.84 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in 37 appearances. Opponents are hitting .270 against him, and he has allowed five home runs. He has struck out 28 batters and walked 18 in 37 innings.

He has been pretty consistent as the closer in the last few seasons. He has had an ERA under 3.00 in five of the last six years and has at least 30 saves in seven of the last eight campaigns.

Interim closer Ryan Franklin will now take back his former role as a setup man. He was initially solid as the closer but was not immune to the blown save, particularly lately. He is 3-4 with 14 saves, a 3.96 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. He has blown four saves, including the last two games he has appeared in. Opponents are hitting .289 against him this season.

In terms of fantasy baseball, owners who held on to Isringhausen when he lost his closer's job are feeling much better with this news. If he is available in any leagues, he should get picked up immediately because, barring another change, he will be closing. He'll do it for a team who will be fighting for a playoff spot, too.

Franklin has lost most of his value thanks to this move. He should be dropped in all shallow leagues and most deep leagues because he will probably not be counted on for saves category any time soon. Even if he does, it may not be for a while, and he St. Louis could turn to a committee approach. Owners in NL-only leagues could consider keeping him because his chance to receive save opportunities in the future, however small, means he has some value.

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About Tim Piotrowski

Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.

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