Joe Frisaro, of MLB.com, reports the Florida Marlins placed closer Matt Lindstrom (elbow) on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, June 24, with a right elbow sprain. He will not throw for four weeks. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team will mix and match at the closer spot with Lindstrom out.
In a related move the team recalled pitcher Chris Leroux from Double-A Jacksonville.
Lindstrom said he began to feel soreness in his forearm, which affected the command of his slider, Tuesday, June 23. However, he was hitting 98 mph on the radar gun. He struggled in the ninth Tuesday, allowing four straight singles with two outs.
Lindstrom has been nothing special as the team's closer this year. He has an ERA of 6.52, with 14 saves and 26 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched.
Gonzalez indicated that he will utilize relief pitchers Leo Nunez, Dan Meyer and Brian Sanches to close out games with Lindstrom hurt. Sanchez relieved Lindstrom Tuesday and gave up the game-tying single.
Nunez sprained his ankle Tuesday but is considered day-to-day. He has two saves and three blown saves this year, to go along with an ERA of 4.13. This season, Gonzalez has implied that Nunez was serving as the likeliest backup plan when Lindstrom faltered or was unavailable, although Nunez is not the sole option.
Sanches has a 0.59 ERA with 14 strikeouts in just 15 1/3 innings pitched. Meyer has served as the left-handed specialist and sports a 2.10 ERA with 10 holds and 29 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched.
Lindstrom's fantasy owners should look to stash him if possible, as Gonzalez has not indicated that Lindstrom will lose the closer's role upon his return. However, you may want to consider cutting him loose in shallow leagues if roster space is at a premium.
Nunez has seen the most save chances behind Lindstrom this year and figures to be the best pickup off the waiver wire. However, fantasy owners would be wise to consider adding reliever Kiko Calero (shoulder), who is on the disabled list but expected to return in early July. Calero has been Florida's best reliever this season, with a 2.01 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. He's a logical choice for save chances at some point after his reinstatement.
Sanches and, much more so, Meyer are better options for deep leagues, with Meyer possibly receiving save chances based on left-handed matchups. Meyer has NL value and may have deep mixed value for those desperate enough. Sanches is borderline NL worthy, and Leroux should be left alone for now.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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