Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Fernando Salas, J.J. Putz, more

by Tim Heaney on July 27, 2011 @ 11:48:51 PDT


What are the odds that you still own the relief pitchers you rostered in your fantasy baseball draft?'s Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series gives you no-nonsense ratings of performances, injuries and managerial decisions in MLB bullpens. Get your arm loose: Let's find fantasy baseball players in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league who'll get saves.

Mound meetings

  • J.J. Putz, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks
    D-Backs glad to have Putz back
    With the St. Louis Cardinals acquiring starting pitcher Edwin Jackson and relievers Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski, it looks like Fernando Salas will remain the Redbirds' closer after all. There's still time for them to make another move for a stopper, but it's highly unlikely. Salas owners shouldn't close all trade windows for him if they have plenty of other closers, but keeping him with the expectation of saves appears to be safe.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said he would've used J.J. Putz if a save chance arose Tuesday night. He wasn't needed in that capacity, but this is just a reminder to get the right-hander back in your lineups. David Hernandez is still worth a roster spot in deep leagues and/or if you own Putz.
  • Jordan Walden rebounded after a blown Monday save attempt by succeeding in a Tuesday opp. He worked around two hits to preserve the one-run victory. Unless the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim surprise us by trading for a closer-type arm, Walden's job is safe.
  • Javy Guerra had pitched on each of the three previous days, so Kenley Jansen stepped in Tuesday to throw a perfect, two-K inning and pick up the Los Angeles Dodgers' save. Though Guerra has a relatively firm hold on this torch, Jansen is the chief backup for saves with Hong-Chih Kuo still working through some kinks.
  • Jason Isringhausen and Bobby Parnell were unavailable Tuesday, so southpaw Tim Byrdak picked up the save when he fanned the only batter he faced (lefty-hitting Jay Bruce). Pedro Beato, who seemed like a logical choice, recorded the previous three outs. He's still a desperation add, but this reminds you of your chances of gleaning New York Mets closures from him. Izzy remains a topic of trade discussions, but, as previously mentioned, the Mets might keep him so he can mentor their young RPs.
  • With Francisco Rodriguez once again setting him up, John Axford pitched a scoreless inning for his third straight outing to pick up the save. The Milwaukee Brewers will likely still use K-Rod in some save situations, but Axford is holding him off and should be comfortably used in all lineups.
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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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