Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Blue Jays bullpen, more

by Tim Heaney on May 27, 2011 @ 11:39:54 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.


Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)


Toronto Blue Jays

Closer: Frank Francisco

Understudy: Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch

Lurkers: Jason Frasor

Until a solo option emerges, this will be a three-headed closing arrangement involving Francisco, Rauch and Dotel, with Frasor, who has been the best of these four arms, as a contingency plan. Availability, matchups and the hot hand - if one emerges - will determine the closer, manager John Farrell said, and skip said he wouldn't hesitate to use multiple pitchers during a save inning.

Toronto Blue Jays RP Jon Rauch
Rauch in hellish hydra

It's safe to consider Francisco the first option here, but he has struggled when he pitches on back-to-back days, so that will limit his chances. Dotel's issues versus lefties will do the same for his. Though the job belonged to him earlier in the season, Rauch hasn't proven he can run away with Toronto's or any other gig.

As mentioned yesterday, this is not going to help fantasy owners on a consistent basis - it'll be only a highly erratic piece of your saves puzzle. Dotel and Rauch, given their shaky skills, aren't safe long-term bets here; you should side with Francisco regaining his job on a full-time basis before you believe either of the other two will run away it. Frasor remains an attractive wild card and is a worthy pickup if your league is deep and you're desperate.

Welcome to the AL's version of the Los Angeles Dodgers' bullpen.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 3

Mound meetings

  • Oakland Athletics manager Bob Geren said Andrew Bailey (forearm) will be eased back into save situations after he returns from the DL. The righty is making his fourth rehab appearance Friday and could rejoin the big club soon. This might help to squeeze an extra week or so of saves value out of Grant Balfour, but unless Bailey suffers a setback, Balfour won't be of use in most setups for long. Add and bid wisely with this in mind.
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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

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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