What are the odds that you still own the relief pitchers you rostered in your fantasy baseball draft? KFFL.com'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.
Following the Toronto Blue Jays' bullpen failures Monday, Jon Rauch threw a perfect ninth inning for a Tuesday save. Throw Rauch atop the saves list, right? Maybe, but this is likeliest because he didn't pitch Monday while Frank Francisco and others did. Rauch, who has posted Toronto's last two successful conversions, has been far from stellar, but his performance has still trumped Francisco's of late.
LAD 'pen a pain in the neck
Between Frank Frank and Rauch - the two lead choices for closures - Rauch has a slight lead. Both are worth holding in your league, but they'll come with spotty schedules and accompanying statistics.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers' Vicente Padilla (neck) remains on the DL after receiving a cortisone shot to relieve a bulging disc in his neck; he has no timetable for activation. Meanwhile, Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety) and Kenley Jansen (shoulder inflammation) will begin rehab soon; Jansen could come back Monday, but Kuo's return date, along with Jonathan Broxton's (elbow), remains undetermined.
For now, LA will base their saviors on matchups and availability. Heck, even when the broken relievers come back, it'll probably take awhile to sort out who will do the job. Kuo has the best long-term potential if he can rectify his yips, but one of the three righties could easily get a crack first, depending on who's available.
- Tony La Russa caved Tuesday, calling Fernando Salas the St. Louis Cardinals' closer. The righty surrendered a run on two hits and a walk but logged two frames while cleaning up Eduardo Sanchez's two-walk, eighth-inning mess. Among St. Louis' current reliever crop, Salas has solid job security.
- Jonathan Papelbon was suspended for three games as a result of his Saturday tirade, but the Boston Red Sox closer has appealed the decision. No word on when it'll be heard, but it's worth scooping up Daniel Bard if you could use a chance at a brief saves boost.
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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