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.
|Job security (JS) score
||1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
|Health (H) score
||1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)
Closer: Jonathan Broxton (DL)
Understudy: Kenley Jansen (DL), Hong-Chih Kuo (DL)
Lurkers: Vicente Padilla (DL), Javy Guerra, Blake Hawksworth, Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal, Scott Elbert
Exhale, Putz owners
That's one way to thin out the competition: Padilla (bulging disc in neck) is slated to undergo surgery Thursday and miss an "extended period of time" - possibly the rest of the season. LA might be getting reinforcements, though. Kuo (anxiety) tossed a positive bullpen Monday but still has a loose timetable. Jansen (shoulder) continues to rehab and could return sometime this week.
This 'pen remains a guessing game for saves, but betting on one of these two taking the lead upon activation is better than chasing someone from the plug-and-play group. Kuo holds the better long-term upside if he can get his game together, but Jansen's impending availability could move him to the front of the queue before that happens.
Of course, Broxton still looms for the future, too, and though the righty probably still has a long way to go in terms of regaining consistent confidence at the back end, he'll probably be given an opportunity to regain the gig when he resurfaces. If you speculate on Kuo or Jansen, keep this in mind.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 3
- The Arizona Diamondbacks welcomed back J.J. Putz (lower back tightness), who pitched a perfect ninth Monday to close things out. David Hernandez remains the speculation here, but it looks like Putz is back on track.
- In another triumphant return, the Florida Marlins' Leo Nunez (back stiffness) worked around a hit and a walk to fan two and registered the save after a seven-day stretch on the pine. All systems go here.
- The Brandon Lyon bashing continues: three earned runs on two hits (one homer) and a walk in the ninth inning Monday, thankfully when the Houston Astros were already up by eight. Luckily, this should continue prolonging his stint in setup work behind Mark Melancon. If you picked up Lyon hoping he'll eventually regain the role, you should at least be keeping his non-save blow-ups on your bench.
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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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