Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Francisco Cordero, Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Broxton

by Tim Heaney on July 26, 2012 @ 13:42:44 PDT'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

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Brox's days in KC numbered?

Oh no, Coco, again: Francisco Cordero's sequel was just as bad as his ugly Tuesday debut in the Houston Astros' fireman slot. On Wednesday, he yielded three runs on two hits and a walk - including a game-losing, two-run, two-out double from Drew Stubbs, who victimized the right-hander for the second straight night. Cordero has now thrown 57 pitches over his last two games.

Bradley Mills "wants time to think over the future of the closer role," per Zachary Levine, but you, the fantasy plucker, must not hesitate to pick up Wilton Lopez. He's not the prototypical arm for the job, but he's reliable, especially with control, and he's certainly an upgrade over the incumbent.


Another disastrous double play: Francisco Rodriguez gave up a run for the third straight game. Though he lucked out and saved the first instance of that streak, his last two - Tuesday and Thursday - have been botch jobs. He yielded two runs in two-thirds of an inning in his second straight walk-off loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

John Axford, meanwhile, threw two perfect frames, along with three K's, to set up K-Rod's chance. He's now logged five straight scoreless appearances (5 1/3 innings) with five K's, one walk and two hits allowed. Not a bad recovery - one that should have him lining up to wrap up games soon. Might want to check if one of your opponents discarded him.


Bob Dutton, of The Kansas City Star, warns that it might be more difficult for the Kansas City Royals to trade - or at least get significant value in exchange for - Jonathan Broxton. Broxton, who's proven to be a brilliant trial signing by KC, will hit the market after this season. That may temper what teams will offer. There's even been buzz - a head-scratcher, but not impossible - that the Monarchs will sign Broxton, presumably if they want to cover their bums in case Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery) needs more time to heal in the future.

Still, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports Brox is the likeliest Royal to leave town, putting it at about 60-40 odds. You must acknowledge the high possibility that Brox will soon don the threads of a contender, most likely in a non-save capacity. Maybe he'll still find closures if he lands with someone like the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants or Oakland Athletics, who carry closer vulnerability. But the majority of pennant-race participants already have established stoppers.

In planning for Broxton's exodus, nab Greg Holland, who besides a blowup here and there over the last few months has been spectacular. Aaron Crow's recent save was a fluke and doesn't reflect priority in this back-end hierarchy.

Other Wednesday saviors

Joel Hanrahan (29), Pirates
Rafael Soriano (26), Yankees
Joe Nathan (20), Rangers Shaky July (4.05 ERA, only 2nd SVO) but nothing to worry about
Aroldis Chapman (19), Reds
Jose Valverde (19), Tigers Broke 4-G scoreless streak - some SV costlier than others
Tyler Clippard (18), Nationals
Huston Street (17), Padres Extension or trade - both? - coming. Luke Gregerson next in line - unless he's swapped, then it'd be Dale Thayer
Rafael Betancourt (17), Rockies


Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

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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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