Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell, J.J. Putz

by Tim Heaney on July 24, 2012 @ 15:05:03 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

Miami Marlins RP Steve Cishek
Cishek staking claim

You know the Milwaukee Brewers' not-so-mysterious plan to build Francisco Rodriguez up and trade him? Not looking good so far. Since displacing John Axford at the back end last week, K-Rod has allowed six hits, six walks and five earned runs in three outings, including a blown-save loss Monday. The damage: four runs on three hits and three walks in two-thirds of a frame.

Sure, he was singled and fly-balled to death (including a game-ending sac fly), but he's not boosting his market value or doing much to hold off Axford, who tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless work before Rodriguez's meltdown.

If Axford has a few more solid outings, expect him to get his job back. Rodriguez is worth hanging onto, but he's not a long-term fantasy solution.


Shocking: The Miami Marlins will "absolutely try and try hard" to deal Heath Bell, from what a source told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. After 2012, the burly right-hander has two years left on his deal ($9 million each) including a team option for the same amount in 2015, so that'll be a stretch to accomplish. How many competing teams really want to pay that much for a likely setup man, after all?

In their present 'pen, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn, in that order, dominate fantasy worth. Cishek wrapped up Miami's Monday win without giving up a tally despite allowing two hits, and he's not making the Fish miss Bell in the role just yet.


The Arizona Diamondbacks are in buy-or-sell limbo, considering they're still 4.5 games out of the NL Wild Card race. J.J. Putz has been hinted as a potential commodity. He helped his cause with a perfect, two-K stanza Monday for his 18th save of the season and ninth straight successful conversion. A mechanical tinkering from the hands and brain of pitching coach Charles Nagy aided Putz's turnaround.

If Putz were to be ditched, David Hernandez stands to step in. Locate him if you're hoping some July 31 departures will open up fantasy gems.

Other Monday saviors

Chris Perez (27), Indians  
Rafael Soriano (25), Yankees  
Kenley Jansen (19), Dodgers  
Addison Reed (16), White Sox  
Carlos Marmol (12), Cubs Has given up at least 1 H in each of his last 5 SVO
Scott Downs (9), Angels Faced Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon - 2 LHB - in continuing backup CL role


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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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