Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Grant Balfour, Heath Bell, Brandon League, Javy Guerra

by Tim Heaney on April 20, 2012 @ 11:21:17 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.

Mound meetings

Seattle Mariners RP Brandon League
League still safe
  • Grant Balfour moved to 4-for-4 in wrap-up shots this year, facing the minimum in one frame Thursday. The Oakland Athletics'; stopper has just five K';s in nine innings, but has allowed just one run. Maybe it';s the cutter that has been introduced to his pitch breakdown, per Fangraphs'; PITCHf/x listing. Is this a slider that was read as a cutter by the system, or is he actually starting to throw it? This will be analyzed in further detail as more information arises.
    His potential new weapon might cut down on his K';s but simultaneously make him a more efficient hurler, thereby keeping him in the ninth-inning role. As long as fantasy owners are netting saves from him, they won';t cry about it.
  • A perfect one-inning, two-K closure for Heath Bell marks his second straight clean outing since Miami Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire and catcher John Buck worked with the vet to fix his mechanics. Nothing else to see here for now. Move along.
  • Brandon League had a misstep Thursday, allowing two runs while giving up a pair of hits and walks in a blown save and loss. It was his first botch in six tries this year for the Seattle Mariners, and despite Tom Wilhelmsen';s setup excellence, the M';s won';t demote League without an extended stretch of subpar work.
    He';s a trade candidate as summer comes, though, considering he';s a free agent after this campaign, which is more reason to keep an eye on Wilhelmsen.
  • Javy Guerra rebounded from a Tuesday BS to log a perfect frame with two K';s in a successful conversion Thursday. The Los Angeles Dodgers will continue riding Guerra, with strikeout hoarder Kenley Jansen as a fantasy-useful setup man.
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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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