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.
Frieri not fried yet
The San Diego Padres plan on activating Huston Street (calf) before Friday's contest. Luke Gregerson owners could hold on for the hope of him getting another save or Street slipping on a banana peel, but in most leagues it probably won't be necessary.
By the way, Thursday's Friars stopper was Anthony Bass, who notched his first career save with a strikeout as the capper on a five-pitcher matchup parade. Gotta love roster expansion, right?
Tyler Clippard pitched both halves of a Wednesday twin bill, so Drew Storen filled in Thursday. He mowed down Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez in order on 13 pitches, registering his third save of the year and reminding Davey Johnson what he can do in his old, familiar Washington Nationals spot.
Adam Kilgore speculates that Storen might slide back into the role for the playoffs, and this obviously has ramifications for 2013. Hard to disagree with the arguments the scribe presents. Though he wanted to keep Clippard flexible in a setup duty early in 2012 when Storen was sidelined, Johnson relented and put Clippard into the ninth-inning role because the alternatives farted away their opportunity.
Storen is less gaseous, especially with the adrenaline that comes with the role seemingly making him a more aggressive, assertive arm. This'll sit among the top closer situations to watch as we head into next season, and each boasts nasty skills to justify draft confidence.
Ernesto Frieri's fastball leanings were examined earlier this week, and it's been a violent correction for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's main closer. He had a 0.71 ERA after July 8 action - of course it was going to happen.
Since then, he holds a 5.82 ERA in 23 games, having allowed two or more earned runs on five occasions. His latest disaster came last night; he took the loss after allowing a two-run ninth-inning homer to Adrian Beltre (on a slider, mind you) in a previously tied game. Maybe variety hurts more than the higher-ups realize.
As previously noted, the organization believes in Frieri, and this won't jeopardize his role the rest of the way.
Andrew Bailey had to stumble a bit, right? His ERA jumped from 3.09 to 6.75, but it wasn't all his doing. Bailey recorded just one out but gave up four singles and a walk for the Boston Red Sox Thursday. Three crossed the plates on his watch, and Vicente Padilla allowed a walk-off jack to the scorching B.J. Upton; the remaining base runners were credited to Bailey. Ouch.
This doesn't affect Bailey's status as 2012 wraps up. They're just glad he's back on a mound and ready for next year's drafts, when he'll command plenty of attention because of his alluring but risky top-shelf upside.
Other Thursday saviors
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
Don't miss these great reports....