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At least Buck Showalter kind of, sort of acknowledged Jim Johnson as the new Baltimore Orioles' closer. He did so while saying that the deposed Kevin Gregg or Pedro Strop could see a chance or two before the end of 2011. With a save on each of the last two days, Johnson could rest today. Maybe Gregg is worth a pickup in the right fantasy situation. Strop, who Showalter said won't be a stopper option next season, is a backup plan.
Farnsie back soon?
Though the odds are slim, Showalter didn't rule out Johnson starting a game before the campaign ends; the O's have considered moving him to the rotation. This would hurt his remaining value a bit, but he should be owned by all eligible save-desperate owners for his potential contributions there before a switch happens.
- The Tampa Bay Rays might get Kyle Farnsworth (elbow inflammation) back this weekend. The stopper tossed 45 pitches off a mound Wednesday and said "everything felt good." If Farnsie comes back to action with clean work and health, Joel Peralta will become expendable for the final few fantasy days.
- Joakim Soria (hamstring) threw on Tuesday and felt a little better, per skipper Ned Yost. He'll need at least a side session or two before playing in a game, but Soria and the Kansas City Royals aren't sure if and when he'll return this season. Greg Holland should be picked up by save chasers.
- Manny Acosta would've received the save opportunity Tuesday but wasn't needed by the New York Mets. Consider him ahead of Bobby Parnell for Mets closures for at least the rest of 2011. Keep this sitch on your watch - avoid? - list for 2012.
- A five-out, one-hit appearance in yesterday's Chicago White Sox nightcap netted Chris Sale his seventh save of the year. Sergio Santos hadn't pitched since Sunday, so he was available, but Ozzie Guillen probably wants to start stretching out Sale for a shot at the 2012 rotation.
Santos, the club's expected 2012 wrapper-upper, should see save work before this season ends, but long-term planning could continue producing short-term pain for Santos owners, at the worst possible time.
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.
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