Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Jim Johnson, Joe Nathan, Brandon League, more

by Tim Heaney on May 1, 2012 @ 11:31:32 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.

Baltimore Orioles RP Jim Johnson
Johnson back in action

Mound meetings

The Baltimore Orioles welcomed Jim Johnson back to his first game action since April 22. He threw a 1-2-3 non-save frame with three groundouts and said he was eating and feeling more like normal; his pants are fitting "a bit looser" after a bout with food poisoning.

Though Buck Showalter said he wouldn't avoid throwing Johnson back into fireman chances, Pedro Strop could still see another closing opp or two this week while Johnson works back into game form.


Joe Nathan is riding high. The Texas Rangers' stopper registered a 1-2-3 frame with a K on Monday to register his sixth save of the season. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last seven games. Some credit must go to his increasing use of two-seamers, which has curtailed his fly-ball and homer allowance. Getting back about 1 mph on his four-seamer doesn't hurt, either.


A small blemish on an otherwise fine season for Brandon League: his Monday night blown save (giving up a run in the 11th) and loss (yielding the game-ender in the 12th). He needed to eat a second frame in an extras affair for the Seattle Mariners and doesn't deserve any downgrade in job security because of it.


Brad Lidge underwent successful surgery to repair a hernia. He'll be ready to throw in about three weeks and will need some time to shape up after that. Henry Rodriguez remains Washington Nationals closer with Drew Storen (elbow) also on the shelf.

Other Monday saviors

Jonathan Papelbon (8), Phillies  
Mariano Rivera (5), Yankees  
Brett Myers (5), Astros  
Scott Downs (2), Angels Worked around 9th-inn. 1B in 4-out wrap-up
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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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