Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Jon Rauch, Neftali Feliz, more

by Tim Heaney on August 5, 2011 @ 10:22:48 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

  • Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz
    Feliz responds
    Is Jon Rauch truly a better option than Frank Francisco? Rauch blew his fifth save chance Thursday for the Toronto Blue Jays by giving up a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 10th, allowing three runs on the day. Rauch keeps things adventurous, having allowed at least two hits in each of his last three outings and having let one cross the plate in three of his last four.
    Meanwhile, in his last nine contests, Francisco has yielded just one run and six hits in 9 1/3 innings while striking out eight. It looks like Francisco is back in form - for now - and it's a matter of time before John Farrell goes back to him; follow suit if he's available.
  • In his first appearance in more than a week - and his first save chance after the Texas Rangers acquired Mike Adams and Koji Uehara - Neftali Feliz was successful Thursday. He registered two K's and a ground-out in a perfect frame, throwing a four-seamer on 14 of his 16 offerings.
    His fastball predictability has been an issue, but Feliz recorded a first-pitch strike against two of the three batters he faced - a much better percentage than he has displayed all season. Sure, it's one game, but improved aggressiveness can help him remain successful. Feliz must continue this approach to keep the newly acquired duo at bay.
  • Carlos Marmol's perfect ninth inning Thursday gave him his fourth consecutive save conversion, and his fourth in the last five days. He has fanned 13 and walked just four in his last nine games. Breathe easy, Marmolade eaters; looks like he's back to his past sweetness.
  • Ryan Madson was placed on the paternity-leave list; his wife gave birth, and he's expected back with the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday. The Phightin' Phils will use either Antonio Bastardo or Brad Lidge today; the former is the likelier option, but that shouldn't stop save seekers from taking a rental stab on Lidge.
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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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