Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Kenley Jansen, J.J. Putz, more

by Tim Heaney on September 13, 2012 @ 11:55:45 PDT'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

Cincinnati Reds RP J.J. Hoover
Hoover sucking up save chances?

Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) is aiming to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. The right-hander cites significant improvement in his health, and he's slated to stop taking his blood-thinning medication Friday to leave enough time to recover and ready himself for action.

Brandon League has served as the Dodgers' fill-in and may still be worth a hold to cover your backside in the unfortunate event that Jansen's problems resurface. If your roster space needs devotion to other areas, however, League stands as a reasonable drop as soon as Jansen returns.


The Arizona Diamondbacks once again rested J.J. Putz (back stiffness) Wednesday, and for the second straight evening David Hernandez slammed the door, retiring the minimum with two bouncers sandwiching a backwards K of Adrian Gonzalez. Putz might be back before season's end, but Hernandez should be picked up everywhere, without giving up something valuable, in the event the incumbent won't.


Jonathan Broxton had worked on two straight days and three of the previous four, so the Cincinnati Reds turned to J.J. Hoover last night in a save spot with Aroldis Chapman (shoulder) resting.

Hoover, a right-hander with closer-like abilities acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the Juan Francisco deal, worked around a two-out single for his first career closure. Dusty Baker may play matchups for as long as Chapman is out, but Broxton remains the top replacement.

Hoover, who holds an impressive 2.96 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with a 9.69 K/9 in 23 uses this year, might see one or two more opps the rest of the way. He should already sit on a single-universe roster and may help deep mixed squads chasing K's and grasping at any last save compilers.

If Cincy reverses course on Chapman's role, he may play into Cincy's back-end plans. Hoover, regardless of save deployment, will carry NL-only and at times deep-mixed appeal for whiff and ratio aid.


The Oakland Athletics sent Sean Doolittle to the mound with a 4-0 lead to start the ninth inning on Wednesday. He promptly gave up a tater to Albert Pujols, and though he recovered with two straight ground-outs, he allowed a double after them. Ryan Cook came on to induce a bounce-out from Vernon Wells and register his 14th save.

Though Grant Balfour holds a hint of job insecurity, he didn't appear because he had worked on each of the three previous days. Cook is merely the understudy, and his speculative value is faint at this juncture of the season.

Other Wednesday saviors

Rafael Soriano (37), Yankees Not without trouble: HR, E-1, but escaped
Jonathan Papelbon (34), Phillies 1 BB, 3 K to protect 2-run advantage
Joe Nathan (33), Rangers
Jose Valverde (30), Tigers 1 R on 2 H
Tom Wilhelmsen (26), Mariners Worked around 2-out BB
Luke Gregerson (8), Padres Allowed H in each of last 3, BB in each of last 2
Drew Storen (2), Nationals Tyler Clippard had worked previous 2 nights
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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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