What are the odds that you still own the relief pitchers you rostered in your fantasy baseball draft? 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.
|Job security (JS) score
||1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
|Health (H) score
||1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)
Closer: Mitchell Boggs, Miguel Batista
Understudy: Ryan Franklin, Jason Motte
Lurkers: Eduardo Sanchez, Trever Miller, Fernando Salas
Boggs striding forward?
Boggs ran with his Wednesday save chance, working around a hit in a scoreless frame with one strikeout while throwing 12 of his 15 pitches for strikes. Though this isn't a coronation and there's still a chance they'll use Boggs earlier in games, pitching coach Dave Duncan called Boggs the favorite. He has the reins to solidify the ninth.
The flame-throwing righty has improved by leaps and bounds versus lefties, thanks in big part to his slider. If he keeps doing what he's doing in the ninth, Tony La Russa could easily make him the "unofficial official" closer as he did with Franklin in 2009.
Batista hasn't worked since Saturday and, since he's fresh, could at least see an opportunity if Boggs has been used on back-to-back days. He's still worth speculation.
Sanchez worked in the seventh and eighth innings; he might get the occasional 2011 closure, but don't expect him to run with the job given his minimal experience. On the bright side, the keeper commodity's dominance and ability to pitch multiple innings scream solid reliever contribution in deep leagues.
As for Franklin, Duncan will be examining the mechanics and approach in videos of the righty, who gave up a homer Wednesday and will have to show improvement to regain consideration for saves.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 5
- In the matinee of yesterday's Washington Nationals doubleheader, Sean Burnett entered in the eighth to face the opposing 9-1-2 spots. He gave up a run on two hits, including an Albert Pujols run-scoring single. They then summoned Drew Storen, who locked up the final four outs for his second save in four days.
Burnett, meanwhile, hasn't seen a save chance since his blown April 15 outing. Storen hasn't allowed a run since opening day. Don't let him hover on your waiver wire. Both saviors remain playable, but Burnett owners must prepare for the Storen takeover, which could come soon.
- Something that won't appear in Kevin Gregg's box score: Wednesday was the second time the Baltimore Orioles' closer required an at-the-wall grab to wrap up a save this year. He'll continue to pump out shaky saves as long as he has the job. Koji Uehara remains on deck.
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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