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.
Santiago Casilla looked like he'd revisit his horrific weekend after allowing a one-out walk Tuesday. As if he'd needed a reminder of his shakier ground, Sergio Romo was warming up in the bullpen. Well, Casilla rebounded to induce two fly-outs to end the game and record his 21st save in 23 tries. Bruce Bochy showed praise for Casilla's will, which should work well as long as Casilla holds his end of the back-end bargain.
Romo is the grab if you're hoping for Casilla to falter, but he's staving off trouble.
Carlos Marmol walked the leadoff hitter (many have put David Wright on base) with a two-run lead Tuesday, but he recorded two K's and a fly-out to put out the fire and record his fifth closure of the season. The Chicago Cubs' righty has allowed a run just once in his last six outings, while walking four and fanning eight in five frames.
The Cubbies brought Rafael Dolis back up after he posted a 2.92 ERA with three saves, 13 K's and a 1.30 WHIP in 12 1/3 frames. Maybe he'll work up to being next in line again, but Marmol is putting some distance between him and the field.
Given how the rest of the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen has performed this year, Jason Motte's job is quite safe. On Tuesday he notched his 16th save of the year, a seven-pitch scoreless inning. In his last 24 games, he has been scored upon in just six of them. Three have happened to come in his last eight outings, including a blown save June 17.
His 15.2 HR/FB shows where most of the trouble sits; he's allowed five fence clearers compared to two last year. His peripherals remain strong, though, and his 75.6 first-strike percentage leads all qualified RPs.
Mitchell Boggs would probably take the reins if Motte coughs up duties, but he'll need to stumble much more frequently to do that anytime soon.
John Axford came in to start the eighth inning in a tied game Tuesday. He promptly served up a solo homer. "Just left it up," he said, showing more evidence of location issues he's had this year. Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said that since Ax was warm, he was gonna use him, regardless of situation. Weird that it came in the eighth, though, especially since they were on the road. Though not on the precipice, Axford has been teetering for a bit, and it's not a bad idea to keep Francisco Rodriguez at hand or on roster.
While Sean Marshall should still be at your fingertips for saves speculation, Aroldis Chapman took a positive step last night in fixing his recent stumbles. He stopped a save chance slide by fanning three in a scoreless frame and worked around a walk to lock down his ninth closure, after which he jubilantly summed up the feelings of his owners.
Dusty Baker saw him rolling, and he's hating. After the Aroldisaults, skip told the youngster to get off his lawn. Teammates and pitching coach Bryan Price had a reminder chat with Chapman after the game pertaining to his actions.
Off-field troubles probably came into play when Cincy talked about his postgame gymnastics; he probably needs to grow up a bit overall. But the brass' priorities are amusing. Hey, if it's a speeding ticket or four, we'll cover ya, no worries. But how dare you be 24 years old and act like you're having fun playing a game.
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