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: Jonathan Broxton (DL)
Understudy: Vicente Padilla, Hong-Chih Kuo (DL)
Lurkers: Kenley Jansen, Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal
Uh oh - another one? Padilla was unavailable Tuesday due to stiffness in his right forearm, so Guerrier stepped in for the save. They're not concerned at the moment, but unsettling is that it's the same forearm that was operated on in the offseason. Maybe some of that balkiness stems from Padilla's 32-pitch save opp Friday that had to be finished by Jansen, who also logged the final out in the eighth last night.
On way to even easier Street?
If Padilla were to land in an extended absence, it'd likely be a mix of Guerrier, Jansen and MacDougal filling in. Guerrier pitches in late-inning hold situations and has recorded exactly one save in each of the last six campaigns. He's crafty but not dominant like an archetypal stopper. Jansen represents the latter, and he has rebounded from an early-season disappointment. MacDougal has some closer experience and has started off well in 2011 but isn't a realistic long-term inhabitant of the role.
Jansen offers the most fantasy upside and should be your first add, but that doesn't necessarily make him the outright winner. Going for him is that Mattingly saw him in an extended period of closing last year, but Guerrier and MacDougal fit the reliable vet profile Mattingly might not be able to pass on. If Padilla goes down, don't count on a consistent savior.
Job security score: 2
Health score: 3
- Mark Melancon allowed a solo homer in the ninth to blow a save Tuesday for the Houston Astros. Don't go rushing to grab Wilton Lopez in mixed leagues; though it was only his second save opp in place of Brandon Lyon (shoulder) and Lopez has looked sound since returning from the DL, Melancon should continue to be the first option.
- Huston Street recorded his 13th save of the season Tuesday for the Colorado Rockies in a one-hit, one-K scoreless inning. During some recent struggles, he identified an inconsistency in his delivery stride. In the last few days he had been working on shortening it with pitching coach Bob Apodaca; they drew a line in the bullpen dirt to mark the landing spot for Street to hit with his left foot.
This alteration is meant to add a better plane on his pitches. He's already posting the highest grounder rate of his career, so he has a decent base already.
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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