Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Astros bullpen, more

by Tim Heaney on June 16, 2011 @ 12:39:55 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

  • Toronto Blue Jays RP Jon Rauch
    A breather, not a demotion
    Hopefully, you didn't bail on Mark Melancon. Brandon Lyon (strained triceps, awful pitching) is back on the DL. The Houston Astros never had a chance to try him back in the closer role - probably best for everyone. If someone ditched Melancon in your league, make them pay for that mistake by picking up the righty who should remain closer for at least the next few weeks - and if logic prevails, for this season and beyond.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays called upon Frank Francisco for the Wednesday save; the righty entered with two on and allowed a one-out hit to score an inherited runner before inducing a game-ending double play. While this bodes well for Frank Frank to be trusted in a save sitch, his inclusion was most likely a result of Jon Rauch, the preferred closer of the moment, having tossed 38 pitches in two frames of non-save work Tuesday. Francisco is worth owning but will require more patience; Rauch has pitched effectively enough to fend him off for now.
  • Leo Nunez blew the save Wednesday night, allowing three singles, including a two-out one-bagger that scored a pair of Philadelphia Phillies to tie things up. This was the third blown save in 22 chances for the Florida Marlins' righty.
    Don't jump the gun and proclaim this the start of another Nunez fade; sure, Steve Cishek could be a decent NL-only speculation, and Randy Choate has pitched well, but it's hard to peg these two as the only factors in a non-Nunez situation. Plus, for as well as he has pitched, since when has a Choate pursuit brought more than a random matchup save? Nunez has earned a decent margin for error.
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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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