Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Cardinals bullpen, more

by Tim Heaney on May 13, 2011 @ 12:35:15 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

  • Pitching coach Dave Duncan made it as official as it'll be in the near future for the St. Louis Cardinals' committee: Eduardo Sanchez sits in the pole in this race. Fernando Salas and Mitchell Boggs are the main backup plans. Boggs' stock has slipped since a blown save several weeks ago, and the team would like to see a more consistent breaking pitch from him. Jason Motte looks to be settled into the role of a middle- and late-inning fireman, coming in with runners on. Of course, Duncan said Boggs was the main guy a while back. This carousel has merely slowed down; it hasn't stopped.

  • It has gone downhill for Brandon League, who after wrapping up his first nine save chances took the loss Thursday for his third straight appearance and blew his second consecutive opportunity. The good news: David Aardsma's (elbow) season is in jeopardy, and the options behind him are unstable and inconsistent. Chris Ray and Jamey Wright are the most trustworthy options, and that doesn't bring comfort for a change.
    Plus, League's struggles have stemmed from erratic warmup schedules, poor defense and his work extending into a second inning. Expect the Seattle Mariners to stick with him for the near future, but failing to rectify his recently hittable stuff could cost League in the long run.

  • Atlanta Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez said he isn't removing Craig Kimbrel from the closer role anytime soon, despite the filthy right-hander's rough stretch of late; he blew two of four save chances and posted a 5.68 ERA in his last 6 1/3 innings prior to Thursday. He rebounded last night in a non-save sitch with a three-strikeout scoreless frame.
    Jonny Venters remains a deep league commodity just for his lights-out skills, with the added possibility of earning save chances down the road if Kimbrel continues to falter.
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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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