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: Carlos Marmol
Understudy: Kerry Wood
Lurkers: Sean Marshall
Soria making KC eat Crow?
Marmol's epic six-run meltdown on May 31 skewed an otherwise fine season. But his Sunday blown save (two hits, one run allowed on his second straight day of work) magnified some disturbing trends. His four-seam fastball topped out at 92 mph; his average heat is down by almost 3 mph from 2010. Opponents are hitting liners against him more frequently than in any past season. He once again is on an overwhelming pace for appearances; he typically ranks among the leaders in innings logged among stoppers.
Though he's still whiffing opponents and keeping the ball in the park, maybe all these throws are wearing him down? His funky delivery combined with possible fatigue could be dampening that zip. Hiding an injury? Confidence derailed by the May 31 disaster? The Cubbies didn't seem too worried after that six-run affair, the worst of Marmol's career, and have not yet wavered on him keeping his role.
It's hard to recommend benching him considering he's still recording K's and has worked around trouble for the majority of 2011. Though it's a security blanket if you have an open space, adding Wood isn't necessary yet in mixed leagues. However, pay attention to how Marmol deals with his recent struggles and if he and the team can determine what's impeding his performance.
Job security score: 5
Health score: 5
- Just a breather? Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost said before yesterday's action that it might take only one or two more solid appearances by Joakim Soria (they hope in a pressurized eighth-inning spot) for the deposed stopper to regain his typical role. He didn't pitch Sunday, but since being demoted, Soria has tossed three scoreless frames without yielding a walk or hit.
Hang on to Aaron Crow, but he not might serve in his interim capacity for much longer, if at all. Naturally, if Soria was prematurely dumped, grab him.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers have kept Vicente Padilla on the DL because the neck issues that sidelined him near the end of last season are acting up again. He's over the forearm issue, though, so if his recent examination in LA turns out to be OK, he could be back in action sometime this week.
He's still a solid waiver wire grab for at least the occasional save. Given this lot's spotty state - especially with Rubby De La Rosa sliding into the rotation at least for a cameo - Padilla could easily emerge as the best option.
- Andrew Bailey was back in save situations for the Oakland Athletics this past weekend. He entered Oaktown's Saturday affair against the Boston Red Sox with a one-run lead in the 10th; the righty fanned the first two hitters but gave up back-to-back doubles to blow his first opp of 2011.
He probably won't pitch on consecutive days for the near future, so he'll have his chances limited. But he's back in the majority role, at least, so get him back in your lineup.
- A blowup at an umpire over the weekend could lead to a suspension for Jonathan Papelbon. The Red Sox would probably have Daniel Bard close during a Paps absence, so if he's available and you're in a spot to add a potential short-term category boost, give it a whirl.
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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