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.
Closer: Carlos Marmol
Our Cubs check-ins typically coincide with Marmol blow-ups. In blowing his second save in three chances, Marmol walked four batters while also giving up a bases-clearing double and failing to record an out. Two of his runners inherited by Wood were also plated.
Mike Quade said post-game that Marmol is still the team's closer, but he also proclaimed that he's not sure if he'll use the wild righty if a Friday save chance arises; he may call on Marshall or Wood.
Marmol posts dynamic output swings; following his May 31 disaster, Quade wasn't relenting about keeping his stopper in the job. In his 16 outings after that game and headed into July 8, Marmol posted a 0.52 ERA with 22 K's and eight walks in 17 1/3 innings. The walks, you expect, even in his successful games.
So goes another season of owning this talented but erratic strikeout artist. This potential rest Friday isn't a demotion - more likely just a day to rest. Given his propensity to lose command of his arsenal, maybe Marmol will also lose a few save chances down the stretch. Quade hinted that Marshall could see some ninth-inning looks, especially if Chicago is facing tough lefty bats.
Marmol said he'll watch video to see if there are any mechanical issues - a quick fix there could have him back on his sometimes scary track. His bumps aren't enough to convince you to sell him off in your league, especially seeing the way he bounced back after his last save-pocalypse.
The Cubbies aren't competing, and it'll take a complete loss of his skills for them to consider a permanent closer change. While it's possible, it's hardly a fantasy bet you should make for 2011 by investing heavily in Marshall or Wood, though the former is worth a desperation pick-up.
Job security score: 4
Health score: 5
Closer: Jon Rauch
Understudy: Frank Francisco
John Farrell said before Thursday's game that Rauch will be taking over the duties for the time being. The (once again) deposed Francisco, who has yielded five earned runs over his last three appearances, has more work to do to regain Farrell's confidence.
Rauch isn't much better (4.34 ERA this season); it just seems like Toronto wants to keep Dotel and Frasor, the best skills option of these four, in their middle-relief roles. The skyscraper is the grab, but don't expect Rauch to hang on to the job for the rest of the season. This job has been chiefly dictated by Francisco's availability, so it might not be that long before Frank Frank is back in the ninth.
But don't forget to keep Dotel and Frasor on your watch list - maybe the long-term thinking will take over in Toronto and they'll consider one of those two.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 5
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