Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Jonathan Broxton shut down, more

by Tim Heaney on June 29, 2011 @ 12:38:35 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

  • Philadelphia Phillies RP Ryan Madson
    Another one bites the dust
    With Ryan Madson (hand) heading to the DL, the Philadelphia Phillies will likely turn their saves over to some combo of Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes, with Bastardo the likelier first option. The hope is Madson returns Monday, the first day he's eligible.
    Especially with Madson and the sidelined Brad Lidge (elbow) facing free agency after this season, Stutes is a long-term option for the role. He still needs to work on his control, but as we've seen with potent K artists, that isn't a deal-breaker for a stopper. If Charlie Manuel insists on using matchups for stoppages, the righty Stutes could wind up being at least a factor equal to Bastardo in this temporary composition and is worth grabbing if you missed out on the southpaw.
  • Jonathan Broxton (elbow) will be shut down for another three weeks; his bone bruise reportedly flared up again. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly added to the fun, saying if Broxton pitched again in 2011, it'd be considered a bonus. This bodes well - well, as well as it could for this 'pen - for those who latched on to Javy Guerra, who at the moment is the best Blue bookend, though that title is hardly secure.
    Throwing a line at Kenley Jansen or Hong-Chih Kuo, in that order, wouldn't hurt. Kuo showed improvement in his Monday twirl, but his appearances aren't yet coming in pressurized spots. Jansen is in middle-inning work, but at least he keeps mowing down opponents.
  • On Tuesday, Mike Scioscia reiterated his confidence in Jordan Walden closing for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Skip pointed to how well the righty pitched during his recent BS trio. Don't panic if you own the rook, but if Walden carriers or those chasing the next winged savior have an expendable roster spot, it wouldn't hurt to grab Scott Downs.
  • Of late a true reflection of his name, the Arizona Diamondbacks' J.J. Putz has a 6.17 ERA in June; he has yielded a dinger each of the last two nights, one coming in a blown save Tuesday in which he coughed up a walk, homer and double. The righty has pitched on five of the last seven days.
    Kirk Gibson has tried to rest Putz more, but his other relievers haven't been performing up to snuff. At least Gibson knows he needs to be careful with Putz, who holds a lengthy medical history and could benefit from a more regimented schedule. We could see David Hernandez take the ball if a closing spot arises Wednesday just to give Putz a breather. As long as he's healthy, the latter has ample job security.
  • Huston Street's Tuesday appearance was his first since Friday, thanks to groin soreness. He threw a scoreless, two-strikeout inning in a Colorado Rockies affair that went to extra frames.
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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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