Texas Rangers closer Eric Gagne (hip) was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hip. Gagne left Sunday's game after throwing 11 pitches. This means Akinori Otsuka will resume closer duties in Gagne's absence. Gagne had thrown 3 1/3 innings with one save, a 0.00 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Otsuka has two saves, a 0.00 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
This will be Gagne's second trip to the disabled list this year after he started the season there in order to get some innings under his belt in his return from back surgery. The injury to the right hip isn't good because the right leg is a right-handed pitcher's drive leg. He'll need to give it adequate rest for the injury to heal. It's possible that Gagne could miss a month because he may need a rehab assignment to get back.
This is great for Otsuka owners because Otsuka only got two save opportunities during Gagne's first DL stint. It's unlikely that Otsuka is available in many fantasy leagues. If he is, obviously, go pick him up. If an owner is frustrated with Gagne and releases him, pick him up and stash him on your bench or disabled list.
It's extremely hard to replace closers in fantasy baseball because owners are quick to pick up any players that get the chance at saves. Philadelphia Phillies reliever Brett Myers is available in about 40 percent of leagues polled. He can be a good source of strikeouts along with an occasional save. Milwaukee Brewers setup man Derrick Turnbow is having a fabulous season, with 15 strikeouts in nine innings, a 2.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Kansas City Royals reliever Joakim Soria is available in roughly 64 percent of leagues polled. He has the upper hand at saves for the team while Octavio Dotel (oblique) is out.
If none of those players are available, take a chance on Houston Astros setup man Chad Qualls (two wins, one save, 2.25 ERA, 0.63 WHIP) or Royals reliever Ryan Z. Braun (3.24 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, eight strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings). Both of those players could be in line for saves if their manager decided to shake up their already shaky situations in the bullpen.
About Ryan Dodson
Dodson is a KFFL Contributor and has been with KFFL since 2002.
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