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: Sergio Santos, Chris Sale
Understudy: Matt Thornton
Lurkers: Jesse Crain, Jason Frasor
Gregg created his own mess
It's not just a casual approach anymore: When the Kansas City Royals had a lefty bat due up in the first and third spots of a Sunday save sitch, Sale entered and retired all three hitters, recording the closure and officially invading Santos' territory.
Earlier this past weekend, Santos had a meeting with Ozzie Guillen and Don Cooper and was told that Chicago will continue to play the matchups. When left-handed sticks bookend the three opponents due up, that favors Sale. A leadoff lefty followed by righties would help Santos; Chicago has used the Sale- or Thornton-to-Santos play a few times already.
You were warned about how this mixing and matching could pilfer saves from the White Sox's lead closer. Dropping Santos is foolish - he's still the Sox's first choice - but unless your league mates aren't paying attention, it'll be hard now to receive full value for him in a trade.
Sale is worth a grab; he won't return consistent value, but potentially plucking one or two saves every week or so could help down the stretch. Thornton hasn't been used in as many tight situations as Sale has; the vet is a secondary gamble.
Job security score: 3
Health score: 5
- If you missed it over the weekend, Huston Street (triceps) hit the DL, and the Colorado Rockies are going with Rafael Betancourt in save situations. Grab Betancourt where you can.
- On Sunday the San Francisco Giants were without Brian Wilson (stiff back) and Sergio Romo ("cranky" elbow). Both injuries appear to be minor; Wilson should be back to closing Monday.
- Neftali Feliz continued his turnaround Sunday in a 1-2-3 inning to record his 23rd save of the season. He used his fastball for 13 of his 20 offerings, but he mixed in one changeup, showing he's continuing to improve the diversity of his arsenal. Feliz has thrown a shutout inning in his last four appearances, which include five K's, one save and one win. The sophomore is bolstering his case to keep Mike Adams and Koji Uehara from taking the Texas Rangers' closer gig.
- Kevin Gregg came in to wrap up an 8-1 Baltimore Orioles lead Sunday, but his ninth inning was far from easy: He allowed four runs while failing to retire any of the six batters he faced. His gaffe created a save chance that Jim Johnson came on to convert.
Gregg is perpetually a shaky fantasy option, but he hadn't allowed a hit in his previous five outings (all scoreless, none in save chances). He created his own mess with a big lead. Like with Mark Melancon's scarcity of save situations in Houston, Gregg hasn't put himself in position to lose the role to either Johnson or Mike Gonzalez yet, merely based on his infrequent opportunities.
- J.J. Putz had appeared Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the Arizona Diamondbacks, so David Hernandez stepped in on Sunday to register a scoreless frame and his 11th save of the year. Putz is in no danger as long as he's healthy, but Hernandez remains a solid piece of any deep league pitching staff.
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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