Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Fernando Salas, more

by Tim Heaney on June 2, 2011 @ 11:51:38 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.


Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)


St. Louis Cardinals

Closer: Fernando Salas

Understudy: Eduardo Sanchez, Mitchell Boggs

Lurkers: Jason Motte, Ryan Franklin, Miguel Batista, Trever Miller

Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz
Feliz: baby steps

Salas was teetering recently, and he blew his first save in 11 tries in a Wednesday frame (one run, two hits, one walk). The St. Louis Cardinals' righty has coughed up at least one hit in each of his last seven appearances and one run in three of his last five. Given his longer body of wrapping things up than previous deposed stoppers Boggs and Sanchez, he likely has a longer leash in this bullpen setup.

But exactly how extensive? St. Louie put in a call to the San Diego Padres inquiring about Heath Bell - not surprising. The Fathers likely wouldn't pull the trigger until late July on one of the most highly sought-after deadline commodities, so you could still squeeze plenty of value out of Salas in the meantime. The way this 'pen has shuffled this season, though, Salas could lose his gig before then if he continues to stumble or make them nervous; that's what did in Sanchez. Despite his rough outing last night, Franklin might even be working his way back into saves consideration down the road - not probable, but not impossible given the organization's continued loyalty to him.

How's your saves nest looking? It wouldn't hurt to determine your league's market for Salas soon if you have more pressing needs and can afford to avoid hoping Salas survives potential pitfalls.

Job security score: 2

Health score: 5

Mound meetings

  • Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that he still wants to use matchups to determine his closer for the near future, but with Vicente Padilla on track to return Friday, skip hinted he isn't afraid to put the vet back in the role. Mattingly's desire to have a single closer reinforces the idea of picking up Padilla if you're chasing saves. He's still widely available in fantasy leagues.
  • Neftali Feliz looked more like his 2010 incarnation during his Wednesday save for the Texas Rangers: Though he didn't fan a batter, the righty worked around a leadoff hit to retire the next three batters. He threw a fastball on 13 of his 15 pitches, so he still could use some variety, but he showed improved command of his heat and kept the ball down in the zone. That last bit will be vital for preserving an improved approach and helping him regain his place as a stable savior.
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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

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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