Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Hector Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Kenley Jansen, more

by Tim Heaney on April 17, 2012 @ 12:09:50 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

  • Though Brian Wilson only has a "moderate" tear of his right elbow's ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to meet with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, he's still expected to undergo Tommy John surgery. Wait until the final announcement of his diagnosis before cutting him loose. In the meantime, check if Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla are available.
Los Angeles Dodgers RP Javy Guerra
Keep riding Guerra
  • Questionable ball calls, shaky location and a loss of composure doomed Hector Santiago on Monday. He gave up a leadoff homer and a two-out dinger to blow a two-run lead for his first botched save in four tries this season. Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura gave him a vote of confidence and, for now, is concerned about how the rookie southpaw responds.
    Santiago won't lose his job over one or two botches, but he needs to rebound quickly to stave off any hint of a change. Though his track record is short, he has the skills to hang onto the gig longer than most think.
    If you feel compelled to start speculating or backing him up, go in the order of Matt Thornton, Addison Reed and Jesse Crain. Reed and Thornton could easily flip-flop down the road, but the latter would probably get first crack if needed in the near future.
  • An astute observation from Baseball Prospectus scribe and Tampa Bay Rays hound R.J. Anderson notes a significant change in Fernando Rodney's 2012 approach. The erratic right-hander might be less so this year, thanks to his new location on the first-base side of the rubber, which should produce more favorable breaks (inside to right-handers) on his two-seamer.
    With his Monday save, he continues his momentum as the Rays' lead fill-in during Kyle Farnsworth's elbow strain recovery. Farnsie probably needs at least another few weeks to heal, which gives Rodney a decent window to be fantasy-relevant with slightly better 'Do-Rod numbers.
  • Kenley Jansen blew a save chance Friday when Javy Guerra had the night off for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The former walked two and yielded two hits, including an off-the-wall double and his second opponents' tater of 2012 (he allowed three in 2011). Despite a productive three-game stretch after an initial fix, Jansen relapsed with the mechanical glitches that plagued his season opener: too upright a delivery and not enough weight on his back leg, per Blue pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
    Jansen looked better in a scoreless Sunday appearance, but Guerra is in command of this role for the moment, and the understudy's abundant K's will probably come with rougher numbers than he posted last year. That doesn't eliminate his deep mixed utility, though.
  • Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow denied a USA Today report that Brett Myers is already on the trade block. The stopper is expected to reside there at some point this year. As noted yesterday, Brandon Lyon would be the option to chase if you're only going by experience, which Bradley Mills might.
    Unfortunately, he doesn't boast any other attractive attributes. Wilton Lopez's late-inning proficiency and David Carpenter's dominance make them more alluring grabs, but unfortunately, that doesn't guarantee anything. This will be a messy situation if Myers leaves town.
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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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