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.
Matt Guerrier pitched the eighth inning for the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, holding the score at 3-1 after working around a walk and a single in facing the Houston Astros' top five lineup hitters. Kenley Jansen, however, labored through 38 pitches, yielding three runs (all with two outs) on three knocks and a walk to blow the save and the game. This should continue to be predicated on matchups and usage, so these two and Mike MacDougal will remain in this unpredictable picture.
Jansen blows chance to step up
- Matt Capps' ugly May (6.97 ERA) was produced by blow-ups during three blown saves, including a Monday gaffe. The Minnesota Twins' righty has sustained his elite walk rate, but he's not inducing as many whiffs and grounders as he has throughout his career. He has seemingly shifted to the first-base side of the rubber against left-handed sticks but has struggled mightily against them, especially with his two-seamer.
A simple recalibration could help Capps rebound. His pristine control offers a good foundation to improve elsewhere. Joe Nathan was also touched up Monday, allowing two tallies in one-third of a frame. Given his disappointment and a lack of reliable alternatives, Capps should hold the closer role for the near future.
- The Oakland Athletics are thankful Andrew Bailey (forearm) is nearing a return. Brian Fuentes has entered a tied contest in each of his last four appearances and taken the loss every time; the erratic southpaw criticized A's manager Bob Geren for his usage, implying he doesn't communicate his bullpen plan effectively to the relievers.
Fuentes (5.06 ERA and 1.41 WHIP) hasn't helped regardless of situation. Maybe Grant Balfour, Michael Wuertz or someone else gets a shot this week, but with Bailey sniffing MLB action, any other option is running out of usefulness. Guessing on one with such a small contribution window wouldn't make sense. Fuentes owners should continue seeking contingency plans with this timeline in mind.
- Following a rough stretch that culminated in a May 16 blown save (his third in six tries), Jordan Walden has rattled off a scoreless stanza in each of the last three days, recording a save in the last two for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Though he's still determining how to incorporate his changeup, he has re-established his arm slot, and his results are bringing him in the right direction to hold off the steady Scott Downs.
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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