Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Neftali Feliz, more

by Tim Heaney on August 11, 2011 @ 11:14:53 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

  • Arizona Diamondbacks RP J.J. Putz
    Putz on the pine
    J.J. Putz felt sore after making a diving stop on a grounder to end Tuesday's game, so the Arizona Diamondbacks kept him on the shelf Wednesday. David Hernandez's 1-2-3 frame last night gave him his 10th save of the season. Putz says he should be ready to go Thursday, but keeping Hernandez at hand or scooping him up on the chance Putz has to miss more time isn't outlandish, given the stopper's propensity for injury.
  • A tight triceps kept Huston Street on the pine Wednesday, his second straight night sidelined. He played catch yesterday, but he obviously didn't feel much better because he's likely to miss Thursday's game, as well. Expect the Colorado Rockies to go with Rafael Betancourt or maybe Rex Brothers if a save opportunity arises today and for however long Street can't take the mound.
  • On Wednesday former Texas Rangers backstop Bengie Molina was in town to receive his American League championship ring. He had a brief chat with 2010 teammate Neftali Feliz before the game, reminding the stopper to have confidence in all of his pitches.
    Result? His second straight scoreless and hitless outing Wednesday. Five of his 12 pitches in Wednesday's non-save appearance were cutters or sliders; he also threw those on seven of his 16 offerings in a Tuesday victory, so he was already laying the groundwork. Willingness to use this variety is the mindset he needs to extend his leash in stopping Mike Adams and Koji Uehara from stealing saves.
  • Two-thirds of an inning, five hits and five runs: That was the combined ninth-inning carnage for Joakim Soria and Aaron Crow Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Soria took the loss and blown save, punctuated by a sloppy play from second baseman Johnny Giavotella that allowed the winning run to score.
    Soria owners shouldn't worry about him losing his job, though; he blew a chance on July 30, too, but since May ended, Soria has just two gaffes in 26 opportunities.
  • Jonny Venters made another cameo Wednesday to log the save for the Atlanta Braves, striking out the only batter he faced. Closer Craig Kimbrel had pitched on each of the previous three days and four of the previous five.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays' Jesse Litsch also earned a closure for his 2 2/3 innings of game-finishing work; Toronto had built up a five-run lead heading into the ninth. Though it's tempting to speculate on someone else other than Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, this was a unique circumstance, and Rauch will be back in the next save situation.
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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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