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.
Closer: Brandon Lyon (shoulder)
Understudy: Mark Melancon
Lyon remains in top billing because he has been removed, so far, only due to "shoulder weakness." After his three-run, four-hit, zero-out blown save Wednesday - his fourth botched entry in eight tries - it should say "batting practice." Lopez probably has a shot at some interim chances, but not immediately; he returned from the DL recently, and Houston wants to keep him working in frames with less pressure.
Melancon, however, has been dubbed the fill-in by Bradley Mills and presents the best door-shutting pedigree in the bunch; he was once considered the heir to Mariano Rivera's throne. Though his K/9 is down this year, Melancon's grounder rate has bounced back to an elite level. In his small MLB sample sizes, he has shown the ability to do both at a high level, just not simultaneously.
There's a solid chance Melancon snares this gig and runs with it; grab him immediately. Of course, as rough as Lyon's save chances are, Mills could very well send him back into the fray once he's deemed healthy out of loyalty. His owners must hold him for a bit to let this develop more.
Yes, it's like sitting on a pine cone, but you plucked Lyon from the bottom branch of the saves tree in the first place knowing this could very well happen. There are still potential saves - as grating as they typically are - on his shaky arm. Regardless, Lyon carriers must at minimum examine plans to gain more saves, especially if you fail to secure Melancon.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 4
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