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.
|Job security (JS) score
||1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
|Health (H) score
||1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)
Closer: Neftali Feliz (DL)
Understudy: Darren Oliver, Arthur Rhodes
Lurkers: Darren O'Day, Cody Eppley, Alexi Ogando, Tanner Scheppers
Madson gets his day
With Feliz on the DL, this will be a committee deal. Oliver nabbed a smooth save Saturday. Rhodes did the same Sunday, retiring the only batter he faced; the Rangers entered the ninth with a four-run lead but ran into trouble. Oliver, who probably has the edge here because of his success versus righties and lefties, was unavailable Sunday because he had pitched the previous two days.
Don't forget about the two snuffers of righty bats: The soft-tossing, righty-stopping O'Day will probably get a look or two. Eppley doesn't have closer stuff but might get a shot if needed, considering he did the job a bit in the minors.
The team expects Feliz to be back soon after, if not on, his May 6 eligible return date. Consider this a stopgap deal, not a long-term investment opportunity.
Job security score: 5
Health score: 4
- Jose Contreras (elbow) joined Brad Lidge (shoulder) on the DL this past weekend. The Philadelphia Phillies will turn to Ryan Madson for saves. Grab him everywhere; he did the job twice this weekend with Contreras unavailable and has a shot at a month-plus of saves time, depending on Contreras' timetable.
Antonio Bastardo, who as the best arm available got a one-out save Sunday, is the likely backup plan. After that, they'd be scrambling.
- Before this weekend's series, Ozzie Guillen told reporters he wouldn't mind using Sergio Santos if a save situation came up against the Detroit Tigers' righty-heavy lineup. If two lefties were due up, he would've decided between Matt Thornton and Chris Sale. No one was needed in such a circumstance.
Chicago hasn't had a save situation in almost two weeks, so it's almost like a clean slate. Beat the rush on Santos; he's the best righty option and could easily become the next Jordan Walden or Mitchell Boggs.
- Speaking of Boggs, the St. Louis Cardinals dubbed him the primary closer, confirming the widespread fantasy notion. It's lined up as a long reign that some fantasy players still need to acknowledge on their waiver wire. Ryan Franklin has struggled in his reconditioning; he'll likely need an extended period to regain even consideration for stopping.
- Those with weekly lineup changes: If all goes well in his Tuesday rehab assignment, David Aardsma (hip) could return to the Seattle Mariners soon after, which would send Brandon League back to setup duty.
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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