Â The clock is ticking on your fantasy season. Time is almost up on scrounging for saves and it’s time to turn those 10’s and 9’s into 11’s and 12’s in your roto league. Every last point counts and everyone has a story about how a last minute save or steal turned second place into a league title or a league title into second place. Hit the wire, add the closer du jour and hope for saves or at least a guy who won’t destroy your ratios(looking in your direction, Francisco Cordero).
It’s time to take advantage of whichever opportunities present themselves. Speaking of opportunities… this week’s edition of Blown Opportunities.
Andrew Bailey has actually thrown during a major league game in 2012! He walked one, struck out one and appeared to be intact after he left. Take whatever victory you can from that. Alfredo Aceves is still entrenched as the closer and isnâ€™t exactly dying from overuse. Aceves has only thrown three times(all scoreless innings) since his meltdown on August 4th. Bailey is worth a stash…if youâ€™re desperate, but there are other, more appealing options on the wire.
Chris Perez has recorded three consecutive saves with scoreless innings since his back-to-back meltdowns. Itâ€™s safe to put away the â€œFree Vinnieâ€ banners and t-shirts…again. Someday, Vinnie. Someday.
Minnesota closer Matt Capps underwent a MRI and it only showed inflammation, but heâ€™s still not close to a return and no timetable has been set. Meanwhile Glen Perkins has seven saves and essentially has the full-time closing job. Perkins has a K:BB ratio of almost 4.00 and is striking out more than a batter per inning. He wonâ€™t rack up a ton of saves because Minnesota is awful, but heâ€™s a lot safer than some of the replacement closers out there.
Oakland hasnâ€™t had a save opportunity in almost a week and there havenâ€™t been any developments in the ongoing Ryan Cook/Grant Balfour saga. Itâ€™s the same uncertain holding pattern that they were stuck in last week.
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington expressed concerns over closer Joe Nathanâ€™s workload. Washington claimed he planned to only use Nathan in save situations from here on out. This should come as music to the ears of fantasy GMs. There is nothing worse than having a closer come in during a blowout and give up a couple runs before ending the game. If Joe Nathan gets lit up now at least it will come during a save opportunity.
Donâ€™t look now, but Cubs closer Carlos Marmol appears to be healthy and competent again. Marmol has allowed one run since July 20th and heâ€™s only walked three while striking out 11 over that stretch. Itâ€™s a very small sample size, but it helps for Marmol to rebuild his image in the minds of fantasy GMs.
Wilton Lopez blew his first save in Houston, but earned a BS win thanks to the Astros offense bailing him out in the tenth inning. Lopez is still the best/only option the Astros have and the Francisco Cordero is safely stashed on the DL. CoCo canâ€™t hurt anyone there. Especially fantasy GMs scrounging for saves. One name to keep in mind for the future is Kevin Chapman. Chapman is Houstonâ€™s top prospect in the bullpen. Heâ€™s posting at 9.77 K/9 with a 2.84 ERA at Double-A. Heâ€™s not on the 40-man roster, but could be looking at a cup of coffee next month.
Heath Bell sure had fantasy pundits thinking he would regain the closer job…until he gave up four runs in 1/3 of an inning on August 12th. Steve Cishek is the man in Miami until heâ€™s not.
Milwaukee Brewers newly anointed closer, Jim Henderson, has blown back-to-back save opportunities and has the dreaded vote of confidence from manager Ron Roenicke. Henderson will likely be trotted out there for the next save chance. After that? Who knows. Milwaukee has already seen John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez go out of their way to not keep the closer job. The only names worth mentioning on the farm are Fautino de los Santos and Willy Peralta. DLS still looks like the closer of the future in Milwaukee, while Peralta profiles like a workhorse mid-rotation starter…if only he could figure out how to command his impressive stuff. Both should get looks in September, but neither is a guarantee for saves. Especially Peralta.
New York Mets closer Frank Francisco has exactly one scoreless inning in his last four outings with a couple of blown saves. All this means is Frank will likely have four clean saves in a row by the time this column is posted next week. Heâ€™s The Franciscoaster. He goes up and down, but he usually hangs on to his job. Jon Rauch earned a vulture save on Thursday, but thatâ€™s pretty much all it was.Â
It is indeed Thayer-time in San Diego again. Apparently lightning does strike twice in the same place. Dale Thayer, the journeymanâ€™s journeyman, is earning saves again and Huston Street is going to remain on the DL into September with a calf strain.
Santiago Casilla is out and Jeremy Affeldt is in as the closer in San Francisco. Casilla first suffered through ineffectiveness and is now suffering from a blister issue on his throwing hand. Sergio Romo is still the best reliever in the Giants bullpen and heâ€™s still setting up for someone not as good as he is. Casilla is fine to jettison back to the waiver wire…assuming you didnâ€™t cut him as soon as he was removed
Tyler Clippard is still rolling along as the closer in Washington and Drew Storen is still not the closer. Storen most recently got absolutely lit against San Francisco on Tuesday. Storen is only worth a roster spot in the deepest of NL-only leagues at this point. He’s unlikely to see saves any time soon.Â