StrategyApril 19, 2012

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Bottom of the 9th: 49.50

By R.J. White

Once the fantasy community got the news Andrew Bailey was out for several months, the main target of speculators was Mark Melancon. After all, he gained some closing experience last year, and the other two main options (Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves) were real possibilities for the rotation. But Aceves went back to the ‘pen, earned the closer role, and has been pretty solid over the last few weeks. Melancon, however, has been worse than horrendous, settling at a 49.50 ERA after failing to record an out while giving up six runs in his last appearance. That earned him a much-needed ticket to Triple-A.

That means Aceves has earned a “Safe” designation in our ratings, quite a statement after his shaky first week when it took him till his third appearance to even record an out. He was perfect in his next three appearances, earning two saves while striking out four in three innings. If he were to go down, though, where would that leave the Red Sox? Likely hitting the phones to find a trade partner, especially after Franklin Morales blew up last night.

However, Rich Hill’s rehab is going well. He’s recorded 10 Ks in five innings while surrendering three hits, one walk and one run in the minors this year. He should join the Red Sox before long, and if he proves trustworthy, he could factor into the closer role eventually … you know, in case of emergency.

And I bet you thought I was going to lead with Brian Wilson this week, right?


ARI J.J. Putz
ATL Craig Kimbrel
BOS Alfredo Aceves
BAL Jim Johnson
CHC Carlos Marmol
CIN Sean Marshall
COL Rafael Betancourt
DET Jose Valverde
HOU Brett Myers
LAA Jordan Walden
LAD Javy Guerra
MIA Heath Bell
MIL John Axford
NYM Frank Francisco
NYY Mariano Rivera
OAK Grant Balfour
PHI Jonathan Papelbon
PIT Joel Hanrahan
SD Huston Street
SEA Brandon League
STL Jason Motte
TEX Joe Nathan
TOR Sergio Santos
WAS Henry Rodriguez / Brad Lidge

Safe … For Now

CHW Hector Santiago
CLE Chris Perez
KC Jonathan Broxton
MIN Matt Capps
SF Santiago Casilla
TB Fernando Rodney

Now Closing

PIT Juan Cruz has pounded out back-to-back saves with Joel Hanrahan out with a hamstring injury. Deeper league owners, that’s your No. 2. Hanrahan should be available this weekend.

SF Santiago Casilla has been named the closer in San Francisco, and he’s a must own with Brian Wilson out for an entire year. Sergio Romo is probably next in line, but this isn’t a committee; Casilla would have to be pretty terrible to relinquish the job.


CHW Hector Santiago picked up his first blown save this week when he gave up two runs to the Orioles on Monday. His job isn’t so precarious that he should be worried … yet. The White Sox of course have multiple guys that we feel could do the job, so he can’t afford too many blown saves over the first part of the season.

CLE Chris Perez has given up six hits and four walks in 4.2 innings, which translates into a 2.14 WHIP. Speculators should already have Vinnie Pestano rostered.

KC Jon Broxton hasn’t been the sharpest tool in the shed this year, and he has just one save this year to go along with one blown save. Greg Holland hasn’t been dominant though, striking out 10 in 6.1 innings but also putting up a 7.11 ERA and 1.89 WHIP. Aaron Crow actually has the other save in Kansas City, but that was weird circumstance (rain-shortened), so don’t read into it.

TB Fernando Rodney was perfect in his first five appearances and gave up just a walk in the sixth, giving him a 0.23 WHIP in 4.1 innings. So yeah, it’s past time to cut bait on Joel Peralta.

WAS Brad Lidge has been solid, and Henry Rodriguez has been outstanding. The pair will still alternate saves for now, but an injury to one makes the other a must-own player in all leagues. If I had to pick one to run away with it, I’d go Rodriguez, who locked down his third save Wednesday.

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse and Razzball. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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