There are some shaky closers out there and shakier bullpen situations just waiting to destroy head-to-head fantasy baseball ERAs.
Let’s wade through some of the messiest of ‘pens and discuss what’s what.
Los Angeles Angels
Every five games or so Brian Fuentes (6.23 ERA) has a complete meltdown. Fernando Rodney has been shaky too, but his ERA is half the size of Fuentes’. Kevin Jepsen is the closer of the future, dynasty league owners, but Rodney should be the closer of now and will be by the end of July.
With a 1.66 WHIP and a .310 BAA, Matt Lindstrom‘s 3.18 ERA seems unsustainable. Brandon Lyon, who surprisingly walks as many batters as Lindstrom, has a 3.30 ERA and a WHIP (1.30) and BAA (.240) to support it. When Lindstrom starts paying for those runners and hits allowed, Lyon will step into the closer’s role.
It’s Aaron Heilman for now. He’s been the most effective reliever out of the ‘pen for Arizona. That said, he’s given up three earned runs and five hits in his last two outings (2.1 IP). Like the Astros’ mess, Chad Qualls and his ridiculous 8.87 ERA could be back in the saddle before long.
Thank the Mariners for spawning this post by putting David Aardsma on the trading block. Aardsma’s ERA (5.32) hasn’t been Quallsesque, but it’s been pretty ridiculous on its own. Not sure what offers Seattle will get for that, bute Brandon League would take over as the closer if it happens. League has been effective this season, with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He should be going in the ninth already. If you’re vulturing saves in you fantasy league, he’s probably the best/most available option on this list.
David Hernandez is more of a prospect than Alfredo Simon, but Simon has been the most effective closer Baltimore has run out there this season. He should be the guy at least until Mike Gonzalez returns in mid-July.
Octavio Dotel‘s 5.20 ERA is hardly closer stuff. He probably shouldn’t have had the job to begin with. Meanwhile Evan Meek has been dominant all season with a 0.68 ERA, a 0.83 WHIP and 36 Ks to 9 BB in 40 innings. Meek, 27, is a better long-term option than the 37-year-old Dotel. Why he hasn’t had the chance yet is a question akin to asking why the Pirates are awful every year.
It will be a relief when Huston Street returns today. Although he won’t be thrust right into the closer role, his arrival means the days of waiting for Manny Corpas — the closer now, who gave up eight earned runs in his last two appearances (in0.2 IP) — and Franklin Morales — who lost the job to Corpas — to destroy your ERA for the week are finally over. Corpas will likely retain closer duties until Street is deemed ready.
Chicago White Sox
Usually we can count on the White Sox as an excellent source for closer prospecting thanks to the marginally-effective-when-he’s-at-his-best Bobby Jenks. However, Jenks has allowed just one earned run, one free pass and seven hits in his last 9.2 innings. He also has seven saves, no blown saves and no losses over that stretch. He’s probably still a disaster away from coughing up the gig. J.J. Putz or Matt Thornton, in that order, are the next in line when he falters.
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