In our last look at the Bottom of the Ninth, we tackled four closers I thought were being severely undervalued in fantasy drafts this year. Today, let’s discuss a few non-ninth inning relievers that I feel will end up with the job before all is said and done, and probably sooner rather than later.

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The baseball season is only a few short weeks away, which means were oh-so-close to closer controversy, out-of-nowhere fantasy stars and disbelief that anyone could have been suckered into drafting Brandon Lyon again. It also means it’s time for our first Bottom of the 9th of the season.

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Remember the good ol’ days when the St. Louis Cardinals were relying on Ryan Franklin to close games for them? Then when he completely flopped, everyone they auditioned as a replacement couldn’t hack it. Then, as luck would have it, they finally found their man: Fernando Salas.

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You don’t often see a big-name closer come off the DL and not regain his job, but that’s exactly what’s happening in Colorado. Huston Street and his 29 saves hit the DL with a triceps strain a few weeks ago and returned to the Rockies on August 26.

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When we last met, we discussed the three teams most likely to switch closers before the end of the season, and two of the three teams have already experienced change. The Mets are going with Bobby Parnell over Jason Isringhausen as expected after the latter’s 300th career save, though Izzy may still pick up a rogue save or two here or there, presumably by dressing up as Michael Bolton dressed up as Jack Sparrow to see what lies in store.

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The trade rumor mill is in full gear with less than a week until the trading deadline, so you’d probably expect this article to be all about trade candidates that could leave bullpen roles in flux. Hooray for met expectations!

Heath Bell – He’s the big dog on the trade market now, not just with regard to relief pitching but in general as well.

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With the All-Star Break in full swing, today seems like the perfect time to examine non-closers that could find themselves in the ninth inning during the second half. The list has to begin with Mike Adams, who sports an elite 1.32 ERA and 0.71 WHIP going into Sunday’s action, with 41 Ks and six walks in 41 innings.

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We try to keep you ahead of the game here in The Bottom of the 9th, allowing you to make RP changes before most people in your leagues by examining rocky situations (whether thanks to injury or incumbent performance) and plotting a course of action.

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In the Bottom of the 9th, we talk about the ever-changing landscape of baseball’s ninth inning, who’s in, who’s out and who’s pitching like they never want to close again, or “Frankling it.”  We usually look for the next man up in our quest to SAGNOF a fantasy championship.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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