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Remember a little while ago (say, a month) when I told you that if Ryan Madson continued to pitch well, he’d remain the closer upon Jose Contreras’ return? Remember how the comment section called me out about it? Well, Contreras has returned, and Madson’s still the closer. Sometimes you gotta go with your gut.

(By the way, resist the overwhelming urge to stroll through the archives and build an itemized list of all my swings and misses. I’m sure there’s plenty.)

There’s even been indication by manager Charlie Manuel that Madson may remain the closer once Brad Lidge comes off the DL. Could it happen? I’m not going to press my luck, but Madson clearly has plenty of fantasy value for now. Smart owners may want to sell now so as to get plenty of return. Dumb owners should continue hanging on to Ryan Franklin (seriously guys, 29 percent owned in Yahoo leagues?).

In other “nanny-nanny-boo-boo” news, Frank Francisco regained the closer role from Jon Rauch as predicted in the same column, but, after recording five saves in May, Francisco seems to have lost his touch, prompting the Blue Jays to turn to the spine-shuddering “closer by committee.” Francisco blew his first two save chances in the committee, which gives him losses in three of his last four appearances. Rauch secured a save on Friday, and he looks like the Jays’ best option right now. Octavio Dotel, stay loose. Save speculators could also give Jason Frasor a look, as he’s posted scoreless outings in nine of his 10 appearances this month as of Sunday.

Don’t look now, but Neftali Feliz has blown three of his last five save opportunities heading into Sunday. While he’s certain to remain the Rangers’ closer with a 1.50 ERA, what’s more disconcerting is the fact that Feliz has issued 14 walks versus nine strikeouts this year, which is a clear departure from the 71:18 K:BB ratio of 2010. He also has a 5.68 FIP and an obscenely lucky BABIP and strand rate. His fastball has gone from dominating to mediocre. Did he come back from his DL stint too early? Save vultures may want to grab Darren Oliver now in case Feliz needs to hit the DL again.

Quick hits

Kevin Gregg has a 1:1 K:BB ratio and a 1.71 WHIP this season while Koji Uehara has struck out 26 in 21.2 innings while issuing just five walks, good for a 0.88 WHIP. Gregg could be one or two blown saves away from losing his job. Uehara is worth owning even as a setup man with those numbers … Andrew Bailey is due back any day now (in fact, by publication he may already have been activated). Grant Balfour should still carry value for the next week or two, but Bailey should be activated in fantasy leagues immediately … We chronicled Brandon League’s horrible stretch in our last talk, and he’s rebounded nicely. The Mariners aren’t going to bother giving any other relievers a look; League’s the guy.

Mark Melancon has done a solid job with the closer role thus far, picking up two saves in the Toronto series last week. He’s still only 41 percent owned, and that number should be higher … I wouldn’t mess with the Dodger bullpen right now. The top two options are hurt, and the third option is out with a mind, as Al Michaels would say. That leaves about five guys in the mix for saves. Pass … Remember that Francisco Rodriguez and Heath Bell are trade candidates. With June around the corner, you may not want to wait much longer to ship them away in your fantasy leagues.

33 Responses

  1. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    does izzy get the job in n.y if rodriquez gets shipped?and do you think crow is next in k.c

  2. @AL KOHOLIC: Yes on both counts. Something may be wrong with Soria physically, so Crow is definitely worth owning.

  3. ruah says:
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    hasnt Fuentes gotten the last 2 saves in OAK? Id say he’s ahead of Balfour

  4. @ruah: I wrote that Saturday night, after Fuentes had just picked up his first save in nearly three weeks. It appeared Balfour would get the chances after Fuentes mouthed off regarding his ever-changing bullpen role. Either way, Bailey was activated Sunday as we thought he might be, so neither guy is going to hold much value much longer.

  5. Terrence Mann says:
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    Nice rundown. I picked up League this week after he got cut by a frustrated owner. My 3rd and 4th closers are League and Frank Frank. Only a few bench spots and I had to cut Trumbo to get League. Hold Frank Frank or let him go?

  6. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @R.J. White: are there any june callup guys that might fit the bill as potential closers for some of the teams in need

  7. dingbat says:
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    If I’m targeting a closer in trade (thinking Hosmer for closer, straight up), which of the following should I shoot for:

    Madson
    Walden
    Farnsworth
    Salas

    Thanks!

  8. Terrence Mann says:
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    I don’t need the spot but don’t want to waste a spot either.

  9. @AL KOHOLIC: Joey Devine is the big name for me, as he killed it in the minors this year, but he’s already up. Anyone that steps in for the Dodgers is likely already on the roster. If we’re throwing darts we can look at Cleveland’s Nick Hagadone, Cincy’s Bradley Boxberger and Tampa’s Jake McGee.

  10. @dingbat: I’d probably shoot for Walden, but it depends on the other owner(s) and the price.

  11. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @R.J. White: thanks again

  12. MeanMachine says:
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    Delmon Young is killing me in my H2H league. Lot’s of OF available. Drop him or hold him? Looking at Bay, Morrison or Jay. Opinions?

  13. yanks4life says:
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    What do you think is feasible to get in return for Madson? I’m in need of SP and a 3B.

  14. @yanks4life: I’d check and see who’s out there in your league as a FA. You also have to find an owner that might have a surplus at either position and that needs steals. If better SPs are out there, look at trading Madson for A-Ram or Gordon. If you can find a solid 3B, look at acquiring a pitcher of the Dan Hudson or Jhoulys Chacin caliber.

  15. To all: what side of this trade do you like?

    Team A: Gets Hanley and Miguel Cabrera
    Team B: Gets Teixeira and Tulo

    thanks

  16. MeanMachine says:
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    I have been trying to trade Masterson and Lilly but nobody will touch them. Should i consider dropping one or both for a hot schmohawk?

  17. anarchy burger says:
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    @baseball idiot: tex and tulo by a lot

  18. Attenion Razzball viewers – what is your view on this trade – I am offered three top ranked players for two player -
    looks like the person who offered this trade figured that Olando Cabrera will replace Ian Desmond and he is giving up Carlos Lee for
    Jose Tabata and just because he is a nice guy he is throwing in Ty Wigginton – how can I ever pass up this trade – this player is insane to just throw in Ty Wigginton for free

    Orlando Cabrera
    Carlos Lee
    Ty Wigginton

    Ian Desmond
    Jose Tabata

  19. Mr2Bits says:
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    Soria just got blasted again. Who is in line to take over as something is definitely wrong.

  20. fitz says:
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    It’s Crow time!

  21. fitz" says:
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    #Royals strip closers role from Joakim Soria. Goes to Aaron Crow.

  22. Long Bawls says:
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    @baseball idiot: I’d go Tulo side, but by a narrow margin@MeanMachine: Morrison.
    @MeanMachine: If there’s someone on waivers who has good long-term potential, absolutely. Otherwise, nah. The problem with streaming hotties (still my fave R Kelly song) is that you have to be right again and again, b/c hotpots turn cooold.

  23. TualatinTwoStep says:
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    Man oh man am I glad I swooped Crow yesterday in my dyno league……I have Beard and Walden and no one else at RP……

  24. Carl Spackler says:
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    Frank Frank or Crow the rest of the way?

  25. votto-voom says:
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    Made a trade for Soria Thursday. Wow, what an idiot I am.

  26. votto-voom says:
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    @baseball idiot: I prefer the Cabrera Hanley side myself.

  27. bobbo says:
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    Joe Nathan: done for the year or worth stashing for a while (I am out of DL spots so it would cost me a roster spot)? It’s a keeper league but I already have Bell, Street, Madson, Rauch, and now Crow as options.

  28. @baseball idiot: All four players are great, so just roll with your two favorite there.

    @MeanMachine: I don’t think either are droppable.

    @mrbaseball: As long as you’ll be fine in SBs, that’s a solid trade for you.

    @Carl Spackler: Crow right now, and that’s all that matters. I added him in a few leagues before the change became official.

    @bobbo: You don’t particularly need Nathan, esp. if it takes up a valuable roster spot.

  29. brett says:
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    So was anyone channel-surfing the late games tonight? At 10:20 EST, Vin Scully says “In Arizona tonight Justin Upton is 5 for 5 with a home run”. I had been watching the D-Backs all night and new Upton was only 4 for 4 win no home runs. At 10:50, Upton steps up for his 5th at bat and hits one out. Does this confirm that Vin Scully is one of the baseball gods?

  30. Hondo says:
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    @Brett- I caught that.I was trying to follow too many games(as usual) and was parked on the Dodgers game when I heard that. I checked and Upton was definitely 4-4 with no homer.I checked back later 5 minutes later and he was still 4-4.I thought I had misheard or gotten confused, then I checked back again about 15 minutes later and he was 5-5 with the tater.

    (Insert crazed,spinning -eyed emoticon here)

  31. jonnycat says:
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    I started the season with Chris Perez and nothing, picked up Madson and Salas, and now I’m up near the top in saves. Where did all these saves come from?

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