Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Fernando Rodney, Brandon League, more

by Tim Heaney on May 17, 2013 @ 11:45:00 PDT

 

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KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series gives you no-nonsense ratings of performances, injuries and managerial decisions in MLB bullpens. Get your arm loose: Let's find fantasy baseball players in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league who'll get saves.

Team
JS
HO
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
Tampa Bay Rays
3
5
Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Kyle Farnsworth

We're back to "D'oh-Rod" as Satan continues to laugh. The Tampa Bay Rays' Rodney hadn't given up a run in his previous four outings but did the walk of shame Thursday night -- four times, to be exact. He kicked off the inning with three free passes before allowing a two-out bases-clearing double on a hanging changeup to lose the lead, followed by another BB before he escaped. The Boston Red Sox know how to build up pitch counts, too, and any nibbling will cost ya.

Los Angeles Dodgers RP Kenley Jansen
Jansen does his duty

Joe Maddon doesn't sound concerned, though. "We'll get him right," he said after the disaster. Tampa has a history of that. Heck, they did exactly that last year. Rodney's mound position, which was Tampa's big fix for him last year, has been inconsistent in 2013. Going for Rodney is the fact he's still hard to hit; it's just that most of the time, he's allowing his opponents to trot to first base.

Peralta is the option to chase if you're getting a jump, but Rodney will have to keep stumbling to trigger a switch anytime soon. Another poor outing in the near future, however, will dock Rodney's Job Security score another level and start the sirens in earnest.

Team
JS
HO
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
Los Angeles Dodgers
2
5
Brandon League Kenley Jansen Ronald Belisario
Paco Rodriguez +

Though League hadn't pitched since Sunday, Jansen was called on Tuesday to finish off Clayton Kershaw's masterful effort, during which the southpaw pitched into the ninth. League didn't warm up. After Jansen did the deed, however, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wasn't crowning him his stopper.

After all, in Mattingly's words, Jansen was the best reliever available. Heck, every fresh RP was at skip's disposal because Kershaw cruised until the final frame.

Sadly for Jansen speculators, game flow won't always work out that way, especially since Mattingly has said that he wants his best relievers -- Jansen and Rodriguez, specifically -- pitching in the tightest spots, which in his mind typically come before the ninth inning in a save opportunity.

In fact, League came in Wednesday with a two-run lead and worked around a hit to wrap up his ninth save in 10 tries. Despite his rough go of it in doing the job, that may be the only number that matters in Donnie Baseball's eyes. Ends, means, etc., perhaps....

Jansen is obviously worth ownership in most, if not all, eligible leagues, but expecting a change will require patience. League has danced around danger enough to stave off critics and the axe; it's still fair to question his long-term security, naturally.

Steve Cishek, Jose Veras and more in "Mound meetings"

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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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