Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Brandon League, Francisco Rodriguez, more

by Tim Heaney on June 11, 2013 @ 13:00:00 PDT


Pages 1 | 2 | all'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.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Brandon League Kenley Jansen Ronald Belisario
Paco Rodriguez

Sorry, folks, there are no zeroes or negative-one grades in the CHS dojo. This Job Security figure is as little mercy as we can show someone like League. Will Don Mattingly sweep the leg?

Milwaukee Brewers RP Jim Henderson
Henderson seeing interference

The Los Angeles Dodgers' manager has resisted thus far because, as previously mentioned in this space, he has preferred to save the studly Jansen for tight spots before the ninth. As Mark Saxon of ESPN LA notes, historical matchups against due-up hitters might've influenced skip's thinking Monday night. Jansen logged a 1-2-3 eighth, but the rest....

League botched another chance, his third in his last seven SVOs. After fanning the leadoff hitter, he surrendered a hard single, double off the left-center wall, an infield RBI single and a walk. After a pop-out, a one-bagger deep in the hole plated the tying and go-ahead tallies for the Arizona Diamondbacks. League (four runs allowed in all) and Mattingly were summarily, lustily booed.

One could argue that because the pair of damaging hits didn't penetrate too far into the outfield, League shouldn't necessarily be in trouble. 'They were weakly hit balls.' That only goes so far, though. He put himself in that position for those knocks to mean something, and this is hardly the first time, or second, or third, or 10th....

Oddly enough, in his eight appearances before Monday, League had a 2.25 ERA, and those four successful conversions during this window may give him more time to prove he's worth the role. It all depends on how comfortable you are in taking his (overall) damaging numbers along with save chances, and how cozy Mattingly is with relying on what he's stuck with. (Can Yasiel Puig close?)

Either way, it's puzzling that Jansen isn't close to universally owned in eligible setups. There's little reason to let someone of his skills, even sans wrap-up chances, go without a sensei.

Milwaukee Brewers
Jim Henderson Francisco Rodriguez John Axford
Brandon Kintzler
Mike Gonzalez

Henderson was activated on Sunday and immediately inserted into the ninth inning. Too bad it was a non-save sitch. Still, his scoreless inning shows he'll get back in the groove soon.

The incumbent will keep his titular gig, but Rodriguez, who recorded his 298th career closure Saturday night, will be allowed to try obtaining his 300th this year. (Funny how managers have catered to his milestones....) He'll swipe a chance or two in the coming weeks, probably preventing Henderson from pitching on back-to-back days, and more certainly three in a row.

K-Rod hasn't been emphasizing that first letter as much in the more recent portion of his career, but he retains value for anyone who could use an extra save or two as the Milwaukee Brewers' top setup option. His owners, however, must prepare for life after he clears his next lifetime hurdle, because unless Henderson goes down again, they shouldn't expect a permanent, consistent contribution.

Mound meetings: Chris Perez, Addison Reed, more

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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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