Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Houston Astros, Ernesto Frieri, more

by Nicholas Minnix on July 30, 2013 @ 15:15:00 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)
Houston Astros
1
5
  Jose Cisnero
Wesley Wright
Joshua Fields
Chia-Jen Lo +
Josh Zeid +

The Houston Astros dealt Jose Veras to the Detroit Tigers on Monday, handicapping an already handicapped bullpen. Veras posted a 2.93 ERA and recorded 19 saves in 22 opportunities for Houston. Bo Porter announced that he'd employ a committee approach in the ninth, moving forward.

Another Jose, this one with the surname of Cisnero, 24, is expected to get first crack. He's produced a 3.48 ERA, 8.71 K/9 and 4.14 BB/9 in his 41 1/3 frames this season. He represents the best of what this club has to offer, so if you're chasing saves, Houston isn't the ideal place to begin your search. Of course, that's how most fantasy owners viewed the organization prior to the season, and the whole Veras thing turned out OK, so you never know.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Ernesto Frieri
Frieri ever to figure it out?

Porter might be tempted to call on Wright, a southpaw, occasionally, at least against left-handed batters. Cisnero has had a little more trouble against those types this season, as one might expect. Wright hasn't dominated lefty sticks as he did in seasons past, however, so there may be no real advantage to the deployment of Porter's relievers that way.

Fields (6.35 ERA, 7.94 K/9 and 3.71 BB/9), like Cisnero, has the kind of stuff that folks figure to see in the ninth regularly. The results haven't been there in his first MLB season, thanks mostly to a huge problem with the big fly, but he should get a crack before it's all said and done. Perhaps Lo or Travis Blackley -- or your nephew, or that guy who hangs out by 7-Eleven on Wednesdays -- will get a shot, too.

Porter may be happy to have one of his young relief arms emerge as his go-to guy. Cisnero seems to be the Astros reliever to own, but he's been awful in July. Consequently, there may not be a pitcher on this team who wouldn't do more harm than good in a fantasy owner's lineup. Don't get your hopes up.

Questions about Frieri, plus trade speculation and fallout, more, in "Mound meetings"

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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