Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: LaTroy Hawkins, Josh Fields, more

by Tim Heaney on August 9, 2013 @ 12:25:00 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)
New York Mets
4
4
Bobby Parnell DL LaTroy Hawkins David Aardsma
Scott Rice +

After Hawkins worked around two knocks on Tuesday for his first wrap-up of the campaign, New York Mets skipper Terry Collins said the vet would close for a second straight game Wednesday, if needed. It didn't line up that way, but the 40-year-old recorded his second save on Thursday via a 1-2-3 frame. Parnell's herniated neck disc hasn't crippled the 'pen yet.

Houston Astros RP Josh Fields
Fields headlines magical misery tour

Hawkins seems to dig the Mets' penchant for nurturing and reviving arms. Though a 6.62 K/9 hardly makes him a "blow 'em away" type, it's a stark increase over his previous two MLB seasons. He has induced many more empty hacks, notably off his changeup.

The Mutts don't carry many options to threaten the former stopper for the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. Aardsma has done the job before but hasn't acquitted himself well over the past few weeks, including a BS last Friday. Will Frank Francisco (elbow) pitch this year?

Rice could be an option if three lefty bats are up, but Hawkins has actually been better versus those types than righties this year and during his career. (Having that string-pull helps.) Gonzalez Germen's name has been floated as an alternative, but the need to move him out of long relief now seems moot.

Parnell might require season-ending surgery. If he must bow out, Hawkins should at least serve as the leader, if not the sole option. The latter possesses a better foundation than most fantasy players think.

Team
JS
HO
Closer
Understudy/Fill-in
Lurker(s)
Houston Astros
1
5
  Joshua Fields
Josh Zeid
Wesley Wright
Chia-Jen Lo

Joshua Fields forever? Living is easy with eyes closed if you're a Houston Astros fan, but fantasy players who try to extract something from this bullpen misunderstand all they see. The right-hander, who recently earned the smidgiest of leads in the post-Jose Veras purgatory, couldn't sustain his momentum too long after giving up a single, one-out walk and a three-run homer in the ninth Wednesday. BS, L ... Nothing is real.

Anything to get hung about? As Fields is learning, it's getting hard to be someone (at least in the eyes of fake-baseball devotees). Will it all work out? Does it matter?

Jose Cisnero's demotion to Class AAA Oklahoma City leaves things open for Fields to get at least one more chance. Zeid had 13 saves at OKC and has the velocity to do the trick, so maybe he gets a look. Wright at this point simply looks like a matchup case. Lo throws heat but probably will need time to work on his control. Same with Zeid.

AL-only players could throw a buck at one of them, but resting expectations on any of them will let them take you down.

Meeting at the mound: Mariners, Rays, Rangers, Royals

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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 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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