Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Chia-Jen Lo, Josh Fields alone; Ernesto Frieri regaining trust; more

by Tim Heaney on August 20, 2013 @ 12:32:03 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.

Houston Astros
Chia-Jen Lo
Joshua Fields
Josh Zeid  

Bo Porter has whittled the Houston Astros' wrap-up lot down to two: Fields and Lo. That was the listed order of righty rooks in the Houston Chronicle's initial declaration. However, as the depth chart notes, expect the reverse priority.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Dane De La Rosa
De La Rosa not to be forgotten

Lo was about to enter what was then a looming save spot Friday before a four-run Houston splurge in the visitor's ninth erased it. He wrapped things up with a scoreless bottom half anyway because Porter insists on using Lo whenever he warms him up. Lo has been victimized by injuries, and to prevent misuse, they want to send him in, regardless of situation, if he has already warmed up.

Lo hasn't coughed up a tally in his first 7 1/3 frames as a major leaguer. Fields' two saves this month have been shutout appearances, but he's been much rougher overall (6.84 ERA). They boast similar velocities, touching the high 90s. Fields' K/9 has translated more quickly, but Lo's secondary arsenal looks more polished.

Though Fields still has some desperation value, Lo, despite his likely careful deployment, looks like the leader and sits available in too many setups. The 2014 picture, meanwhile, could look quite different.

Mound meetings

Looks like Ernesto Frieri has done enough over his last three outings (four innings, two hits, seven K's, zero walks and runs allowed) to regain some save chances. "I think you'll see (Dane De La Rosa) get some opportunities and you'll see Ernie get some opportunities," Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia told

De La Rosa probably holds a slight lead. If you ask CHS tomorrow, that could change. He hasn't had a chance in the job since Frieri was removed on Aug. 10, but he saved the contest the night before, and he's performed three scoreless games of his own.

Logic says a streamlined Frieri holds the better odds of running as a solo closer, simply for Scioscia's ideal 'pen construction. Even so, DDLR's peripherals remain worthy of retention in deeps, and he should still see at least a few chances down the stretch as the Halos play out the string and determine their 2014 makeup.

More "Mound meetings," on Orioles, Rockies, Cardinals, Mets, Diamondbacks

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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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