Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Jason Grilli back, Rafael Soriano settling down, more

by Tim Heaney on September 4, 2013 @ 11:25:24 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.

Mound meetings

Milwaukee Brewers RP Jim Henderson
Reason to doubt Henderson?

Jason Grilli was activated from the disabled list Tuesday night, just in time to see the Pittsburgh Pirates lock in their first non-losing campaign in 21 seasons. Punctuating the historic night, however, was Mark Melancon, who worked around a hit to net his 11th closure of the year. He's allowed just one earned run in his last 15 appearances.

Clint Hurdle said Grilli will make at least a few non-closing appearances before he retakes his seat. Because Melancon has been suffocating, we've noted the temporary change on the Closer Depth Charts -- just in case, for whatever reason, Grilli Cheese looks spoiled and Hurdle decides to run with this arrangement during their path to cementing a postseason berth. Hang on to both.


Since his listing as the featured attraction in the last CHS, the Washington Nationals' Rafael Soriano has untucked twice, throwing a scoreless inning on both Sunday and Tuesday, when he worked around a walk and a hit. He hasn't allowed a run over his last four entries.

According to Gameday, all 11 pitches he tossed Tuesday were two-seamers. On Sunday, the tailer was thrown on only two of 14. The rest were No. 1s. He didn't throw a single slider, the pitch he's had trouble maintaining this season. The fact he's ignoring it might be a philosophical shift, or maybe he's not ready to revise it in a game yet.

Either way, despite the fact he's still figuring out his deployments, Soriano is holding off Tyler Clippard. However, despite his rough recent pair of games, the latter righty still deserves speculation in case he falls into a few opps.


On both Saturday and Sunday, Dane De La Rosa appeared in the eighth inning, and Ernesto Frieri recorded a save. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have made it pretty clear which arm stands in front, though DDLR can still occupy a spot as the last pitcher in a deep mixed league.


Talking Brewers, Astros, Yankees in more "Mound meetings"

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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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