Monday, July 28, 2008

Save situations, July 28: Tigers, Pirates, Cardinals

Looks like Todd Jones' time is up as the Tigers' closer, at least for the time being. Fernando Rodney has supplanted him after Jim Leyland had seen enough of Jones' awfulness this year. Fantasy owners might have been willing to put up with the 4.99 ERA and 1.59 WHIP if there was at least a promise of coming close to 40 saves like the past three seasons, but now it's safe to put Jones on your bench or even cut him. His 18 saves and measley 13 strikeouts were barely worth the trouble.

Rodney certainly has the stuff to succeed in this role, but injuries have been a problem, so his grip on the job will be tenuous at best. Still, he's got to be picked up immediately, with Joel Zumaya's value also rising if Rodney should falter or get hurt again.

g The Pirates' trade of Damaso Marte means his fantasy value in most leagues is shot. Marte (right), who had taken over for the injured Matt Capps in Pittsburgh, will strictly be a left-handed specialist now that he's with the Yankees. That leaves another void in the Pirates' bullpen, and it's unclear where they might turn next. John Grabow didn't exactly inspire much confidence Sunday by allowing two home runs, Tyler Yates has been shaky for the past few weeks (seven earned runs in his past 10 2/3 innings), and Denny Bautista is pretty much the epitome of an average middle reliever. In other words, stay away from Pirates relievers unless you're absolutely desperate for saves.

g In St. Louis, the news isn't quite as bad, but it's still a mess. Closer Ryan Franklin has been bad his past three times out (two blown saves and two losses), but luckily for him, Jason Isringhausen hasn't exactly made a case for taking back his old job, either. It looks like the Cards will ride it out with Franklin for the time being, which means he still has value, although I'd probably relegate him to my bench until he snaps out of his funk. Bradenton's Chris Perez showed lots of promise in his brief call-up, but after the league adjusted to the rookie he was sent back down to the minors for some more seasoning. He's the guy to really keep an eye on, although he probably won't be making much more of a fantasy contribution until 2009.

Photos by The Associated Press

1 comment:

ExpandForFree said...

Ya, Jones is getting too old. He wasn't even that great last year, despite his save total. Don't get me wrong, veteran closers tend to come out on top (like Rivera, Hoffman, Wagner), but Jones has just never got it together. I was shocked how high Yahoo rated Jones.

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