With the seventh week of the fantasy baseball season upon us, it is pretty clear if you are set at the closer position or if you have a gaping hole at the bottom of your lineup. The position is growing more and more important in fantasy baseball and is always worth taking a closer look at. Each week of the season I will dissect the closer position: by evaluating injuries, looking at position battles, and reviewing some future stars. Below is the week 7 edition of my fantasy baseball closer report:
Birds of a Feather:
Casey Janssen, TOR – Janssen was the latest MLB reliever to get the promotion to closer, in what has been the most injury riddled season for closers in the history of the sport. Janssen has an immaculate 0.89 WHIP so far on the year and the veteran knows how to rack up strikeouts, with 13K’s in his 12 innings in 2011. However, he will likely only hold the job until Sergio Santos returns from the disabled list in 2-3 weeks. Fantasy owners desperate for closers should definitely grab him, but be weary about his limited saves production.
Lost His Job:
Grant Balfour, OAK – Balfour blew back-to-back saves for the A’s this week and has watched his ERA stay around 4.00 all year. Oakland quickly removed Balfour from the closer role and replaced him with Brian Fuentes, who has already racked up two saves and whose WHIP is around 1.14. The A’s also have been very high on Ryan Cook, who has amazingly yet to yield an earned run in over 17 innings. Both guys have made Balfour rather useless in fantasy leagues, so Balfour owners will be much better off looking elsewhere for a steady source of saves.
The Good, the Bad, and the Milwaukee:
John Axford, MIL – Axford has had several bad outings in a row and the team’s confidence in him is slowly wavering. Axford does a wild 5.56 ERA, but his backup Francisco Rodriquez, has a similarly awful 4.96 ERA. Axford will remain the closer moving forward, but he may not be able to hang on to the job much longer.