Fantasy Baseball: Who's Up Next to Close for Chicago Cubs?

By Professor Bush
David Banks – USA Today Sports

How would you like to be the manager of the Chicago Cubs and have a one or two run lead going into the ninth inning? You look out to your bullpen and here is what you see:

Carlos Marmol has an ERA of 12.27 after five appearances this season. The team tried to deal him away over the off season, but the trade fell through. So you are stuck with his $7.3M salary, but really don’t trust him to close games anymore.  And if you do bring him into a close game, the beacher blums in Wrigley Field will really let you hear it. Marmol could possibly be the most unpopular person in Chicago these days.

Kyuji Fujikawa has an ERA of 12.5 and has given up three runs in an inning twice already this young season. The team signed him to a $9.5M contract over two years when they thought they were getting rid of Marmol. Over the past six years with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, Fujikawa recorded 202 saves, an ERA of 1.36 and a K/9 of 12.4. But his start with the Cubs has been a little rocky so far.

Not liking either of those choices, you think about using Hisanori Takahashi. The 38-year-old reliever ended last season with the Pittsburg Pirates with an ERA of 8.64 in nine appearances. So far this season, his ERA is 6.0 after three appearance, so he wouldn’t be a very wise choice.

Aha!  Then you see James Russell, who has not yielded a hit this season in five apperances.  He has already collected three holds.  So there you have it, Russell is your man to pitch the ninth inning.  If you agree with this logic, grab him now if he is available in your league.

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