• Casey Janssen nailed down his 24th save tonight against the Yankees. Sergio Santos was only brought in for one out but he did the job, striking out Alex Rodriguez for his third hold of the year. Janssen’s job isn’t in danger but Santos is pitching pretty well since coming back from injury (3.10 SIERA) and should be first in line if anything were to happen to Janssen. In the meantime, holds or saves+ holds leagues should take note as Santos remains a solid option in that category, particularly in any AL-Only leagues.
• It wasn’t pretty but Grant Balfour got through the ninth tonight for his 33rd save of the season. Balfour has upped his strikeout rate this season and the results are certainly paying off. Balfour’s not as good as his 1.80 ERA but his current 2.79 SIERA would be the second best mark of his career. With Oakland gunning for the playoffs, Balfour should continue to rack up saves in fantasy while striking out a a batter an inning.
• Edward Mujica has been suffering some shoulder recently, but he’s still racking up the saves, recording his 35th save of the year this evening. Mujica’s solid peripherals (2.95 SIERA) are more the product of his excellent control (1.4% BB%) than the strikeouts you would except from a top tier closer, but with 35 saves and a 0.80 WHIP, Mujica’s been one of the league’s best this year. Considering the fact that Mujica was likely acquired off of waivers in your league, he ranks as one of fantasy baseball’s best pickups this season. Fantasy owners should already own Trevor Rosenthal for strikeouts and ratios, but owners should continue to keep a keen eye on him so long as Mujica’s shoulder is a talking point.
• Although Colin appropriately warned you to avoid the Astros bullpen yesterday, I relay to you that Josh Zeid came out for the save against the White Sox. Zeid was relieved by the left-handed Kevin Chapman with two-out and two-on to retire Adam Dunn, who was subsequently walked. Jordan Lyles finally came on and got the final out for the first save of his career. Lyles hasn’t been too successful in the rotation in his career but he’s more likely to return there than to be in the mix for saves in Houston. If Zeid pitched a clean inning, I’d have move the order below, but as of now, the Astros remains a mess. Approach with caution.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]