• Brandon League was very Brandon League last night, giving up four runs en route to his fourth blown save and third loss of the season. The best thing you can say about League’s ERA this year (6.00) is that it’s an even number. The (bad) luck card isn’t usable in this situation either as League’s FIP is 5.15, and with a mere 4.88 K/9, League doesn’t even net your fantasy team any strikeouts. It shouldn’t have taken this long, but finally with all of that said, it appears that Mattingly has named Kenley Jansen his closer.
If you know of a paid league that still has Kenley Jansen available on the wire, please invite me next year. It goes without say that Jansen must be owned and with his strikeout ability, he could be one of the better closers from here on out if he holds onto the job all year. League’s salary or whatever he was doing to hold onto the job for so long with a significant better option on the team could theoretically get him the job back at some point again this season but right now he seems so broken that I have confidence that Jansen runs away with it all year.
•Giancarlo Stanton hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth for the Marlins today off of Jim Henderson giving the fish the rare save opportunity that has been so elusive for them this year. Steve Cishek received said opportunity and did his job, pitching a 1-2-3 inning for his seventh save of the year. As far as closers are concerned, Steve Cishek finishing games in Miami might be the least attractive option in fantasy baseball, but saves are saves are saves, and for the moment it remains Cishek’s job in Miami.
Meanwhile, for Henderson it was his second blown save of the year as he pitched in his second appearance since returning from the DL. In place of Henderson, Francisco Rodriguez is a perfect 4-4 on save opportunities, and he might not give the job back. Although his 3.45 FIP isn’t bad it’s still a far cry from Henderson who, including tonight’s rough outing is still pitching to a 1.66/1.96/2.61 ERA/FIP/xFIP line. I imagine Roenicke would have a quick leash on K-Rod and though he may not be the best reliever on the team, it seems like it’s his job to lose.
• It wasn’t perfect but Jim Johnson picked up his 23rd save of the season. Since his blow up on May 26th, Johnson has now converted all eight of the save chances he has received, only giving up one run in 7.1 innings pitched. Johnson will have his share of blips, but for the most part he consistently gets the job done with his worm killing ways (52% GB%). Picking up potential saves on the wire is generally always a worthwhile activity so I won’t tell anyone to avoid picking up the other options in the Baltimore bullpen the next time Johnson has a poor outing, but he has the confidence of his manager and I expect him to pitch the ninth inning all year.
• Glen Perkins recorded his 14th save of the season, but it’s the other numbers of his that are worth noting. Perkins is pitching to a 2.10 FIP and an elite 13.31 K/9 which both rank top ten in baseball among qualified relievers. It may not feel right at first saying it, but Perkins is a top notch reliever in this league and should be considered one of the best closers in fantasy baseball.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]