• Mets reliever Frank Francisco will likely miss the remainder of the 2012 season after experiencing a setback from elbow tendinitis this past weekend. Manager Terry Collins indicated that since Francisco hasn’t pitched in nine days, he’d need to get some side work in before getting back into live action, but with just eight games remaining, “he’s not sure when that would take place.” The Mets closer saved 23-of-26 games with a 5.53 ERA (4.10 xFIP) and a 2.24 K/BB – his lowest since 2007 when he sported a 1.77 K/BB.
• For those in holds leagues, one percent owned Joba Chamberlain has a 0.00 ERA with a 5.0 K/BB and three holds in the last two weeks. Joba appeared in seven contests over that time, spending five-and-two-thirds on the hill, yielding six hits and just one unearned run. Another potential last minute addition for holds, Jim Henderson of the Brewers has collected two holds while posting a 0.00 ERA and a 4.0 K/BB over the last 14 days. Henderson is owned in just four percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• Jose Valverde finished off the Kansas City Royals for his 32nd save in 37 opportunities this season. The Tigers’ closer needed just12 pitches to induce two fly outs and a ground out to seal the deal. Valverde has now dished two consecutive clean outings in an attempt to save what looks to be his worst month of the year. He’s 0-2 with four saves, a 6.97 ERA and a 2.0 K/BB in September.
• Wilton Lopez picked up the five-out save tonight – his eighth of the year – to help Bud Norris get his sixth victory of the twenty-twelve campaign. Lopez is a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities this September, with an impressive 0.90 ERA in 11 outings (10.0 IP) and a 5.0 K/BB. The late-season surge from Lopez should make him the frontrunner for the Astros closing job in 2013 barring any free agent acquisitions.
For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here is a matchup you may be able to exploit.
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Craig Kimbrel (ATL) vs. MIA
Yea, I usually tramp through the recent schedules and bullpen usage to try and find you the ultimate value for your daily leagues, that are more than likely to get a save opportunity. But, this is a case of me taking the easy way out – with arguably the best closer in baseball that is. Kimbrel is a machine. He’s 3-0 on the year with 39 saves in 42 chances, a 1.04 ERA (0.66 WHIP) and 111 strikeouts to just 14 walks. Yes, that’s one hundred and eleven strikeouts.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]