Let’s kick off the week with two Athletics, one current and one former…
Grant Balfour | RP | Athletics | Owned: 42% Yahoo!
With Ryan Cook having allowed six runs in his last four appearances and nine runs in his last nine appearances, A’s manager Bob Melvin gave the ninth inning reigns over Balfour against the White Sox this weekend. He closed out Saturday’s win without a problem, though Melvin has yet to make any sort of definitive statement about his closer for the short or long-term. When in doubt, I always lean towards the veteran in the short-term.
Balfour, 34, started the season as the club’s closer but lost the job thanks to a rough patch in late-April and early-May. He’s since allowed a run in his just three of his last 32 appearances and generally just looks a whole lot more like previous versions of himself. Balfour’s strikeout rate has climbed since the calendar flipped to June (8.5 K/9 and 24.3 K%) and opponents are hitting just .143/.234/.204 off him during this 32-appearance stretch. He might not keep the closer’s job for long, but he seems to be the guy at the moment.
Eric Chavez | 3B | Yankees | Owned: 14% Yahoo!
The Yankees lost Alex Rodriguez to a hand injury but haven’t suffered through any kind of lack of production at the hot corner. Chavez has stepped in and hit .368/.442/.737 with four homers in 13 games, raising his season line to .289/.347/.526 (128 wRC+) in 216 plate appearances. His 12 homers are his most since 2007, ditto the plate appearance total.
The 34-year-old Chavez is very much like Chipper Jones at this point of his career, at least in the sense that you don’t really know if he’s going to be in the lineup on a given day. The Yankees have been careful with him, generally not playing him in the field more than three days in a row, but it’s still pretty unpredictable. Chavez has mauled right-handed pitchers (150 wRC+) and can be a major fantasy asset if you’re able to watch the lineup and keep tabs on the opposing pitcher day after day.