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Monday, June 13, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: SERGIO SANTOS ON THE HOT SEAT


Its Monday and so that means its time for another look around the Fantasy Baseball closing fraternity.  Here are some of the bigger news bits from the ninth inning in baseball.

-Sergio Santos had been a revelation as the Chicago White Sox' closer throughout most of the season.  That is until last week when Santos suddenly couldn't get anyone out and the numbers are frightening lately.  He has now given up 8 earned runs in his last three outings and you have to wonder just how long manager Ozzie Guillen will put up with this.  Matt Thornton is waiting in the wings despite some ugly numbers himself but Guillen has been known to have little patience for those who cant get it done in the ninth inning.  If Santos gets lit up in his next outing, a move could be made.

-Taking this kind of development a step further, it looks like Jonny Venters is now the man in Atlanta.  Venters nailed down his third save in a scoreless ninth on Sunday and the struggling Craig Kimbrel looks like he has lost his confidence.  Venters has bveen superb all season and despite the bias against lefty closers, has the chance to be a big time producer the rest of the season.  I doubt he is still available but take a look.

-I usually discuss those closers who have struggled and who are in jeopardy of losing their jobs but today I will compliment the turnaround the Brewers' John Axford has gone through.  Axford was on major thin ice after a terrible start to the season but he has been tremendous once the calendar turned to May.  Also on a related note, it looks like Drew Storen has worked out the kinks and for now has pushed himself into a more secure spot in the Nationals bullpen.

-Brandon Lyon has been destroyed since coming off the DL and that's been the story all season here.  Mark Melancon is not going anywhere from the ninth inning so get that out of your mind if you are an owner.

-Surprisingly, Blue Jays manager John Russell claims that Frank Francisco will get his closer job back when he straightens out his release point.  Jon Rauch has pitched well since getting the closer job back but it appears as though Russell wants Francico in the closer's seat.  Francisco has been so bad that I don't think anything will come of this for now.

-Keep an eye on Joe Nathan who has started a rehab assignment for the Twins.  Matt Capps has been so bad this season that I can see a scenario where Nathan gets the job back if he can prove he is back from his latest issues.

That's all for now.  As always keep an eye here for all the latest closer news.

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