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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: SEAN DOOLITTLE PLACED ON DL BY NATS DUE TO TOE AILMENT

It was only a matter of time.  While few relievers in all of baseball are more dominant on a year-to-year basis, it also can be pointed out that Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle is one of the more injury prone players in the game. As a result, I stated in my annual draft guide this past spring that Doolittle could be one of the very best closers in fantasy baseball but at the same time, the risk was extremely high in terms of him getting injured.  Well Doolittle almost made it to the All-Star break in one piece but ultimately he finally succumbed to the law of average as the Nats placed him on the 10-day DL Tuesday with toe inflammation.  His loss is a decent one as Doolittle pitched to a splendid 1.45 ERA, ridiculous 0.54 WHIP, and punched out 49 batters in 37.1 IP while locking down 22 saves.  Fortunately, the word is that it is considered a minor deal and that Doolittle should be able to make it back at the end of the 10 days or soon thereafter.  Now the guessing game begins as to who will close in Doolittle's place as the Nats have two former All-Star closers operating in setup in Brandon Kintzler and the newly-acquired Kelvin Herrera.  The knee-jerk assumption would be that Herrera is the guy as he was as dominant as Doolittle was while closing games earlier in the season for the Kansas City Royals but he has stumbled of late in giving up runs in his last two outings.  Kintzler meanwhile has pitched clean appearances in 7 of his last 8 times but his 1.30 WHIP is not great.  Our call would be that Herrera would be the guy given his track record but this is just a speculative pick.  Add either guy where available just to be on the safe side. 


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