Lots to report for the latest depth chart report.
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Joe Nathan is back at closer. We knew it had to happen sooner or later and with how bad Matt Capps was performing sooner couldn’t come sooner! Matt Capps finally succumbed under the guise of a 4.76 ERA, 2-5 record and a league leading (tied) seven blown saves. Capps was only supposed to be a temporary closer to begin with, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of his fantasy owners. In fact, consider yourself lucky he closed as long as he did (or don’t). Nathan has pitched 8.1 consecutive scoreless innings and is ready to take over the job he gave up earlier this season.
Toronto Blue Jays
What a rocky year it has been for Frank Francisco. He opened the year on the DL and hasn’t been the same since. Granted he has held onto the closer job most of the season, he hasn’t performed in any way, shape, or form like a dominating closer should. He is 10/14 in saves with a super high ERA of 5.40. The only reason he holds onto the job is Jon Rauch or Octavio Dotel haven’t been much better and the fact that the Blue Jays aren’t going anywhere. Save opportunities have been so few in fact, that Francisco has been used primarily in mop up loss roles and hasn’t recorded a save since July 4. If you own Francisco I would trade him ASAP. He isn’t worth keeping and if another team is actually interested in him, the Blue Jays won’t hesitate to move him in a heart beat.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Oh the carousel for the DOdgers continues to turn. This years version of my friend Evan Dicken’s closer circus belongs to the LA Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly. The Dodgers have seven pitchers that have recorded at least one save in 2011. Currently, the rumored closer is youngster Javy Guerra. He is second on the team with five saves and has recorded the last three saves for the Dodgers. My favorite for the job, Kenley Jansen is currently setting up Guerra. Since returning from the DL in mid-June, Jansen has pitched 10.2 scoreless innings with 16 Ks. He should be closing and if Guerra faults at all, expect Jansen to get some saves.
David Hernandez continues to shine in J.J. Putz’s absence. The former Oriole is 7/7 since taking over the role after Putz went to the DL. He has yet to surrender a run in 6.1 innings and has notched 7 Ks. Putz is scheduled to return later this week or Monday. It will be interesting to see how long Gibson waits to hand the job back over to him with how well Hernandez has handled it.
Ryan Madson returned from the DL last week, but has not regained his closer job from Antonio Bastardo. In 1.2 innings of work, Madson has given up a run on two hits, while striking out a pair. Bastardo remains the closer for now and has had a dominating season. Bastardo is 4/4 in saves in Madson’s absence and has a season ERA of 1.02. He also has 40 Ks in 35.2 innings and has been one of the best RPs of the season. Charlie Manuel will be hard pressed to pull Bastardo from the role with the way he has been pitching. Brad Lidge is on his way back. He’s made two AA appearances and so far everything is on track for him to return next week or early August. That will just further complicate the closer role, but as I’ve stated all season, Manuel will not make Lidge the closer.
Filed under: Depth Chart Updates