Eno Sarris

Saves and Steals

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Is it Isringhausen?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tier 5: Rollercoaster rides (5) (AKA: The "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Tier.)

1st Chair: Joe Nathan, 2nd Chair: Matt Capps, Minnesota Twins
1st Chair: Neftali Feliz, 2nd Chair: TBD, Texas Rangers
1st Chair: Mark Melancon, 2nd Chair: Wilton Lopez, Houston Astros
1st Chair: Ryan Madson, 2nd Chair: Antonio Bastardo, Philadelphia Phillies
1st Chair: Jon Rauch, 2nd Chair: Frank Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays
1st Chair: Jason Isringhausen, 2nd Chair: Bobby Parnell, New York Mets
1st Chair: Javy Guerra, 2nd Chair: Blake Hawksworth, Los Angeles Dodgers
1st Chair: David Hernandez, 2nd Chair: Aaron Heilman, Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Yeah, the name says it all. It's the eighth movie, a part two of the seventh and final book in the series, which is already confusing. And there are dark themes in the series! And people die! Probably the best movie of the bunch, this one will also make you think some.

  • Joe Nathan! It took the Twins long enough. We've been banging that drum for so long it almost seems like an empty victory. Now that his velocity is mostly back and his scar tissue mostly gone, he looks like he'll close the rest of the way. Expect him to move up in the ranks gradually.

  • Though he's been serviceable of late, Neftali Feliz drops in the rankings. It really looks like the Rangers will acquire a bullpen arm and that leaves Feliz in a tough spot. If Mike Adams comes over, there's a slight chance that Feliz keeps the job. But if Heath Bell or Andrew Bailey are the returns instead, they are likely to steal the closer's role in Texas. Even if Feliz has found his control once again.

  • Ryan Madson returned to mixed results. He had a clean slate in his first inning back… but got a hold. Then in his second outing he couldn't get through the eighth inning and Antonio Bastardo was needed for four outs. Still, Madson was great before Bastardo took over and should be eased back into the role. Most likely. Brad Lidge edges ever-closer. Even if Bastardo got the save Tuesday night, it's Lidge or Madson long-term and not the young lefty.

  • That Toronto pen is a mess. The manager told Jon Rauch that he'll be getting saves going forward in the short-term, but he only has seven strikeouts in his last ten outings, and that's pretty much representative of his true talent. Frank Francisco has more strikeouts than innings pitched, but had a home run problem for a while. Well, now he hasn't given up a home run since May 20th. He's still blown too many saves. Expect Francisco to get the job back at some point… again.

  • The Mets said that Jason Isringhausen would be the closer in Philly over the weekend, but then didn't need one. Now Izzy is the subject of trade rumors, which make sense since he's not under contract for next year. Bobby Parnell is still the favorite to lead the team in saves the rest of the way. Yes, even though Izzy saved his first in years (and the 294th of his career) Tuesday night. As always, I'm happy to discuss these situations on twitter any time.

  • * * * * * * * * * *


    David Aardsma, Seattle Mariners (elbow)
    Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies (shoulder)
    Ryan Madson, Philadephia Phillies (hand)
    Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers (elbow)
    J.J. Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks (elbow)

  • David Aardsma is done! Tommy John surgery. Jonathan Broxton did arm exercises! It's something. J.J. Putz is right around the corner! He just needs to pitch in back-to-back games first. Brad Lidge is on the doorstep! He will make one more rehab appearance and the be evaluated on Thursday. He could be back up by the weekend.

  • The Deposed:
    Fernando Rodney, Los Angeles
    Ryan Franklin, St. Louis
    Brandon Lyon, Houston
    Matt Thornton, Chicago A.L.
    Vicente Padilla, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Francisco Rodriguez, Milwaukee

  • Will we see a Ranger, a Padre or a Marlin on this list next week?

  • * * * * * * * * * *

    The Steals Department

  • Rajai Davis was our man last week and he just stole three bases in Tuesday's game. Maybe we can get lucky like that with this week's recommendation, Denard Span. Well that would be extremely lucky because Span has never stolen three bags in one game in his career. He's only stolen two five times. He's not really a volume base stealer. And since a lot of Span's value comes from his glove, he's a better real-life player than fantasy player. But if you could use ten-plus steals from a bench player the rest of the way, Span is there to be had and is only a game or two away from returning to the major leagues. He shouldn't feel too many after-effects of his concussion either, even if he is hitless on his rehab stint so far.

  • It's always perilous to go to Seattle for your offense, but there's a shortstop in the Pacific northwest that has stolen two bags in the last ten days and that's enough to perk interest in some leagues. Yeah, Brendan Ryan may be fantasy-relevant again. It wasn't too long ago -- 2009 to be exact -- that Ryan managed 14 stolen bases in 390 at-bats with St. Louis. He is showing the best line drive rate of his career right now, and he might hit .260+ with five-to-ten steals the rest of the way. I'm going to go pick him up in my 18-teamer to back up Ian Desmond right now. Some of you play in leagues where he's a viable starter. Lord help us all.

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    Eno Sarris is an editor and writer at FanGraphs.com. You can find his work gathered in one place at and enosarris.com. Follow his misadventures in writing on Twitter as well.
    Email :Eno Sarris

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