Tier 5: Rollercoaster rides (5) (AKA: The "Farmer Burn" Tier.)
Heath Bell (first chair), Juan Carlos Oviedo (second chair), Steve Cishek (third chair), Miami Marlins
Brett Myers (first chair) Brandon Lyon (second chair), Wesley Wright (third chair), Houston Astros
Carlos Marmol (first chair), Shawn Camp (second chair), Chicago Cubs
Casey Janssen (first chair), Francisco Cordero (second chair), Jason Frasor (third chair), Toronto Blue Jays
Glen Perkins (first chair), Jared Burton (second chair), Minnesota Twins
Bobby Parnell (first chair), Jon Rauch (second chair), Miguel Batista (third chair), New York Mets
Eh, it's a farmer tan squared. Once you put a t-shirt and socks on again, it looks like you're just a well-tanned individual. No harm done.
Heath Bell limped his way into the break with a three-run, two-out blown save in St. Louis that featured two walks and three hits. Talk after the game then turned to Juan Carlos Oviedo's July 23rd return from suspension. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said that the closer job would be a committee responsibility when games started up again. Oviedo could take the job -- he was decent back when he was Leo Nunez -- or Steve Cishek might in the meantime. Since Oviedo has to wait until July 23rd, take a shot at Cishek first. Unless he's gone, then you might as well try Oviedo. Don't drop Bell just yet. He turned it around once this season, he could do it again.
Carlos Marmol also used his last inning before the break to give up three runs, but it wasn't even a save situation. He's been a little better since he returned from the disabled list -- he has 16 strikeouts in his last ten appearances, and that's at least like the Marmol of old -- and there's nobody else in that bullpen that can take that job from him if he's on the roster. Would someone trade for him? There are better relievers on the market, they just might cost a little more.
The bottom three closers are all injury-dependent. Check out the injury list below for more information about their chances of keeping their jobs into the future.
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Andrew Bailey (thumb), Boston Red Sox
Drew Storen (elbow), Washington Nationals
Sergio Santos (shoulder), Toronto Blue Jays
Matt Capps (shoulder), Minnesota Twins
Frank Francisco (oblique), New York Mets
All of these guys were due back 'after the All-Star break' at some point. Well, now it's time to pony up since it's after the All-Star game at least. Frank Francisco begins his rehab this week and should be back early next week, so he's doing his part. So is Matt Capps, who is already on his rehab stint and should be back any day. Drew Storen is also pitching in High-A and should be back any day -- but will he be the closer when he gets back? Now Andrew Bailey is talking about late August, though, since he had a setback. And Sergio Santos is fresh off a setback of his own, but now he thinks he'll be on the mound this week. Looks like they'll take a little while longer.
Jordan Walden, Los Angeles Angels
Hector Santiago, Chicago White Sox
Grant Balfour, Oakland Athletics
Brian Fuentes, Oakland Athletics
Javy Guerra, Los Angeles Dodgers
Sean Marshall, Cincinnati Reds
Henry Rodriguez, Washington Nationals
Brandon League, Seattle Mariners
Rafael Dolis, Chicago Cubs
Heath Bell may just be on his way. Make room for him on the bench, guys -- a lot of room.
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The Steals Department
It's interesting to see Danny Espinosa available in over two-thirds of the leagues on certain platforms. He won't give you a good batting average, but he might steal thirty bases this year and pairs that with 15-20 home run power. Yes, with that strikeout rate he'll never hit much better than .240. But with that much power and speed, he's still valuable. Especially those in H2H leagues should check their historical stats. If you've been losing batting average most weeks, think about punting the category and picking up players like Espinosa. He might just be the Mike Cameron of second base.
Man, every time you make an off-hand comment, it comes to bite you in the butt in baseball. Like I said Darin Mastroianni wouldn't factor in much, playing-time wise, and so he wouldn't be worth owning. In the past two weeks, Mastroianni has stolen seven bags and gotten into nine games. Of course, he stole three bases in one game, and one bag he stole as a pinch runner, but it does mean that the Twins are giving him a look. He can play against lefties and might be in a platoon with Ben Revere by the looks of things. His current numbers look kind of sustainable, too. There are worse deep-league pickups out there, and he deserves more than an off-hand comment. He could steal 15 bags in the second half.