Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Closer Pickup And Drop Ideas For Monday 5/23/11

Two Mondays Ago's Recommendation - Drop Aubrey Huff and Pickup Eric Hosmer

Huff has hit just one home run since I recommended dropping him two weeks ago, while Eric Hosmer has already hit three homers with a better average in his short major league career.  Hosmer is going to continue to be a strong hitter and is worth making a trade to pick up now that he's owned in almost every league.  Huff continues to be worth dropping for a guy like Mark Trumbo or Freddie Freeman.

Last Monday's Recommendation - Drop Jed Lowrie and Pickup J.J. Hardy

This recommendation looks bad right now, but thats only because Hardy is mired in the midst of a slump. Hardy has hit safely just once since I offered him as a pickup, so hasn't accumulated any counting stats for you either.  I would still make the move right now.  Lowrie's playing time still can't be banked on, and when Hardy starts hitting again, he'll produce better than Lowrie does anyways.

This Monday we are going to take a look at a pair of relief pitchers.  One is a closer on the way out of a job, while the other might be picking one up, and is worth a roster spot in anything but shallow ten team mixed leagues even if he doesn't.

The Droppable - Brian Fuentes - Closer - Oakland A's - 85.7% Owned in ESPN Leagues

Fuentes has has problems all year long, and has taken the loss in his last three appearances.  He was shaky even when he was with the Angels as their closer and has already matched his career high in losses for the year.  Andrew Bailey will be coming back at some point this week and will be taking back his closer job either when or right after he returns from the DL.  You might be able to squeeze an extra save or two out of him if you hang onto him, but he's just as likely to get blown up as he is to get you the save.  Cut bait early and pick up Fernando Salas if you need the immediate saves.

The Pickup - Jonny Venters - Relief Pitcher - Atlanta Braves - 56.0% Owned in ESPN Leagues

First of all, I'd like to make it clear that I'm a full on believer in Craig Kimbrel.  Kimbrel is near the top of the league in strikeouts per nine innings and shouldn't be taken out of that closer role.  That said, Kimbrel has blown four saves in his last twelve outings.  Should the Braves decide to go in another direction for the closer spot, Venters will be the guy who they slot in there.  He has a nasty 0.64 ERA and 0.60 WHIP and has struck out nearly a batter per inning on the year.  If the Braves announce a switch, you won't be able to get to the waiver wire fast enough to get Venters, so pick him up now just in case.  Even if they don't announce a switch, Venters' ERA and WHIP are below 1.00 and he strikes out guys, he's worth rostering if you like to stream starters and want a guy to help keep down the ERA and WHIP.

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