September 12, 2012
Relievers for 9/12/12
To be clear, I think Jonathan Broxton, currently too widely owned for a tout in this space, is the optimal handcuff for Chapmania. Brox has been entrenched as the eighth-inning setup man since arriving via pre-deadline trade in July, and it’d be easy and justifiable to bump him to the ninth without creating a closer controversy as the team autopilots toward a postseason berth. Marshall, though, is the better pitcher, and since he too has closed before (as recently as earlier this season), it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Reds go with him in a mild upset, or even fall back on the trusty closer platoon.
Start with Broxton, but if he’s gone, you could turn a nice end-of-season profit with Marshall if things break right. As always, a stash like Marshall—that is, one that’s not an automatic—should come down to a matter of your relative desperation.
After going on a saves tear toward the end of August, Javier Lopez (Yahoo! 19%, ESPN 30%, CBS 11%) has seen his opportunities dry up a bit over the past week, with his last save coming on September 2 against the Cubs. That, though, looks to be a function of matchups benefiting co-closer Sergio Romo more so than Lopez falling out of favor or the Giants leaning on a more traditional single-closer dynamic, so if someone in your league jumped off the bandwagon too soon—his ownership rates are down a tick in ESPN and CBS leagues—don’t hesitate to capitalize.
Each week, I struggle to find a reason why anyone should add Wilton Lopez (Yahoo! 12%, ESPN 10%, CBS 14%). To state the obvious, he’s officially the Astros’ closer, but fantasy owners have been indifferent to him because he’s seen only five save chances since taking the reins six weeks ago, converting just three of them. Typically, those who wait to add closers until they begin piling up saves get burned; the savvy types add before then. This wait-and-see approach is usually the wrong one in the pursuit of saves, but those who’ve passed on Wil-Lo time and again haven’t missed out on much … yet. If I were in contention and in need of saves, though, he’s a guy I’d definitely look at.