Sunday, March 25, 2007

Phanatic Phantasy Baseball

Today's position: RP

By Michael Rushton and Greg Wiley
The Phanatic Magazine

The Phanatic rounds out its fantasy coverage with a look at relief pitchers. The RP spots in your lineup are designed, obviously, to give you saves via closers. They can also be used on middle relief pitchers who won't hurt your ERA and WHIP and can get you some garbage wins every now and then. However, every roster should sport at least two closers, and one must pay close attention to those players. Keep an eye on your pitcher's health and closer status. Pounce on backups with good chances of taking over the closing spot, and if you have an injury-risk on your squad, always keep his backup as they get picked up quick in every league.

Wiley's List

1) Francisco Rodriguez (LAA) - Was simply awesome in the second half last year. If that carries overs, he's the best of the bunch.
2) Joe Nathan (MIN) - Year in and year out he gets the job done.
3) B.J. Ryan (TOR) - He was lights out in his first year in Toronto.
4) Mariano Rivera (NYY) - The best of all-time. He's in a contract year.
5) Jonathan Paplebon (BOS) - Welcome back to the bullpen.
6) Billy Wagner (NYM) - He'll blow his share, but most from this point down are going to blow a good deal.
7) J.J. Putz (SEA) - Recent arm problems are a concern.
8) Trevor Hoffman (SDP) - We keep waiting for him to lose it, but he doesn't.
9) Takashi Saito (LAD) - Dodgers will be good and he's the one closing the games.
10) Huston Street (OAK) - He blew a lot of saves last year (11). If that drops this year, he'll be one of the best.
11) Chris Ray (BAL) - Second season as closer might result in less results.
12) Chad Cordero (WAS) - Washington stinks, but the games they win he'll at least have a chance to close.

The other 13-20: Brian Fuentes (COL), Francisco Cordero (MIL), Bobby Jenks (CWS), Tom Gordon (PHI), Brad Lidge (HOU), Jose Valverde (ARI); Todd Jones (DET); Bob Wickman (ATL).

Rushton's List

1) Nathan - A lot of saves without the WHIP. Strikes out a fair share as well.
2) Rodriguez - They call him K-Rod for a reason.
3) Ryan - Earned his money last season with 38 saves and a minuscule ERA.
4) Paplebon - Should be just as good as last year and must have the confidence.
5) Rivera - Don't count out one of the best ever.
6) Street - Should return to form after injuries and sophomore slump.
7) Wagner - Seems to get into jams a lot, but will still blow it by people.
8) Saito - I fell in love last season with this guy -- in a fantasy sort of way.
9) Hoffman - Should start his decline this season.
10) Putz - Draft his backup and hope for good health and 35 saves.
11) F. Cordero - Turned it around in Milwaukee and should still have advantage over new hitters.
12) C. Cordero - Gets it done when he has the chance.

The other 13-20: Ray, Jenks, Fuentes, Gordon, Eric Gagne (TEX), Wickman, Jones, Valverde.

Draft these backups: Chris Reitsma (SEA), Jon Rauch (WAS), Joel Zumaya (DET), Brian Wilson (SFG), Akinori Otsuka (TEX).

All but Rauch and Wilson are for injury risks. Wilson may take over for Armando Benitez just because, while Rauch may close if the Nats trade Cordero.

If you missed any of our coverage, just hit the label at the bottom of the article to bring up all of the coverage.

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