League Leader: Brandon League may be closing in Seattle for a while.
It is said that 20% of all saves are never even drafted in fantasy baseball; they are all waiver wire pickups. Well, there are certainly some attractive waiver wire pickups available now in your fantasy baseball league. Try taking a pitch at these guys to get that early lead in saves.
Brian Fuentes, Oakland A’s — The A’s regular closer, Andrew Bailey, is on the shelf with a strained forearm. He was throwing at “75%” in a bullpen session yesterday. Bailey is anticipated to be back at the end of April if all goes well. Meanwhile, the veteran Fuentes has been impressive. The left-hander is 4 for 4 in save opportunities while holding opponents to a .211 batting average and a 0.88 WHIP.
Brandon League, Seattle Mariners — League’s stats in the early going have been simply out of this league. In three games, League has a save and is holding opponents to a .100 batting average with a 0.37 WHIP, albeit in only 2.2 innings pitched. League is the best on the list today and he just may earn the regular closer job from David Aardsma who remains on the DL. Aardsma had surgery on his hip labrum in January and missed all of spring training. Manager Eric Wedge said Aardsma threw a little yesterday and may be ready to begin a minor league rehab assignment in another week or two. He’s slated for an early May return if all goes well.
Jon Rauch, Toronto Blue Jays — Jon Rauch is another guy who is no stranger to closing. He earned 21 saves in 25 tries last year in Minnesota when Joe Nathan went down. Thus far, Rauch is 2 for 2 in saves in 4.1 innings of work. Octavio Dotel was a potential closer, but he did not start the season on the roster, but picked up a win on Friday against the Angels. Frank Francisco is currently trying to get his stuff back at Single-A Dunedin where his first outing was not so good as he gave up 6 runs in 1.2 innings. Francisco is expected to make 3 more outings until he returns to Toronto.