Fantasy baseball News & Notes: Familia next in line to be Mets' closer
In our daily fantasy baseball news and notes column, we'll be discussing hot topics in the fantasy baseball world, as well as offering up tidbits of information to help you set your lineup. Comments are welcome below.
Jeurys Familia will probably soon be the New York Mets' closer. No, that's not blind speculation. That's actually what manager Terry Collins intimated just the other day, which is pretty remarkable, given that managers almost never offer anything less than full public support to the current guy closing games for them. And in this case, the Mets' current closer, Kyle Farnsworth, has only blown one save since he replaced the combustible Jose Valverde and has a tolerable 3.38 ERA on the year.
But Collins can see the writing on the wall. He knows that there's no long-term value in having the 38-year-old Farnsworth try to close for them, especially when he'd just eventually blow enough saves that he'd have to be forcefully removed from the job anyway. Jeurys Familia, who's 14 years younger and has a serviceable 3.12 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 17 innings, may not have the perfect closing resume, but he's better than Farnsworth, and at this point, that's really all that matters.
It's not often that a reliever gets a chance to run with the closing job on a full-time level, so Familia should be added as quickly as owners can press on the plus-symbol next to his name. At the time I'm writing this, he's available in a whopping 95% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues, though that number is going to shrink very, very soon.
For your consideration
• Thanks to this two-home run explosion on Saturday, Corey Dickerson earned his second-straight start in center field and went 1-for-4. In limited duty, Dickerson is having an outstanding season, hitting .375 to go with four homers and two steals in only 56 at-bats. The problem is that seemingly everyone is having an amazing season for the Rockies (see this week's Power Rankings), including the other outfielders whom Dickerson is trying to beat out for regular playing duty. Charlie Blackmon has been maybe the best player in baseball to this point (which is incredible, when you think about it), Drew Stubbs is hitting .297 and even Brandon Barnes is hitting .342. And with Justin Morneau also playing awesome at first base, Dickerson simply won't be able to get on the field once Michael Cuddyer returns from his injury. Dickerson has major potential if he can somehow land a starting gig, but that's a long way from happening at the moment.
• Bryan Shaw picked up his second save in the last week for the Indians, officially angering everyone who rushed out to get Cody Allen once it was announced that John Axford had been relieved of his ninth-inning duties. Most managers aren't keen on completely rearranging their bullpen structure, which is why Allen is stuck as the set-up man while Shaw closes. That's not to say that Shaw isn't capable of holding down the job -- his 1.45 ERA and 0.86 WHIP are quite excellent. But managers are also keen on turning back to the guy they desperately want to work as a closer, regardless of whether or not they deserve it. Therefore no matter how good Shaw pitches, owners should still be hanging on to Axford, who's bound to be closing games again by the end of the year. If you need short-term help, though, Shaw is obviously a priority add.
• Marcus Stroman struggled mightily out of the Blue Jays' pen, allowing four runs and six hits in 1.2 innings against the Angels. The Blue Jays have made Stroman toil in middle-relief, as opposed to simply starting him, which is quite unusual and frustrating, especially from a fantasy perspective. He holds no value right now, and while he'll get into the rotation at some point in his career, lackluster outings like this could unfortunately prevent one of the game's top pitching prospects from doing anything this season.
• Chad Qualls recorded a ninth-inning save for the Houston Astros, who hadn't been on the receiving end of a save since April 26, and who have just four saves over the last month. Qualls, by sheer attrition, appears to be the Astros' closer at the moment; the job had kind of belonged to Josh Fields, but Fields was so bad, allowing 14 earned runs in just three innings, that he's been jettisoned to the minors and is unlikely to ever close again. Raul Valdes earned the Astros' most recent save before Qualls, who came out in an emergency situation. Valdes has a 12.27 ERA, which is even higher than Fields', and he too can't possibly be a closing candidate. The only other guy who could possibly close in Houston would be Anthony Bass, who has two saves this year. But even Bass has allowed six runs in his last seven innings. So the job belongs to Qualls, it seems, but the Astros are so rarely in position to even win a game, let alone for one to be saved, that Qualls isn't worth owning unless you're absolutely, embarrassingly desperate for saves, in which case God help you.
You can follow David Pincus on Twitter @Reetae_.