Fantasy baseball News & Notes: Mets release Kyle Farnsworth
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.
Closers have been a hot topic of conversation lately -- especially the Mets' closers -- and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that they did something pretty unbelievable on Thursday. The Mets demoted Kyle Farnsworth to Triple-A and are now going to let him walk away from the team. Just like that, the Mets are completely abandoning the guy they recently installed as their ninth-inning man, and whose 3.18 ERA isn't awful at all. That's not to say that turning away from the 38-year-old potential liability is a bad move, but it's such a radical decision that I'm not convinced an angry blogger hasn't possessed Terry Collins and is making moves on his behalf.
The Mets' closer situation is now completely up for grabs, and the list of potential candidates is enormous: Carlos Torres, Gonzalez Germen (when he's activated from the DL next week), Vic Black (when he gets called up), Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jeurys Familia and even the Captain of Blown Saves himself -- Jose Valverde -- are all vying for ninth inning duties. However, it appears that Jenrry Mejia, who Collins demoted to the bullpen just a week ago, is a front-runner in the pack.
Mejia has terrific stuff, with 41 strikeouts in 39.2 innings, and while his ERA is a lackluster 4.76, many were still surprised when the Mets shoved him to middle-relief, which sure looked like a demotion at the time. However, his unlikely move to the bullpen combined with Farnsworth's unlikely kick to the curb indicates that Mejia may have been casted for this role from the get-go. And for what it's worth, Collins did say that he would have used Mejia in a closing situation yesterday had one presented itself.
Of course, it's hard to believe anything Collins says, because he indicated this week that Familia was in line to be his future ninth-inning guy, and before that, he was saying that Daisuke could be their future closer. Everything is relative, and when I say that Mejia looks like the guy to own right now, keep in mind that that could totally change within the next 24 hours. That being said, Mejia and his starter eligibility appears to have the inside track on being the Mets new closer, and for that, he needs to be owned everywhere... probably.
For your consideration
• Carlos Beltran went on the disabled list yesterday with a bone spur in his right elbow, and if he doesn't improve in the next 15 days, Beltran could opt for surgery, which could keep him out for six-to-12 weeks. Beltran is a pretty reliable fantasy commodity (despite his so-so .234 average), but he's not so good that he deserves to be rostered if he's going to be out until late August. Given how plentiful most waiver wires are with serviceable outfielders, owners should exercise little hesitation in dumping him, especially with guys like Gregory Polanco and Oscar Taveras quickly approaching the big leagues.
• James Loney went 2-for-4 and drove in two RBI against the Angels, giving him 24 on the year and boosting his average to .313. Loney is a terrific hitter, but he has very little power (he's hit 20 homers since 2012), which essentially makes him the Placido Polanco of first baseman. Like Polanco, he has value as long as his average is comfortably above the .300's, but his inability to slam longballs makes him only occasionally useful, and thus, not someone you need to rush out and get.
• With Tommy Hunter struggling, Buck Showalter turned to the left-handed Zach Britton in the ninth inning on Thursday, who didn't allow a base-runner and recorded his first ever save. Hunter has been nothing short of horrendous lately, allowing eight runs in his last four outings, and he'll need to string together quite a few scoreless innings if he's going to get the closer's job back. Britton, on the other hand, has been magnificent this season, with a 0.85 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. For now, it appears that Britton is the front-runner for saves in Baltimore, and while that could eventually change, Britton needs to be owned in all leagues.
• Nathan Eovaldi got rocked by the Dodgers, who diced him for nine runs and six hits in 4.1 innings. Eovaldi is having a surprising season, and his ERA and WHIP are still at respectable 3.62 and 1.23 averages. However, this is par for the course for a young pitcher who's never gone more than 106.1 innings in a year, and who could very well get an early shutdown in September as he racks up the innings. He's definitely talented, as evidenced by his 50 strikeouts, and deserves to be owned in standard leagues. But don't be surprised if and when the next blow-up happens.
You can follow David Pincus on Twitter @Reetae_.