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Saturday Lineup Card: Cubs' Closer Conundrum

Adam Wolf

Adam Wolf

Adam began writing for RotoWire in the spring of 2012 as an undergrad student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He primarily serves as the site's day-to-day editor of NHL content, while also working as the Chicago Bears and Colorado Rockies beat writer, managing the site's Closer Grid, and contributing to the football and baseball magazines.

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Saturday's Starters
Dodgers (Chris Capuano - L) at Cubs (Matt Garza - R), 1:05
Phillies (Vance Worley - R) at Nationals (Gio Gonzalez - L), 1:05
Orioles (Jason Hammel - R) at Red Sox (Aaron Cook - R), 1:10
Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin - L) at Mets (Johan Santana - L), 4:05
White Sox (Gavin Floyd - R) at Tigers (Max Scherzer - R), 4:05
Brewers (Randy Wolf - L) at Giants (Madison Bumgarner - L), 4:05
Reds (Mike Leake - R) at Pirates (James McDonald - R), 7:05
Cardinals (Jaime Garcia - L) at Astros (Bud Norris - R), 7:05
Rangers (Derek Holland - L) at Indians (Derek Lowe - R), 7:05
Yankees (Hiroki Kuroda - R) at Royals (Felipe Paulino - R), 7:10
Athletics (Bartolo Colon - R) at Rays (Jeremy Hellickson - R), 7:10
Braves (Mike Minor - L) at Rockies (Jamie Moyer - L), 8:10
Marlins (Mark Buehrle - L) at Padres (Clayton Richard - L), 8:35
Blue Jays (Kyle Drabek - R) at Angels (C.J. Wilson - L), 9:05
Twins (Jason Marquis - R) at Mariners (Felix Hernandez - R), 9:10

Day Game After Night Game: PHI/WAS, BAL/BOS, ARI/NYM, CHW/DET, MIL/SF

Injuries

Day-to-Day
Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX - (Leg) Not in Rangers' starting lineup Friday.
Danny Duffy, SP, KC - (Elbow) Gave up two runs over 5.1 innings after being scratched from his last start due to minor tightness.
Mariano Rivera, RP, NYY - (Knee) Preliminary exam revealed torn ACL.
Nick Swisher, OF, NYY - (Hamstring) Hit in batting cage Thursday. Not expected back in lineup before Tuesday.
Johnny Damon, DH, CLE - Returned to lineup Thursday after exiting Wednesday with cramps.

Disabled List
Lance Berkman, 1B, STL - (Calf) Team believes he will return to lineup this weekend.
Brett Gardner, OF, NYY - (Elbow) Set to hit in batting cage Friday and take live batting practice Saturday.
Jeremy Guthrie, SP, COL - (Shoulder) Hopeful he can start Tuesday against San Diego.
Scott Linebrink, RP, STL - (Shoulder) Will resume throwing this weekend after receiving a shot in his right shoulder Monday.
Sergio Santos, RP, TOR - (Shoulder) Plans on resuming throwing this weekend and return within two weeks.
Chien-Ming Wang, SP, WAS - (Hamstring) Will start for Low-A Hagerstown on Friday.

Transactions

Placed on the DL (15-day DL unless otherwise noted)
Joba Chamberlain, RP, NYY (Transferred to 60-day DL)
Carl Crawford, OF, BOS (Transferred to 60-day DL)
Joakim Soria, RP, KC (Transferred to 60-day DL)
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK

Activated from the DL
Ronald Belisario, RP, LAD (Activated from restricted list)
Delmon Young, OF, DET (Activated from restricted list)

Called Up
Brooks Conrad, 2B, MIL
Aaron Cook, SP, BOS
Michael Taylor, OF, OAK
Carlos Torres, RP, COL

Sent Down
Sean Burroughs, 3B, MIN
Justin Sellers, SS, LAD

Designated For Assignment
Brad Eldred, 1B, DET
Clete Thomas, OF, MIN

Claimed Off Waivers
Erik Komatsu, OF, MIN

Traded
Ryan Spilborghs, OF, TEX (from CLE)

Signed
Bobby Abreu, OF, LAD

Closer Watch
Chicago (NL) - It's official - Carlos Marmol has been demoted from his role as closer, opening the door for a committee of James Russell and Rafael Dolis to take over ninth inning duties. Manager Dale Sveum says Russell, a lefty, and Dolis, a righthander, will receive their opportunities based on matchups. Ultimately, expect one of the two to solidify the role based on their performances.

Cleveland - Chris Perez has hunkered down recently after some early season struggles, as he converted his ninth consecutive save in a win over the White Sox on Wednesday. His 8:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio are still less than optimal for a closer, but the organization remains committed to Perez, even though setup man Vinnie Pestano remains the more effective performer.

Tampa Bay - One of the season's early surprises has been the job Fernando Rodney has done as closer. Rodney has had experience saving games in previous stints with the Tigers and Angels, but hasn't posted an ERA under four since 2006. Rodney appears to have put his walk issues behind him at the moment, allowing only two in 12.1 innings, which has yielded a healthy 0.73 WHIP. Rodney was thought to just be keeping the seat warm for the injured Kyle Farnsworth, but the Rays may have a closer controversy on their hands when Farnsworth returns.

KEY MATCHUPS: HOT

Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Mark Reynolds - 3B BAL @ BOS
5/5 1:10 PM
Aaron Cook 5-19 .263 1 4 4 2 8 .579 .348 .927
Marlon Byrd - OF BOS vs BAL
5/5 1:10 PM
Jason Hammel 4-10 .400 0 1 3 1 1 .500 .455 .955
David Ortiz - DH BOS vs BAL
5/5 1:10 PM
Jason Hammel 6-10 .600 1 1 3 0 2 .900 .600 1.500
Jhonny Peralta - SS DET vs CWS
5/5 4:05 PM
Gavin Floyd 9-24 .375 2 4 7 2 6 .708 .423 1.131
Ryan Raburn - 2B DET vs CWS
5/5 4:05 PM
Gavin Floyd 12-29 .414 0 2 3 1 4 .483 .433 .916
Ramon Santiago - 2B DET vs CWS
5/5 4:05 PM
Gavin Floyd 4-15 .267 2 2 4 0 4 .667 .267 .934
Matt Holliday - OF STL @ HOU
5/5 7:05 PM
Bud Norris 6-22 .273 2 3 5 0 4 .591 .273 .864
Alberto Gonzalez - SS TEX @ CLE
5/5 7:05 PM
Derek Lowe 7-13 .538 0 0 2 1 0 .538 .571 1.109
Luke Scott - DH TB vs OAK
5/5 7:10 PM
Bartolo Colon 6-11 .545 2 6 5 1 3 1.455 .583 2.038
Matt Diaz - OF ATL @ COL
5/5 8:10 PM
Jamie Moyer 7-23 .304 1 4 4 3 0 .565 .370 .935
Chipper Jones - 3B ATL @ COL
5/5 8:10 PM
Jamie Moyer 9-27 .333 1 5 3 2 4 .593 .379 .972
Brian McCann - C ATL @ COL
5/5 8:10 PM
Jamie Moyer 10-28 .357 1 4 9 2 3 .571 .419 .990
Martin Prado - OF ATL @ COL
5/5 8:10 PM
Jamie Moyer 10-25 .400 3 5 6 1 2 .840 .423 1.263
Mark Kotsay - OF SD vs MIA
5/5 8:35 PM
Mark Buehrle 10-23 .435 1 4 8 0 1 .696 .435 1.131
Rajai Davis - OF TOR @ LAA
5/5 9:05 PM
C.J. Wilson 3-10 .300 0 2 2 0 1 .600 .300 .900
Joe Mauer - C MIN @ SEA
5/5 9:10 PM
Felix Hernandez 13-26 .500 2 6 7 4 3 .885 .567 1.452
 
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
Johan Santana NYM vs ARI
5/5 4:05 PM
Diamondbacks Batters 10-65 .154 0 2 3 6 19 .183 .225 .408

 

KEY MATCHUPS: COLD

Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Mark Ellis - 2B LAD @ CHC
5/5 1:05 PM
Matt Garza 1-12 .083 0 0 0 0 3 .083 .083 .166
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B BOS vs BAL
5/5 1:10 PM
Jason Hammel 4-23 .174 1 2 4 4 5 .348 .296 .644
Willie Bloomquist - SS ARI @ NYM
5/5 4:05 PM
Johan Santana 3-14 .214 0 0 1 0 1 .214 .214 .428
John McDonald - SS ARI @ NYM
5/5 4:05 PM
Johan Santana 1-13 .077 0 1 0 1 2 .154 .143 .297
Lyle Overbay - 1B ARI @ NYM
5/5 4:05 PM
Johan Santana 1-11 .091 0 0 0 2 8 .091 .231 .322
Alexei Ramirez - SS CWS @ DET
5/5 4:05 PM
Max Scherzer 1-10 .100 0 0 0 2 3 .100 .250 .350
Skip Schumaker - 2B STL @ HOU
5/5 7:05 PM
Bud Norris 3-16 .188 0 0 2 3 3 .188 .316 .504
Carlos Pena - 1B TB vs OAK
5/5 7:10 PM
Bartolo Colon 7-28 .250 2 2 4 2 15 .464 .290 .754
B.J. Upton - OF TB vs OAK
5/5 7:10 PM
Bartolo Colon 2-11 .182 0 0 1 2 5 .182 .308 .490
Dan Uggla - 2B ATL @ COL
5/5 8:10 PM
Jamie Moyer 10-46 .217 1 4 2 2 16 .348 .250 .598
Jeff Mathis - C TOR @ LAA
5/5 9:05 PM
C.J. Wilson 2-12 .167 0 1 0 1 2 .250 .231 .481
Denard Span - OF MIN @ SEA
5/5 9:10 PM
Felix Hernandez 1-12 .083 0 1 1 4 3 .167 .294 .461
 
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
Jason Hammel BAL @ Bos
5/5 1:10 PM
Red Sox Batters 22-73 .301 3 7 13 10 16 .492 .385 .878
Bud Norris HOU vs StL
5/5 7:05 PM
Cardinals Batters 26-85 .306 2 9 12 6 16 .480 .358 .838
Felix Hernandez SEA vs Min
5/5 9:10 PM
Twins Batters 23-72 .319 3 9 11 9 17 .546 .392 .938
 

Recommended Pickup

Rafael Dolis, RP, CHC - Though ostensibly sharing the closing duties with James Russell based on matchups, Dolis should receive the majority of save opportunities. As a lefthander, Russell will likely be deployed most often against lineups that skew heavily lefthanded, which don't occur as often. Dolis' overall numbers aren't particularly inspiring, as he's walked eight batters and struck out only four in 15.1 innings this season, contributing to a so-so 3.52 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. However, when measuring the value of closers in fantasy leagues, saves are the ultimate trump card, and Dolis figures to get the majority of them for the Cubs. If you have roster flexibility, consider adding Russell to ensure all of the Cubs' saves, or in the event that the closer's job is handed outright to either Russell or Dolis.

Other recent recommendations: David Robertson, Johnny Damon, Patrick Corbin, James McDonald, Allen Craig

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