Living the Fantasy: Always, always be closing

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays
Fantasy owners, listen up: do NOT cut Fernando Rodney.

 

We are just two months into the season, and already 40 different players have multiple saves.

Jason Grilli, a 36-year-old that’s never closed before, leads the league with 21 saves. Edward Mujica didn’t even start the season with the gig, but already has 16. Even “sure things” Joel Hanrahan and J.J. Putz have been bitten by the injury bug.

The point is that the active owner is the one that dominates the saves category. We don’t need to prioritize them on draft day, but we do need to follow the ebbs and flows of bullpens closely.

Ray of desperation
Fernando Rodney has a 5.48 ERA and has blown five saves already. But the Rays need him to snap out of it and be their closer, simply because they don’t have anyone else. Logical replacement Jake McGee has given up four homers in 20 innings, an unacceptable rate for a closing candidate. Don’t drop Rodney no matter how bad it gets.

Brewing a mess

Jim Henderson was poised to run away with Milwaukee’s closing job, but a pulled hamstring has landed him on the disabled list. It speaks volumes that the Brewers have chosen to go with Francisco Rodriguez, a guy who got no sniffs on the open market until Milwaukee gave him a minor league deal. John Axford can be left on waivers.

Dodging problems
Owners of Matt Kemp realize that the Dodgers aren’t scoring runners or getting leads, so the closing situation isn’t all that interesting right now. That could change quickly once the bats come around. Brandon League continues to hold the gig ahead of Kenley Jansen, but it’s close. Both fireballers are worth riding for their peripheral stats.

 

NFL Risers

We’re less than 100 days away from the start of the NFL season. Some sleepers to keep an eye on:
1. Josh Gordon, WR, CLE — The Browns are installing an aggressive, vertical offense. It’s a perfect fit for No. 1 wideout Gordon.
2. Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL — Now that Anquan Boldin is gone, Pitta will function as the Ravens’ physical pass-catcher over the middle.
3. Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ — The Jets have a good run-blocking offensive line and are awful at everything else. Enter Ivory, a physical beast.

 

NFL News

Feeling Crabby?
Over the final nine games of last season (including playoffs), Michael Crabtree saw 89 targets. Now he’s out until Week 12 at the earliest after tearing his Achilles’ tendon. Downgrade Colin Kaepernick slightly, upgrade Vernon Davis significantly, cross Crabtree off your lists and keep an eye on second-year wideout A.J. Jenkins.

 

MLB Pickups

Yasmani Grandal, C, SD: The 50-game ban is finally over. Grandal will quickly take the No. 1 catcher job away from Nick Hundley.
Michael Wacha, SP, STL: One of the best pitching prospects around, Wacha has been promoted to the Show. Boasts a 1.71 ERA in the minors.
Vinnie Pestano, RP, CLE: A nasty setup man that’s getting a chance to close with Chris Perez (shoulder) sidelined.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…

Style

Cara Delevingne's major fashion faux-pas

Find out why the outfit Cara Delevingne wore to Leonardo DiCaprio's charity gala raised eyebrows.