I hope you're having a good laugh at us, Ghost of Jerome Holtzman. This has been a bullpen season from hell, at least for the save chasers in the crowd. Today's entry comes to you from Southern California, where the Dodgers and Angels are reshuffling things.
Skills finally won out in Chavez Ravine, where Kenley Jansen has been promoted to the ninth inning. Don Mattingly stood as a Javy Guerra apologist as long as he could, but after Guerra's blown save Sunday (his third of the year) the LA skipper finally made the call. Jansen is somehow unowned in 27 percent of Yahoo! leagues; I know anyone in a competitive league can't get him now.
In medium and deeper mixed pools, I'd suggest holding onto Guerra for a little while; let's see how Jansen handles the glare of the ninth inning. We also have to consider Jansen's physical history — he had a shoulder problem early in 2011 and he's had some irregular heartbeat issues before. That established, there's a strong chance Jansen takes this job and runs with it, too.
Injuries are the story in the Anaheim bullpen, where lefty Scott Downs (knee) is day-to-day and righty LaTroy Hawkins (broken finger) is out several weeks. Downs was in line to get a save Sunday before his injury; Hawkins stepped in and converted, but now he's out of the mix.
Ernesto Frieri and Jordan Walden are expected to get save consideration while Downs rehabs. It's an interesting pairing — Frieri has only been with the club a few days (he was acquired on Thursday) and Walden was demoted from his closing post back on April 27. Frieri's 2012 stat line is begging for a bigger role: he's pilled up 22 strikeouts (agains six walks) over 13.2 innings. If he can be around the plate, this could be a dominating reliever.
Frieri is unowned in 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues, if you feel like making a move. Walden, incidentally, has pitched just once since his demotion, a scoreless inning last Thursday (two hits, two strikeouts). Is Mike Scioscia ready to let Walden out of the doghouse?
Time to place your bets, save chasers. And if you'd like more intel on the Angels bullpen (or the Padres, as a bonus), check out Andy Behrens with today's Fantasy Minute.
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