June 15, 2009
Isringhausen had an opportunity to lead the closing committee for the Rays when Troy Percival(notes) (shoulder) hit the DL, and Izzy's recent appearances have gone well (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 Ks in June). Left-handers have clearly seized control the Tampa Bay committee, however. The 46 percent-owned JP Howell(notes) and 17 percent-owned Randy Choate(notes) have earned the Rays' last five saves. Howell struck out the side in the ninth against the Nats on Sunday; a two-out Austin Kearns(notes) HBP was the only blemish. Howell is the guy to roster, assuming you're only willing to make room for one Ray.
• Frank Francisco(notes) had a bullpen session on Sunday, everyone said it went well, and then he hit the DL. The move is retroactive to June 4. CJ Wilson(notes) is the guy to own for now, but it doesn't sound like Francisco will be gone for long:
Francisco will play long toss and have another bullpen session Tuesday. If all goes well there, the Rangers will send him on a rehab assignment. ... Francisco will be eligible to join the Rangers on Friday in San Francisco. ... "I feel good," Francisco said. "I can go. They want me to face some hitters."
• Not only did Jose Valverde(notes) (calf) return from the DL over the weekend, but he also pitched in back-to-back games. He recorded three Ks in a perfect ninth against the Diamondbacks on Sunday in a non-save situation. In Valverde's first post-DL appearance he set-up LaTroy Hawkins(notes), but there's no controversy in Houston. Valverde is the guy to own; both he and Hawkins are probably deadline trade bait for the Astros, so beware.
• Chad Qualls(notes) allowed an unearned run in a somewhat shaky save against the Giants last Thursday, but he gave the D-Backs a perfect inning of work on Sunday. He continues to deal with forearm issues, so Tony Pena remains on the fantasy radar. Qualls is another deadline deal waiting to happen. Again, beware.
• Somewhat miraculously, Matt Lindstrom(notes) hasn't actually blown a save since Black Friday. He picked up a save and a win last week, just when another ugly line could have cost him the closing gig.
• Brad Lidge(notes) (knee) had a cortisone shot, and he doesn't really sound like a man who wants to be on the DL for more than more that 15 days.
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