Rafael Betancourt (appendectomy) is ready to rejoin the Rockies, that's been decided. How soon until he reclaims the ninth inning? That's a question of mental makeup, not physical condition.
The Rockies haven't missed a closing beat without Betancourt of late, as replacement Rex Brothers is 11-for-12 in save chances. It's possible the club might takes its time transitioning Betancourt back into the role, and it's also possible Betancourt could be in trade talk for the balance of the month.
Let's check in with the team's website; here's Thomas Harding of MLB.com:
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he will not commit to Betancourt being re-inserted into the closer role until meeting with the veteran right-hander. It's possible the Rockies will ease Betancourt back into the ninth inning. Lefty Rex Brothers is 11-for-12 in save chances, and hasn't blown one on the two occasions he has filled in for Betancourt this year. But Brothers gave up a solo home run to Matt Wieters in the ninth inning of Friday's 6-3 win over the Orioles in a non-save situation.
"Physically, he felt fine throwing last night, so he's ready to go," Weiss said of Betancourt. "I have no problem throwing him right back in that closer role if he feels mentally he's ready to jump right back into the fire. I know that's probably what he's going to say, because that's who he is. He gives us some flexibility with Rex, too, if that's the case."
Bottom line on this one, gamers - let's hold onto Brothers until the Colorado situation shakes out a bit. There's injury risk and trade risk with the retuning Betancourt.
• Everyone knows the fleas with a player like Emilio Bonifacio. His career slash of .260/.319/.340 tells you all you need to know. He doesn't hit for a high average, he doesn't get on base much, he rarely knocks one out of the park.
Alas, but Bonifacio can run - and the Royals, his new club, are eager to flash the green light.
Bonifacio joined Kansas City this week in trade and he's quickly doing roto things of interest over three games: two hits, two walks, three steals. If the Royals are going to be this free with the running game, we need to revisit Bonifacio as a specialty play. Perhaps the rejuvenated rabbit can get us 12-15 swipes the rest of the way. The addition is waiting for you in 86 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and you can slot Bonifacio at second base or outfield.
• Bruce Chen has been terrific since joining the Royals rotation, no doubt on that. He's racked up six quality starts in a row, allowing just four earned runs over 38.2 innings (29 K, 7 BB). This would make him an ideal stream candidate for Sunday (if not a full-own guy), but we also have to respect the opponent at play, Detroit. Chen is still free to add in 69 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He'll face the Nationals and Twins after this weekend (two good draws).
If you need to dig deep for a Sunday option, maybe Toronto's Todd Redmond is more your speed. He's collected 40 strikeouts over his 37.1 innings with Toronto this year (against a modest 11 walks), and while he's still stretching his arm out in the new starting role, he's yet to have a true disaster turn. The Rays are no easy matchup, of course, but at least the game will be played under the pitcher-friendly catwalk. The move is there to be made, as Redmond is owned in just one percent of the Y!.
Cleaning up the rest of the Stream Police, have a look at Wily Peralta (13 percent, hosting Cincinnati), Eric Stults (24 percent, in a funk but Petco is Petco) and Scott Feldman (31 percent, no worries about road-weary Rockies). To the more daring in the crowd, perhaps you can settle on Scott Kazmir at Oakland or home-friendly Jason Vargas against Houston.
Ricky Nolasco, you ask? I suspect he's long gone in your league. The Dodgers haven't lost a game since the Tommy Lasorda era, so it seems, while the Phillies offense has been a joke in the second half (.220/.276/.355). Charlie Manuel got the Philly boot on Friday, albeit the problems with this roster trace back to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.