By R.J. Anderson //
Giants closer Brian Wilson was placed on the disabled list recently, causing a frenzy amongst his fantasy league owners. With only a few weeks remaining in the season, this is not the best time to lose your finest reliever. As it stands, there are really only two strategic options.
1) Find a new closer
Easier said than done, however two names to consider: Mark Melancon and Jason Isringhausen. Rob covered Isringhausen in more depth on Monday and he is available in more than 50 percent of ESPN leagues, probably because of the shaky situation unfolding with the Mets desire to get more of Bobby Parnell.
Melancon is available in roughly 35 percent of ESPN’s league because he closes for the Astros. One of the requirements for registering a save is the pitcher’s team having a lead in the final inning, and the Astros—who are more than 40 games under the .500 mark—rarely have that luxury. Melancon still gets a fair amount of appearances and strikeouts, plus he could help with the occasional save. His inclusion here actually leads in nicely to the other strategy on the table …
2) Punt saves, add the best reliever available
Some leagues value holds, but many don’t. That means a variety of strong setup men are left in the free agent pool because they offer little value given the limited amount of roster spaces. Take Mike Adams, who is universally regarded as the best eighth inning pitcher in the minors. He has a career 2.03 earned run average and a 1.39 ERA this season, yet is on less than 20 percent of the ESPN league rosters because he does not get saves (only three career). If Adams, the best of the best, is available in that many leagues, then there is a really good opportunity to find someone in your league who can help you in other categories, if not saves.
Those options might not be ideal, but you have to make the best of what the season throws your way.
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