Fantasy Articles
There is nothing to riff on, so we’ll just get to the good stuff.

With Jason Isringhausen’s recent troubles and the promotion of Chris Perez, who takes over the closer role for the Cardinals?
--Ben


Who really knows what Tony LaRussa is thinking? It seems as if he has been giving Isringhausen the opportunities recently, because Izzy wants to get to 300 saves for his career and he’s that “proven closer.” Ryan Franklin held the job for a little while earlier in the season, while Perez is the closer of the future.

LaRussa seemed reluctant to name Perez his closer Thursday night because he didn’t want to put pressure on the rookie. But he did say the youngster would get some opportunities to close out games. My answer for your fantasy team would be to avoid everybody involved for the time being. No one person is going to get the opportunities, and the one guy who figures to get the most, Isringhausen, is nearing the end, if not already there.

And then there is the possibility that Adam Wainwright takes over as closer once he returns from the disabled list. He saved the team in 2006 when it won the World Series with Izzy on the shelf, so he may be called upon to do that again.

What to make of Joba’s shoulder injury?
--Adam


The Yankees are playing it cautiously by placing Chamberlain on the disabled list. His shoulder could probably use the time off and I don’t think there’s anything terribly wrong with him. After all, as manager Joe Girardi pointed out after the game, Chamberlain’s velocity was still there. I think the last pitch he threw was 96 on the radar gun. Just stash him on your disabled list or buy low on him from another owner. You’ll be pleasantly surprised once late August and beyond roll around.

Billy Wagner is injured with the dreaded forearm injury. Who closes?
--Ryan


Aaron Heilman should get the bulk of the opportunities, but he’s just not worth it. He earned a lucky win on Thursday after blowing a 3-2 lead and the team winning in the bottom of the ninth. He strikes out a ton of people, yes, but his ERA/WHIP stand at 5.61/1.48. Mr. Mayonnaise just isn’t worth owning right now, and it doesn’t really seem anyone else will be given a shot out there.

Is Jeff Francoeur a buy-low guy this season? Next season?
--Dave


I would avoid Francoeur with a 10-foot pole this season. He has been so bad that the Braves shipped him to Class AA. There is something seriously wrong with him, whether it be mental (perhaps contract related?) or physical (a hidden injury?). He has been swinging really hard this season, which may mean he’s pressing. I would bet he could solve his problems this offseason and would take him next year as a buy-low guy. Just avoid him for the remainder of this year, unless he does something special.

Do you ever pick up Rocco Baldelli again?
--Matt


Considering his injury history and the most recent history (a mitochondrial problem), I would avoid Baldelli. He can never stay on the field for an extended period of time, which makes his talent worthless. The Rays do have a gaping spot to play him, but I don’t think he takes the field enough to make a difference for your fantasy club. But then again, maybe he gets everything together and starts playing consistently. I wouldn’t bet much on that happening, however.