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C'mon Wilson, slap my hand!
Drew Storen saved 43 games for Washington last year and was targeted early by many fantasy drafters, who figured he’d have more saves with an improved Nationals team.
Then, came the news that he'd start the year on the DL, and MLB.com now reports Storen will be out until the All-Star break, after undergoing surgery to remove a bone fragment from his elbow.
Manager Davey Johnson told the Washington Post that he’s going to alternate save opportunities between Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge.
Many fantasy GMs targeted Lidge when this news broke on the basis of his experience, but he has a track record of inconsistency.
Lidge was great in 2008, but awful in 2009. He blew five saves in 2010, and then was only able to pitch 19.1 innings last year. And the three-run homer he served up to Albert Pujols in the 2005 NLCS still haunts his dreams.
Lidge also denied National Gio Gonzalez his first win on Thursday by coughing up a two-run lead in the ninth.
Rodriguez has one save and no runs allowed in four appearances so far, and certainly has the higher upside.
He did give up the lead in a tie-game on April 9, but that was due to his own throwing error. If he can keep his walks down, Rodriguez should instill a lot more confidence in his manager than Lidge will.
Rodriguez throws flames, with his fastball hovering around 98 mph and even his changeup coming in at 90 mph (Fangraphs.com).
He throws a slider at 84 mph too, so he clearly has closer-caliber stuff. If Storen hits any setbacks in his rehab, Rodriguez could find himself racking up a lot of saves this year.
That’s what happened to Brandon League last year when David Aardsma could not get healthy, and now he’s got a stranglehold on the job.
Rodriguez is owned in only 31 percent of Yahoo leagues and could be a great source of saves off the waiver wire.