Fantasy Baseball Advice: Relief Options with Joakim Soria on the DL

CHICAGO - APRIL 09:  Closing pitcher Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Roayls throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on April 9, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Matthew BeckCorrespondent IMay 11, 2009

Joakim Soria was placed on the disabled list Sunday. The injury is listed as a strained right rotator cuff, with no timetable set for his return.

This injury could be a sign that Soria may need shoulder surgery in the near future.

Either long term or short term, here is a list of possible replacements for Soria until he returns to your fantasy lineups.


Juan Cruz (RP, KC)

Cruz is definitely your best option to fill Soria's position on your fantasy team. He has been one of the best setup men in the majors this season.

Through 14.1 IP, Cruz has posted a 1.88 ERA with 11 strikeouts while recording one save.

Cruz is expected to fill the closer role in Kansas City until Soria returns to action. If the Royals keep winning, expect Cruz to get plenty of save opportunities. 

If you are thinking about picking up Cruz, go out and get him now before someone else does. You won't regret it!


Rafael Soriano (RP, ATL)

Soriano has been splitting the closer role with Mike Gonzalez for a couple of weeks. He has been impressive thus far and is a great player to keep your ERA down and increase your strikeouts in Soria's absence.

Through 15 IP, Soriano has posted a stellar 1.20 ERA with 20 strikeouts while only giving up six walks and recording three saves. 

If he continues to dominate, expect him to receive the majority of the save opportunities in Atlanta.

If Cruz isn't available in your league, Soriano would be your best bet for success until Soria's return.

Andrew Bailey (RP, OAK)

Bailey is a bit of a reach as a closer, but he is definitely a stat filler. As the setup man for Brad Ziegler, he has been dominating.

Through 21.1 IP this season, he has posted a 1.27 ERA with 24 strikeouts.

Bailey recorded his first save of the season last Friday and will be looked to save more games while Ziegler is recovering from the flu and an asthma attack.

Bailey is more of a short-term option, but he can help your fantasy team if Soria is only out for a couple of weeks.


Other Relief Pitcher Options

  • Michael Wuertz (RP, OAK): 17.2 IP, 2 W, 2 S, 15 K, 1.53 ERA.
  • Jason Frasor (RP, TOR): 11.2 IP, 4 W, 1 S, 6 K, 0.77 ERA.
  • Juan Gutierrez (RP, ARI): 18.0 IP, 1 W, 0 S, 24 K, 3.00 ERA.
  • Takashi Saito (RP, BOS): 12.0 IP, 0 W, 2 S, 11 K, 4.50 ERA


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