Fantasy Baseball: The Closer Report's Weekend Swing

Todd FarinoCorrespondent IMay 16, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 21:  Pitcher Sergio Santos #46 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on April 21, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

The weekend swing was a term I coined while discussing my head-to head leagues on my fantasy baseball podcasts.  

It was used to describe the games that would be played Friday through Sunday and could have a major impact on the number of wins and losses I received for the week H2H.  I'm taking that term to a whole new level for The Closer Report.  

Each weekend I will report on what happened in the world of closers over the three day weekend, Friday through Sunday. Here are the results of this week's action for closers.

Weekend Saves:

Craig Kimbrel (2), Jose Valverde (2), Sergio Santos (2), Jonathan Papelbon (2), J.J. Putz (2), Francisco Rodriguez (2), Neftali Feliz (2), Jordan Walden, Leo Nunez, Ryan Madson, Heath Bell, Frank Francisco, John Axford, Francisco Cordero and Kenley Jansen.

Multi-Save Weekend:

Craig Kimbrel (10) - Kimbrel continued to roll with a huge weekend.  

The Braves closer posted two saves with two scoreless innings and three strikeouts. Kimbrel continues to perform with the best closers in the league. On Thursday, he also added a win, striking out the side.

Jose Valverde (10) - Valverde loves to record saves in bunches, and he has started locking them down with two this weekend and five already in May. He lowered his ERA to 1.50 with two scoreless innings and four strikeouts this weekend.  

It's worth noting that Sunday's game was rained out, only giving Valverde two shots.

Sergio Santos (5) - Santos has had an amazing season so far. He notched two more saves for the White Sox this weekend, giving him five on the season. Santos has yet to give up a run this season, pitching 19 scoreless innings with American League batters batting a measly .131.

How long will it last?

Jonathan Papelbon (7) - Papelbon has returned to form and earned two saves against the arch rival New York Yankees. While he gave up a run due to fielder's indifference, his saves were relatively easy.  

He struck out two in the process and helped the Red Sox sweep the Yankees.

J.J. Putz (9) - The Putz comeback tour continues to roll with another weekend. Putz added two more saves, making his total on the season now at nine. While he didn't help his WHIP (2 BB, 2H), Putz didn't give up any runs, struck out two, and lowered his ERA to 2.40.  

He is looking like vintage J.J. Putz.

Francisco Rodriguez (12) - KROD is on a mission and racking up saves faster than any other closer.  He added a pair this weekend and already has six in May after recording six saves in all of April.  He threw 2.1 scoreless innings and his ERA is now below 1.00.

Neftali Feliz (7) - Feliz earned his second and third saves since coming off the DL and while he doesn't look 100 percent, he is getting there.  

He didn't give up and runs, working two innings and striking out one. If you are a Neftali Feliz owner, your closer is back and should quickly rise to the top in saves.


Highlighted Weekend Saves:

Ryan Madson (6) - Madson earned his sixth straight save as the Phillies closer and he is pitching as though he doesn't intend to give the job up. He has pitched 10 consecutive scoreless innings and has an ERA at 0.56.  His WHIP is at 0.94, and both are at the top of the list for closers.  The big question for Charlie Manual is, who will be the Phillies closer when Contreras comes back?  My money is on Madson.

Kenley Jansen (1) - Viewed as the future closer for the Dodgers, Jansen has had a up and down season. On Friday, he recorded his first save of the season, bailing out pseudo closer Vicente Padilla.  

He only needed to get one out to earn the save. Since being call up from the minors, he's pitched 2.2 scoreless innings with six strikeouts. It will be interesting to see who closes for the Dodgers going forward.

Ugly Performances:

Huston Street - Street got beat up again by the Padres, giving up a two run bomb to Brad Hawpe.  

While he didn't get the blown save, he took his first loss of the season. Street opened the month with an ERA at 2.20 and after his last performance his ERA has ballooned to 3.48. He is one of a handful of closers who have pitched 20 or more innings in the season and might be suffering from overwork or just bad luck.

Brandon League - Talk about crashing.  League blew his third consecutive save on Friday by giving up three runs in the ninth to the Cleveland Indians.  In his last three saves chances (all last week), League gave up seven runs on nine hits.  

The only thing I can say about this is don't worry, League will keep his job. The simple reason, the Mariners have no one else to go too.


By Todd Farino,  5.16.2011