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Closer Updates: Blue Jays, Red Sox, Nats

I would have published this sooner, but with three lefties coming up, my editor pulled me in favor of a LOOGY ...

Blue Jays
I said last week I wasn't all that concerned about Sergio Santos' sluggish start -- unless it was on account of an injury, which we would have had no way of knowing. Sure enough, the flame-throwing right-hander hit the DL late on Saturday due to right shoulder inflammation.

Am I worried now? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. I don't own Santos in either of my leagues, but that wasn't by design; I like him quite a lot and expected him to have a strong season. Now, however, things are murky. The Jays say the ailment is not serious, and I suppose there's no reason not to take them at face value, but ... it's still an arm injury.

Meanwhile, Francisco Cordero has been named closer in Santos' absence. I'm no fan of Cordero's, but I was able to snatch him up when news broke of Santos' injury, and I suggest you do the same if you still can. I'll be gritting my teeth through his save opps (including Sunday's underwhelming performance), but saves are saves, and I need 'em in my primary league.

I fully expect Cordero to cede the job back to Santos when the latter is ready to to return, but I'm not assuming Santos will necessarily be back right away, either. Santos owners are frustrated, I'm sure, but your only option is to sit tight for now and stash him on your DL.

Red Sox
Smart money had reliever-turned-starter Daniel Bard returning to Boston's bullpen at some point this season, but I'm not sure anyone thought it would happen this soon. Then again, who could have foreseen things going as poorly as they have so far?

The trouble, for our purposes, is that the Red Sox are calling this a temporary move; Bard will only be available in relief while one of his turns in the starting rotation is skipped. Further complicating matters, they've also been cagey as to exactly what role he will fill during this cameo. If it all sounds unusual to you, that's because it is.

I was able to read the tea leaves and nabbed Bard before the announcement was made, but now I'm feeling like I may be stuck with Louis Friend. Will he remain in the bullpen for the long-term? Will he close if so? Well, now that I've completely revealed my bias, I don't mind saying that I hope so, but Bobby Valentine said Monday he doesn't think there's a strong temptation to move Bard back to the 'pen permanently. Why he phrased it in such a creepy way, I can't say, but the point comes across.

This situation is a mess. I'm going to hold onto Bard because I'm needy for saves, and Bard's upside as a closer is pretty big, but if you're in any better standing, you can safely pass.

Nationals
In case you missed it last week, Drew Storen is out for an undefined period of time after undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. Washington hopes to have Storen back before the All-Star break, but in the meanwhile, Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge will share closing duties.

That's a double helping of ugh.

H-Rod's surface numbers look great right now, while Lidge's do not, but don't be fooled: both options are underwhelming. The right-handers should be owned, because saves are saves, but neither of these guys is going to provide long-term surplus value, and the fact that they're cast in a platoon only further diminishes their already dubious contributions. These remains are better left for the saves bottomfeeders in your league.

Storen, obviously, is a strong undisputed DL stash. You can take a risk on dropping him outright -- and there's a decent enough chance that he washes out completely that it wouldn't be insane from the perspective of lost stats -- but someone will snatch him off your wire with the quickness.


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