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Closer Updates: Giants, Red Sox, Twins

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Sergio Romo has been breaking hearts for a couple years running, it seems. Every time a Giants closer hits a rough patch, Romo's admirers become giddy at the possibility of the right-hander taking over the ninth inning. Indeed, the prospect of owning a closer who strikes out 11.51 per nine and boasts a 2.17 SIERA is quite exciting. Except, here we are, and circumstances have yet to conspire for the right-hander to take the reins.

The latest rash of Romo hysteria has broken out over the past couple weeks, as incumbent Santiago Casilla has slumped to some extent after getting out of the gates better than any of his owners could have hoped for in taking over for the injured Brian Wilson. Casilla coughed up runs in three consecutive outings from June 22-24, then wasn't exactly sharp in his next two outings, on June 26 and on Sunday.

So, is Romo a must-add? Well, he's good enough to be owned in many non-holds leagues based on his ridiculous strikeout rates, ratios, and the possibility of him snatching up the odd save here and there, but this seems a perfect opportunity to gently remind you saves vultures that Romo is rather fra-gee-lay -- and the Giants handle him accordingly.

From this, I think we can divine a couple inferences. First, without a no-brainer alternative to Casilla, I don't think the Giants are especially motivated to make a change -- nor should they be, as Casilla has pitched well (3.01 SIERA) overall despite his recent struggles. Secondly, even if the Giants were to demote Casilla, it might only elevate Romo to some kind of ninth-inning platoon along with Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez in order to limit Romo's workload. Note that Romo has logged only 22 2/3 innings to Casilla's 31 -- and the latter even missed a week or so due to a minor injury.

The bottom line is, Romo is a nice own, but don't break your neck to acquire him if he's already off your wire, and if you do get your mitts on him, don't expect him to produce any more than a handful of saves in the second half.

Red Sox
After a minor setback a couple weeks back, Andrew Bailey has resumed his rehabilitation from the right thumb surgery he underwent earlier this year. The right-hander is long-tossing and nearing bullpen sessions, and if those go well, he would then be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment. In my amateur assessment, I'm thinking that should put him on track for a mid- or late-July return, barring setbacks, of course.

Interestingly, though, manager Bobby Valentine recently declined to commit to making Bailey the Red Sox's closer upon his return from the DL.

I can't hold it against Bobby V. for wanting to show a little faith in Aceves while Bailey's return is still a ways off, but I'm calling bull on this. Boston acquired Bailey to close, and though Aceves has overall been decent this year (3.20 SIERA), there's some room for improvement there. Not to mention, Aceves has been a swing man throughout his career, so he's probably best deployed as a long reliever and occasional spot-starter, anyway.

There's not much action fantasy owners should take right now. Aceves should still be owned, of course, but Bailey's looming return makes me quite uncomfortable about Aceves' long-term prospects, so risk-averse owners may want to cash out while Bailey's comeback is far enough off the radar. Bailey should be owned, too, and if he's languishing on your wire, snatch him up and stash him on your DL/bench with the quickness.

Fantasy owners (and Twins fans) rejoice: Matt Capps' return may not be far off! Jokes, jokes. The right-hander is targeting the Twins' first game back from the All-Star break to make his highly anticipated return from the DL, which is probably on the shorter side of things considering he was dealing with the dreaded shoulder inflammation.

The Jared Burton-Glen Perkins platoon has gone smoothly for the Twins but annoyingly for fantasy owners who own only one of those fellows. However, I'd expect the Twins to reinstall Capps as their closer once he's back, if for no other reason than because they overlooked his mediocrity in naming him their stopper out of Spring Training and stuck with him before his injury despite so-so results. Maybe they're loyal to a fault, or maybe they just see something in Capps the rest of us don't.

That being said, Capps remains a trade candidate leading up to this month's deadline, and while I have a hard time imagining any team being motivated to acquire him, stranger things have happened. In which case, we might be right back to square one: another Burton-Perkins platoon? Ugh.

Mets manager Terry Collins said injured closer Frank Francisco will likely reclaim closing duties from interim stopper Bobby Parnell upon his return from the DL. I'm taking Collins at face value on this one. ... Rays righty Kyle Farnsworth is back from the DL and, as promised, not closing. It would take a deep Fernando Rodney slump and a prolonged period of excellence for K-Farns to get back into the ninth, from where I sit.

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