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The New Seattle Mariners Closer Is....

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Wow.  What a first few days of the fantasy baseball season!.  First, Victor Martinez hurts his hamstring in the first game.  Then, Pedro martinez strains his and will miss 4-6 weeks.  Then, Seattle Mariners' close JJ Putz is placed on the DL with a ribcage injury.

While the VMart injury has caused just minor heart palpitations as he is reportedly going to miss just a few games and, by his own account, can pinch-hit now, the Pedro Martinez injury will cause all those fantasy owners who believed he could have a successful return to the mound slap their foreheads in acceptance that the belief was self-delusion.  It is the Putz injury that causes the most fantasy activity.

JJ Putz was one of the 1st closers drafted this year (ADP 50) and will solidfy the dogma that fantasy owners should not draft a closer early.  The opportunity cost is too easy to assess.  Some of the players taken right after Putz - Orioles' OF Nick Markakis, Yankees' 2B Robinson Cano and Rays' 1B Carlos Pena.

That I-told-you-so aside, most fantasy owners will scramble frenetically to pick-up all the relievers in an injured closer's bullpen.  As my step-brother used to say, "Would you jump in my grave as fast?"

Here is a sample of the activity from my AL-Only league that does not include anything on Eric O'Flaherty because I drafted him for $1:

  1. FAAB $18 on Mark Lowe
  2. FAAB $6 on Sean Green (FT readers knew the name from here and here).  I also bid $5 on him.
  3. FAAB $5 on Ryan Rowland-Smith.
I chose Green because he was used frequently last season (64 games), and he had been on my radar from his usage ahead of Putz this Spring.  Mark Lowe would have been my pick if he hadn't been lost to injury in 2007.  I just haven't seen enough to think he is back.  Finally, I had O'Flaherty because he is the key late-inning lefty, and manager Jim McLaren said this about him in March, "He's a good competitor.  Did a great job for us last year.  Looks like he's improved this year."

All said, McLaren used Miguel Batista to close yesterday's win over the Rangers after allowing Sean Green to pitch the 8th and start the 9th with a walk.  Do I bid on Batista tonight?