Fantasy

Fuentes fills in nicely for K-Rod

Brian Fuentes might not help you in every category, but he'll get
you the saves you need without hurting you elsewhere.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - When Francisco Rodriguez, a.k.a. K-Rod, took the big dollars from the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were left with a gaping hole in their bullpen.

Angels management decided to sign Colorado's on-again, off-again, closer Brian Fuentes as Rodriguez's replacement. Apparently it doesn't matter who the Angels put out there, they get the job done.

Through August 19th, Fuentes has already earned 35 saves - four more than in his best season in Denver (2005 - 31). He's put up all those saves, despite his ERA, WHIP, strikeouts-per-nine innings and strikeout-to-walk ratio all going in the wrong direction.

Last season, Fuentes' WHIP, in the hitter friendly confines of Coors Field, was 1.10, but this season it has jumped to 1.27. His ERA was 2.73 in Colorado and is 4.10 with Los Angeles, his K/9 has fallen from 11.78 to 8.42 and his K/BB ratio was 3.73 last year and 2.79 this season.

Fuentes has blown five saves so far, the same number that K-Rod had on this date last season. Rodriguez, however, already had 48 saves in the books, on his way to a record 62. Like Rodriguez, Fuentes leads the league in the save department (actually tied with Mariano Rivera).

Fuentes might not help you in every category, but he'll get you the saves you need without hurting you elsewhere. That's pretty good production out of a closer with a preseason Average Draft Position (ADP) of 143, the 12th closer selected.

And it's certainly a better value than if you spent the big money/higher draft choice for Rodriguez (ADP 69, 2nd closer selected).

Fuentes vs. Rodriguez
Player Team GM W L SV IP K BB ERA WHIP
Fuentes LAA 48 1 3 35 41.2 39 14 4.10 1.27
Rodriguez NYM 54 3 4 26 55.0 56 30 3.27 1.27


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.