Earlier this week, we saw the first real blow-pen situation of the season go down with the Marlins on their west coast road trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Steve Cishek took the blown save and loss on Sunday versus the Giants and I promptly was calling for A.J. Ramos to be picked up in fantasy leagues in the post “Fish Out of Water: Cishek Leading the Blow-pen.” Very much to my surprise, the very next day Cishek received the ball in the bottom of the 9th inning after the Marlins took the lead over the Dodgers in the top of the inning. I figured Cishek would at least be given the day off after having worked in two of the previous 3 days, throwing 34 pitches the day before. But apparently, Marlins manager Mike Redmond was very eager to lose another game. Cishek was called upon and laid a hanger to Scott Van Slyke who deposited it into the bleachers in walkoff fashion to hand Cishek his 4th blown save in 7 opportunities and his 3rd loss of the season. The defeated look on Cishek’s face when it happened told it all, and you just knew that he knew at the very moment he would no longer be closing games for the Marlins.
So the following day, Redmond informed the media that Cishek had been removed from the closer’s role and that he would go with a committee approach with Ramos figuring to get the first crack. Then heading into Wednesday action, there were rumblings that the Marlins were interested in a free agent relief pitcher with lots of closing experience, Rafael Soriano. Soriano had a good run as a closer from 2009-14 with the Braves, Yankees, and Nationals, but it just didn’t make sense for the Marlins as they would be taking on more payroll after having already increased payroll 50% from last year, and they already had a cheap, viable (and probably better) option in Ramos who has been nothing short of dominant this season. It was then later reported that the Marlins were no longer interested in Soriano with the cost being an issue. Well, wouldn’t you know it that the Marlins were presented with another save situation on Wednesday and it indeed was Ramos who got the call and he protected a one run lead by striking out 2 in a perfect inning. I don’t foresee Ramos running into too much trouble with the way that he has been pitching with improved control this year, so he is indeed a must own in any fantasy format and hopefully you were able to snag him. Continue reading