Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Add Alert - Rafael Betancourt Closing In Cleveland; Joe Borowski On The DL

Joe Borowski was placed on the 15-day DL today with strained triceps. The move comes less than 24 hours after Borowski blew his 3rd save of the season, surrendering a go ahead 2 run homerun to Manny Ramirez in the top of the ninth in a 6-4 Cleveland loss. According to the team, Borowski's velocity has been down over his last few outings which they cite as the primary cause of his ineffectiveness in the early going. With Borowski out, setup man Rafael Betancourt will work the ninth inning for Cleveland.

Fantasy Impact

Rafael Betancourt was arguably the top setup man in all of baseball last year finishing the season with 31 holds - 6th best in baseball. Betancourt's numbers were simply dominating as he went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and struck out 80 batters in 79.1 innings of work. He also vultured three saves in 2007 and has 12 saves over his 6 year career.

Although he has been a bit more hittable in the early going in 2008, Betancourt certainly has the makeup to thrive in the closer role. The Indians are a contender in the American League and a team that traditionally plays a lot of tight ballgames, so he should receive plenty of save opportunities.

Given Borowski's immense struggles thus far, there is a chance that if Betancourt pitches well enough, Eric Wedge may opt to keep him as the closer even when Borowski returns in 2 weeks. If Betancourt should struggle, the team might turn to Raphael Perez or Masahide Kobayashi as a short-term ninth inning solution.

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