Nationals manager won't commit to fill-in closer with Jonathan Papelbon out
Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday that he won't commit to a fill-in closer while Jonathan Papelbon (intercostal) is sidelined.
Shawn Kelley notched a five-out save against the Chicago Cubs with Papelbon unavailable on Monday and owns a 2.70 ERA on the year, so he seems like the most logical choice for save chances. However, Baker said the Nats have to be careful about Kelley's workload, since the 32-year-old has already had a pair of Tommy John surgeries in his career. Baker could decide to play the matchups by mixing in the likes of Felipe Rivero, Blake Treinen, and Sammy Solis. Regardless, Kelley should be the priority add of the bunch in mixed fantasy leagues.
Papelbon has awful numbers this season, posting a 4.23 SIERA, an 18.6 percent strikeout rate, and a 7.8 percent walk rate -- all of which are career-worst clips. Kelley's SIERA is 1.84 and owns a 38.2 strikeout percentage to just a 5.6 walk percentage in 23 1/3 innings pitched this season. He may be able to take over the closer's role if he excels while Papelbon is out.
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