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Fantasy411 Podcast: Time to drop Melancon?

MLB.com

The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of their discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.

Leach: Let's move on to closers. Mark Melancon owners are not having a real good time. He's on the DL, he's had an injection. It's the elbow and that makes me a little nervous. Are there any formats where you're a full drop on Melancon yet?

The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of their discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.

Leach: Let's move on to closers. Mark Melancon owners are not having a real good time. He's on the DL, he's had an injection. It's the elbow and that makes me a little nervous. Are there any formats where you're a full drop on Melancon yet?

Zinkie: Not yet. Even in a 10-team league I think I would hold him until we get a little more of a picture of when he's expected back. As disappointing as he's been, I can't imagine dropping Melancon -- even if I have to carve up space on my bench because my DL is full. Would you drop him?

Leach: No. I know that contracts don't always determine opportunity, but the commitment they made to that guy -- as long as he can stand up on the mound, if he's on the active roster he's closing. So until we know he's out for a year or out for an extended period of time, he's not a guy I'm dropping. Sam Dyson has been really, really bad this year, and they're talking about him being the guy to step in. Bad team, pitcher having a bad year … even in a 10-team, I cannot in good conscious advise anybody to pick up Sam Dyson.

Zinkie: I agree, and I was shocked that was the automatic response from their beat reporters -- that Sam Dyson would get the first chance to work the ninth inning. Then I thought that maybe I had missed something and he's been really good lately and I hadn't paid attention, but he has a 4.91 ERA in 7 1/3 innings since joining the Giants. So it's not like he's been lights out with them. He gets a lot of ground balls but his control has been really bad this year. Even if I was a Melancon owner in a 15-team league, I don't know, maybe I grab Dyson and put him on my bench.

Leach: The Cardinals have an interesting situation. They have a couple pretty good options. The Cardinals are trying anything and everything; they are tinkering all over and there is definitely a feeling of desperation on that team as they try and find a groove. So I think that factors in if you start looking at the ninth inning. Is there a chance that Trevor Rosenthal is the primary guy over the rest of the year? Because that is something you can change. Tony La Russa has been gone from St. Louis for six years now, but something he used to say was, "You can always change something." And his influence is still there. Mike Matheny learned a lot from Tony La Russa, John Mozeliak worked with him and they shared some of the same philosophies. You can always change something is a mantra that I think is still there. So that all leads into what I think is a fair question about who gets more saves over the rest of the year. Now the other thing that could factor in is either (Seung Hwan) Oh or Rosenthal could get traded. But who do you like more for the remainder of the year?

Zinkie: This one is still fresh so I'm having a hard time with it. I liked Oh at the beginning of the year, and I still haven't abandoned him, but I feel like Rosenthal gets the next chance. Are you with me at least on that? Even though he was shaky when he converted the one last night, I feel like he gets the next chance. His strikeout rate is crazy high this year, but he's still walking a ton of batters. I don't feel totally safe that Rosenthal can hold the job, but I do feel like he gets the next chance. I think you have to pick him up, even in shallow leagues, especially if you own Oh. But I wouldn't drop Oh. I guess my very cloudy answer is if I had to pick one today I'd maybe pick Rosenthal, but I don't feel strongly enough to drop Oh in any league.

Leach: Yeah, I do think you want both of those guys, and for one additional reason: If they continue to struggle it wouldn't be the slightest bit surprising if one of those two guys got dealt and only one of them is left to close from Aug. 1 through the end of the year.

Zinkie: I totally agree, and I didn't see this coming with Oh. His career overseas was spectacular, last season was terrific. I know he's not young, but I thought this season would be much better. The biggest thing I'm surprised at is his rate of giving up hits. It's significantly up this year. But I'm not totally out on him yet.

Leach: Let's also acknowledge that's not a good infield in St. Louis. So that could also be a factor. Matt Bush had a little bit of a struggle and then came back with a couple nice outings after that. I get the feeling that they're really committed to him, and not just in the short term, but committed to Matt Bush being the Rangers closer in the long view. So I'm really not that worried about him. Even with all the shuffling they've had in the ninth inning in the past year or so, I think Matt Bush is their guy not just this year but going forward. Are you more worried than I am about him?

Zinkie: Well, I agree with you that I think they're talking about him as their long-term closer. They were talking about him on The Rundown on MLB Network yesterday and how Adrian Beltre and various coaches were talking to him and them really looking at him as their long-term closer and work through struggles with him and not just put him in low-leverage situations. He's thrown a couple nice, clean innings recently, so I think that he has a really long leash. Now he did give up two runs in two straight appearances just recently, so if he had a couple more blowups immediately I guess they could lay off him a little bit, but I think there could be a buy low on Bush right now. His owner could be panicking a little -- his WHIP is really high, his FIP is really high and maybe an owner who's looking for saves on the cheap could get him for a discount. Would you be interested in getting him if you could get him at a reduced cost? I think there's very few times you can get a closer for cheap, and this is an opportunity.