Thursday was another crazy one for closers.
The most bizarre story came when the greatest of all time, Mariano Rivera, slipped while shagging fly balls in batting practice and suffered what first appeared to be a twisted knee, but now is expected to be a season-ending torn ACL. A brutal blow to Rivera owners and a horrible way for his career to end if he calls it quits after this season.
David Robertson is the likely replacement when Rivera goes on the DL and is a solid pick-up. Rafael Soriano is another speculative pick-up for saves.
Rafael Dolis and Edward Mujica could also be worth a pick-up as potential closers in the near future.
It was another Carlos Marmol meltdown in Chicago when he entered the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead and gave up three walks and one single without recording an out before being yanked for Dolis, who got the Cubs out of that jam but then gave up an unearned run in the 10th to lose the game against the Reds. It's possible that Marmol, whose ERA is now 6.23, could lose the closer job to Dolis, or possibly James Russell.
Heath Bell's struggles and heavy workload caused Miami manager Ozzie Guillen to go to Mujica in the ninth and he got his first save of the season in a 3-2 victory.
Joining Mujica on the list of closers who were not drafted in most leagues just a month ago but earned a save on Thursday were Henry Rodriguez, Jonathan Broxton, and Fernando Rodney.
Rodriguez got his sixth save after taking over for the injured Drew Storen and Brad Lidge while Rodney now has nine saves as the replacement for injured Kyle Farnsworth. Broxton entered with a 4-3 lead and put the first two Yankees he faced on base, but survived for his fifth save.
Marmol ruined a great start by Ryan Dempster, who threw eight scoreless and struck out six while allowing six hits. Dempster should have done what Joe Blanton did, which was finish off a shutout rather than turning it over to the bullpen. Blanton also had six strikeouts and allowed three hits, but got the win. Brandon Morrow also tossed a three-hit shutout for the Blue Jays with eight strikeouts.
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Ross Detwiler allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings to get the victory over Ian Kennedy, who gave up two runs in seven innings. Bryce Harper had an RBI double for the Nationals after moving up to third in the order, which should thrill his fantasy owners.
Gregor Blanco got another start for San Francisco and went 3-for-3. His speed makes him fantasy relevant if Bruce Bochy keeps putting him at the top of the order.
Conor Gillaspie will be the hot pick-up of the week after replacing Pablo Sandoval, who suffered a broken bone in his hand for the second straight year. It's a tough loss for fantasy owners because Sandoval was hitting .316 with five homers and 14 RBIs, but will now be out for more than a month.
Gillaspie was a first-round pick out of Wichita State in 2008 and the 24-year old has been one of San Francisco's top prospects. He got a bit of time in the big-leagues last year, but should get the bulk of the playing time in Sandoval's spot and was hitting .362 with three homers in Triple A Fresno. Gillaspie had a single in his season debut with the Giants.
Jeff Keppinger is another possible free-agent find in fantasy after going 2-for-2 with a start at third base for Tampa Bay. The Rays don't have a set replacement for Evan Longoria, so Keppinger could get quite a few starts if he hits.
Philadelphia's Laynce Nix is another potential pick-up to get starts until Ryan Howard returns. Nix went 2-for-3 with a homer to raise his average to .342.
Anibal Sanchez continued his strong season by allowing one earned run in seven innings to drop his ERA to 2.43. Coincidentally, his counterpart, Ryan Vogelsong, has the same three digits in his ERA that is at 3.42 after giving up one earned run in seven innings.
Pedro Alvarez continued to crush the ball, going 2-for-4 with his seventh homer of the year. Same for Bryan LaHair, who was 2-for-4 with his seventh homer.
Derek Jeter moved back over .400 with a 4-for-5 night.
Written by Steve Mims exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. Follow Steve on Twitter @nwsportscards
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