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If you somehow haven't heard, it has been a bad year for closers - you probably have at least one active RP on the DL and another with five blown saves. One way to deal the mess is by filling that RP slot with pitchers that have dual SP/RP eligibility.
There are solid SP/RP choices every year, though it is usually difficult to know at the beginning of the season who the best ones will be, since it is an eligibility designation often earned by relievers who are asked to start to fill a hole in the rotation and end up have unexpected success. For example, Ryan Vogelsong, now merely a starter for San Francisco, was arguably last season's best SP/RP pick-up, winning 13 games with a 2.71 ERA.
We did enter this season with at least one great SP/RP candidate, Matt Moore, who earned the final spot in the Rays' rotation and was so highly touted after he came up to the majors in late 2011 that I listed him as my No. 1 pre-season RP this year. However, Moore has disappointed, going just 1-4 so far, with a 5.20 ERA.
As with most years, the most effective SP/RP thus far have been surprises, and a few of them are still available in many fantasy leagues:
Lance Lynn, STL: This year's Vogelsong started 6-0, with 49 strikeouts in 50 innings and has a 2.31 ERA, though he's only available in 10% of Yahoo! leagues.
Jason Hammel, BAL: He's riding the Orioles' early season dominance, with five wins and a 3.12 ERA. Available in 29% of Yahoo! leagues.
Jeff Samardzija, CUBS: We've mentioned him before, and though the Cubs seem headed for 100 losses, he has been consistently effective, with a 3.00 ERA and 53 strikeouts. Available in 31% of Yahoo! leagues.
Anthony Bass, SD: Two wins against four losses, but he's had several quality starts, leading to a 2.89 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 53 innings. Available in 71% of Yahoo! leagues.
Ross Detwiler, WAS: Three wins and a 3.65 ERA sound more pedestrian than some, but like Hammel, he's pitching for a first-place team. Available in 66% of Yahoo! leagues.
Felix Dubront, BOS: A 4.09 ERA for a struggling team isn't terribly attractive, but he's managed four wins, more than each of the previous three names on this list, and has 44 strikeouts in 44 innings. Aa\vailable in 78% of Yahoo! leagues.
Chris Sale, WHITE SOX: Another local option we've mentioned, though tread carefully. He was a closer for two minutes before arguing his way back to being a starter, but elbow problems have been lingering. Available in 29% of Yahoo! leagues.
* Bleacher Report lists some buy-low/sell-high candidates, according to sabermetrics calculations.
* SI.com looks at the lousy season of Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who many fantasy owners drafted way too high on the strength of a strong half season in 2011. (Can you tell I was one of them?)
* Hardball Times eyes some fantasy prospects, including Anthony Rizzo, who plays for some team in Iowa.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.More from Beachwood Sports »