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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fantasy baseball: Brian Wilson replacement options

"Will meet with Dr. James Andrews."

The six words you never want to read about a pitcher.

Brian Wilson -- he of the superhuman beard, memorable post-World Series championship interview and rifle of a right arm -- deserved better than this.

You can't help but like the Giants' closer, who likely is facing season-ending surgery because of structural damage in his elbow. But if you're a fantasy owner, you must put those feelings aside -- and people say we aren't tough -- and find a replacement via trade or the waiver wire.

If you are looking for saves, here are five possible options. All are available in more than half of the leagues on, and two are teammates of Wilson in San Francisco.

1. Hector Santiago, White Sox (owned in 44.4 percent of the ESPN leagues): If you're in a 12-team league or larger, it's likely too late to acquire Santiago, who was Manager Robin Ventura's unlikely choice to pitch the ninth inning. The former minor-league starter who had appeared in two career games in the big leagues prior to 2012 has four strikeouts and three saves in as many chances thus far. He's a must-start in category leagues and points leagues in which you have to play more than one reliever.

2. Henry Rodriguez, Nationals (4.1 percent): The reports say promising Washington closer Drew Storen had "minor surgery" on his elbow and could return before the All-Star break. I say any elbow surgery is scary, and Rodriguez is a very promising option moving forward. Thus far, Brad Lidge and Rodriguez have one save each, but I'd give the edge to the latter. The 25-year-old Rodriguez has three Ks in his last three appearances, a span in which he hasn't allowed a run in three innings, and he has struck out 113 batters in 100 2/3 innings in his career.

3. Alfedo Aceves, Red Sox (38.8 percent): He failed to record an out in his first two appearances of the season, leading many Sox fans to panic following a stretch in which Boston's choice to replace Jonathan Papelbon -- Andrew Bailey, who will miss at least two more months because of a thumb injury -- was already injured. In his last three appearances, however, Aceves has returned to his 2011 level. He has a pair of saves in three perfect innings, striking out four in the process. Last season, he had 80 Ks, a 2.61 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 114 innings.

4. Sergio Romo, Giants (9.1 percent): Manager Bruce Bochy has indicated he will take the closer-by-committee approach in replacing Wilson. He has two quality options in Romo and Santiago Casilla, though Romo -- who struck out 70 in 48 innings last season -- would seem to have the overpowering stuff managers prefer in their stoppers. Plus, like Wilson, he has a great beard. Romo has three career saves, but if he's the choice and doesn't have to share chances, he should be a must-start. Romo has averaged 10.7 Ks per nine innings in his career.

5. Santiago Casilla, Giants (1.9 percent): If Bochy goes the committee route, Casilla, who had six saves last season, is a decent selection in NL-only formats. Last season, the 31-year-old had a 1.74 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. He is a decent source of strikeouts (45 in 51 2/3 innings last season), but not as effective as Romo in that category.

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