Closer report: Trevor Hoffman gets saves

Updated: August 9, 2010, 2:07 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Don't feel badly for Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford now that manager Ken Macha has announced he'll give the resilient Trevor Hoffman some save opportunities down the stretch, but the fact is Axford has proven himself as well. He's the No. 3 closer on the ESPN Fantasy Player Rater over the past 30 days, and far more likely to figure into the organization's plans -- and that of fantasy owners as well -- for 2011. Loyalty should work both ways, no? Macha is simply honoring a future Hall of Famer, and it happens to affect fantasy owners. Here's what Macha said.

    "The thing with Hoffman is he's earned his way back to saving games. If you're going to stay with the premise that the players write the lineup and things like that, he's put his name back in there. That's not to eliminate Axford from doing things, too, because he's done nothing to write his name out."

Hey, maybe this will sell a few more tickets, as surely the lure of Hoffman reaching 600 career saves -- he's at 597 after Sunday's 1-2-3 save -- will attract attention. Look what it did for the Alex Rodriguez watch. The bottom line for Axford fantasy owners -- and he is owned in 89.3 percent of ESPN standard (10-team) mixed leagues -- is that while he remains in the closer mix, he'll have to share a few chances, possibly as few as three so Hoffman can reach a magic number that shouldn't affect his Hall of Fame candidacy. Yeah, I think Axford has earned the opportunity to keep the role, but I will add Hoffman in a 12-team league right now because every save does indeed matter. I won't cut Axford, though.