Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL
by Bryce McRae
on May 3, 2010 @ 15:00:00
In fantasy baseball, the closer position remains volatile. Rarely does every closer hang on to the job for an entire season - injuries, poor performance and managerial decisions can cloud a team's bullpen picture.
Should you be concerned about a struggling stopper? Which relievers are climbing the depth chart? Are any injuries popping up? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.
Closer: Jose Contreras
Understudy: Brad Lidge
Lurkers: Danys Baez
Disabled list: Ryan Madson (toe)
Lidge is back from the DL, but manager Charlie Manuel wants to ease him into closing. Manuel likely will call on Contreras if a save opp comes up until Lidge is ready. Lidge worked in the ninth Friday in a non-save situation, giving up a solo homer and a single in one-third of an inning.
Contreras has allowed only one run in 6 2/3 innings. He has struck out 12, and his fastball velocity is up more than 2 mph from last year's. Adding saves to his impressive '10 stats makes him worth rostering in all leagues, even temporarily in shallow mixed, if you're scrounging for saves.
And if Lidge's form looks more similar to '09 than '08? Well, Contreras might be in line for a few more saves as long as Madson (toe) remains out.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 4
Closer: Franklin Morales
Understudy: Manuel Corpas
Disabled list: Huston Street (shoulder)
Rox manager Jim Tracy played the matchups in Sunday's game: The left-handed Morales worked the eighth with two lefties on tap while Corpas took over in the final frame. Now, it wasn't a save situation, but it shows the fluidity in this bullpen.
Tracy won't stick with that same order all the time, but if the same situation presents itself again, he won't hesitate to do the same: "If we get into situations where we continue to get deeper into games and have a chance to do this, we will. The scenarios made all the sense in the world to me today."
Morales should still be considered the go-to guy in save situations, but if Tracy keeps his word Morales will probably yield some attempts to Corpas for as long as Street is out.
Morales owners should hang tight. Save speculators should grab Corpas; it's hard to expect him seeing frequent opportunities, though, and with Street returning eventually, Corpas might not have much staying power.
As for Street, he threw off the slope of a mound Saturday and will throw BP Tuesday, the first time he'll face hitters since landing on the DL. There's still no word on a return date.
Job security score: 2
Health score: 4
Closer: Brian Wilson
Understudy: Sergio Romo
Lurkers: Jeremy Affeldt
Wilson was unavailable all weekend after tweaking his groin Friday while playing catch. However, he's feeling better after a brief bullpen session Sunday and should be good to go Tuesday; San Fran is off Monday.
The Giants had a Wilson-less save opp Friday; Romo started the ninth by recording two outs, but he gave up a double afterward. With a lefty pinch-hitter coming up, Affeldt registered the final out to earn the save.
They'd probably mix and match the two if Wilson were to miss significant time. Affeldt has more closing experience, but Romo would be the better pickup because the Giants only have two lefties in their 'pen; they might have to use Affeldt earlier in games against tough lefty bats.
Job security score: 5
Health score: 4
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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