Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Bryce McRae on May 12, 2010 @ 12:00:00 PDT

 


Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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.

Key

Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)

 

Chicago White Sox

Closer: Bobby Jenks

Understudy: Matt Thornton

Lurkers: J.J. Putz, Sergio Santos

Chicago White Sox RP Bobby Jenks
Not out of the woods yet

Before Tuesday's game, manager Ozzie Guillen said he would use the matchups to determine who closed for him: Jenks, Thornton, Putz and Santos were his options.

Well, Jenks was Guillen's choice in the ninth yesterday with a three-run lead. A one-out double made things a bit dicey, but Guillen visited Jenks and reiterated his confidence in the burly righty. Jenks sat down the next two batters.

Thornton still must be owned everywhere. He was used to sit down the Minnesota Twins' tough lefty bats, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, in the eighth. There's a good chance the southpaw would be used in a lefty-heavy save opp, if he doesn't take the job from Jenks outright.

Putz and Santos are deep mixed and AL-only fliers. The former has struggled a bit while the latter, though talented, doesn't have a ton of MLB experience. Santos is a bigger fantasy help overall than Putz, though.

Job security score: 2

Health score: 4

Texas Rangers

Closer: Neftali Feliz

Understudy: Frank Francisco

Feliz's save conversion streak ended at seven last night. He gave up one run on three hits and one hit batsman. Feliz wasn't the only one to contribute to last night's blown save, however.

Manager Ron Washington used southpaw Darren Oliver to start the ninth inning because of a favorable matchup against the Oakland Athletics' Eric Chavez, a left-handed bat. Washington said he thought Chavez had two good at-bats against a righty earlier in the game; he wanted to give Chavez a different look. The skipper's big gaffe came when he failed to warm up Feliz in time to face the second batter, a righty.

By the time Feliz entered the game one batter later, a runner was already on third. The 22-year-old was working his fourth night in the last six days. He was forced to warm up quickly. A blown save followed.

It shouldn't mean anything for the hierarchy - Francisco hasn't exactly been lights out - but if you don't see Feliz in the ninth today, his recent workload could be the reason.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Brian Fuentes was given a vote of confidence by manager Mike Scioscia. "We all feel strongly about what the best look for our bullpen is," Scioscia said. "We need guys to set up, to close, and we want to give this [alignment] time to develop."
    Sunday's appearance highlights Fuentes' shakiness, but he'll have time to work through it. Fernando Rodney and Kevin Jepsen, in that order, are the speculative pickups in deep mixed leagues.
  • Brandon League was used for a multi-inning save yesterday for the Seattle Mariners. He needed just 15 pitches to garner the five outs. This cements his status as next in line to David Aardsma, who wasn't used despite not pitching since Saturday. Aardsma had a pair of rough outings; maybe he needed a break.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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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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