Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL
by Bryce McRae
on May 12, 2010 @ 12:00:00
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: Bobby Jenks
Understudy: Matt Thornton
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
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
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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