Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL
by Bryce McRae
on May 19, 2010 @ 12:30:00
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: Mariano Rivera
Understudy: Joba Chamberlain
Sunday night, Rivera blew his first save of the season. He walked in the tying run in the eighth after relieving Chamberlain, who left the bases juiced. Rivera then served up a grand slam and the blame for two of those runs.
Two nights later, Rivera didn't blow it, but he gave up two runs (unearned this time) and was tagged with the loss.
Rivera, 41 in November, has relied on his devastating cutter even more than usual (more than 93 percent) the last two years. One problem? Its velocity is dropping. It averages about 2 mph less than it did in '08. Is Father Time knocking at his door?
Mo's command rate has also dropped to 3.67; if the season ended today, it'd be his lowest mark since 2004. He hasn't been inducing nearly as many grounders as usual.
The error obviously didn't help Mo last night - but he still gave up a big hit in another key spot. These could be, might be, the early signs of Rivera's decline, but he can still be effective.
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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