Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL

by Bryce McRae on May 21, 2010 @ 15:30:00 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)

 

Milwaukee Brewers

Closer: Trevor Hoffman

Understudy: Carlos Villanueva

Lurkers: Todd Coffey

Villanueva saved it for the Brew Crew yesterday. It wasn't the prettiest outing; he fell behind the first batter and hit another. Still, he finished the job.

Matchups might play a role in who closes until manager Ken Macha decides on Hoffman's future. Villy is your best bet; he's worth speculating on in deep mixed and NL-only. Shallow mixed could soon follow. His dominance supports his case; lack of overpowering stuff and a high flyball rate don't. Coffey is likely second to Villaneuva, at this point.

Milwaukee Brewers RP Carlos Villanueva
The heir apparent? Villanueva

The Hoff might not return for this weekend's series, either. They haven't set a timetable on him. He's still working with pitching coach Rick Peterson.

Two other names to file away: (1) John Axford, who pitched two scoreless yesterday and should have a bigger role, per Macha; and (2) Zach Braddock, whose name has been mentioned as a possible call-up. Braddock is 22 and has struck out 28 in 16 Triple-A innings.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • Arizona Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch sent out Aaron Heilman for 1 2/3 innings yesterday. The righty was perfect until he issued a two-out walk in the ninth. Cue Chad Qualls. The beleaguered closer came on for a one-out save. He also pitched Wednesday: one scoreless inning, one hit, two K's.
    Earlier this week, Hinch said all bets are off when it comes to roles. Maybe an overreaction? He says he'll start with Qualls in the ninth more often then not. His replacements for Qualls are limited, one reason Hinch is probably sticking with Qualls. This doesn't make Qualls an attractive option; Qualls' once-sparkling control has deserted him. Heilman and Juan Gutierrez are still spec options in NL-only.
  • Baseball can be a cruel game. Francisco Cordero was charged with the loss and blown save yesterday. The vet came in with the bases juiced and his team ahead by three. They had already given up three runs that inning.
    Cordero battled the Atlanta Braves' Brooks Conrad, who hit a long flyball that appeared catchable. Only thing: the outfielder bobbled it and sent it over the wall for a game-winning grand slam. Tough luck, especially if you own any Cincy relievers.
  • Jose Contreras' second save for the Philadelphia Phillies was a bit dicey. He put on two batters (HBP, single) before recording two K's and a foul-out in a 5-4 win.

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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