Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on June 11, 2010 @ 12:20:00 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)

 

Baltimore Orioles

Closer: David Hernandez

Understudy: Frank Mata

Disabled list: Alfredo Simon

Surprise: Baltimore had a save opportunity Thursday. The stopper? Hernandez, who interim skipper Juan Samuel said will see chances before Simon (hamstring) returns from the DL.

Hernandez has thrived since moving to the 'pen: 1.23 ERA, six K's in five appearances (7 1/3 frames). The three walks glaringly represent the fireballer's weakness, the other being his tendency to yield flyballs. But if you need a temporary saves fix, pick him up without dropping anything of long-term value ... and hope the O's give him more chances.

Will Ohman will return to his LOOGY-style setup role.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 5

Chicago White Sox

Closer: Bobby Jenks

Understudy: Matt Thornton

Lurkers: Sergio Santos, J.J. Putz

The subject of fleeting trade rumors, Jenks worked around a hit for a scoreless save yesterday. The righty has dialed it up in June, striking out six batters without yielding a walk in five outings. In 10 games since May 9, the only three runs he has allowed came in a May 26 blowup.

Chicago White Sox RP Bobby Jenks
Will the ChiSox move Jenks?

Jenks owners should start planning ahead to brace for a possible trade. Thornton is the likely replacement for 2010 if Jenks were to be shipped out. The already useful Santos, Chicago's newfound closer of the future, should be your backup target in deeper leagues.

Putz apparently is also on the block, but his recent resurgence (9 2/3 scoreless innings with 11 K's and one walk since May 7) makes him a helpful deep-league reliever regardless of role.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • The Toronto Blue Jays held a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the ninth Thursday, and Kevin Gregg's 15th save wasn't easy: He allowed a leadoff dinger and worked around a single and a walk to hang on.
    Manager Cito Gaston stood by Gregg after the game, saying he wasn't apt to remove him. The speculative value of Jason Frasor has taken a hit lately due to his shaky June. Scott Downs is probably locked in as the top lefty setup option.
  • Kerry Wood blew the Cleveland Indians' one-run lead Thursday by giving up a two-run jack in the ninth after recording a two-out HBP. He backed into the win, so at least there was some consolation, but be sure to keep Chris Perez handy for save prospecting as the year wears on.
  • Daniel Bard, the Boston Red Sox's stopper with Jonathan Papelbon bereaved, one-upped (one-downed?) Wood by allowing a two-out, two-run single for the loss and blown save. Paps will return Friday.
  • File this in your fantasy back pocket file: The Minnesota Twins are scouting Seattle Mariners stopper David Aardsma. Given Seattle could be in sell mode at the trade deadline, you might want to tuck away Brandon League in extremely deep leagues and have him on call for a pickup everywhere.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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