Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Bryce McRae on June 24, 2010 @ 13:05:00 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)

 

Cleveland Indians

Closer: Kerry Wood

Understudy: Chris Perez

Wood's leash might have shortened a bit after last night's blown save, but manager Manny Acta is sticking with him. "He saved a game in Pittsburgh [last weekend], and we were happy about that," Acta said. "These things get out of hand when you're talking about three or four blown saves in a week."

The Pittsburgh Pirates' bats aren't exactly the toughest to shut down. The Indians are still trying to unload Wood, too. Removing him from the job would decrease his trade value, so expect them to have more patience than a fantasy owner does.

Perez likely will be the Tribe's 2011 closer, and Cleveland probably will give him a shot in the ninth again this year. Stash him if you have the room; he's ratio help until he closes.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 3

Mound meetings

  • Cleveland Indians RP Kerry Wood
    Economics affect Wood's role
    Trouble came knocking at Brian Fuentes' door yesterday. Again. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim closer saw the first runner reach on a throwing error. Next batter, single. Fuentes settled down, though, striking out the Los Angeles Dodgers' Casey Blake and picking off Matt Kemp at third. The final out, however, came as Russell Martin was doubled off second base, just seconds before Reed Johnson would have crossed the plate for the tying run.
    Fuentes continues to test manager Mike Scioscia's patience. The boss has been loyal, though, and Fernando Rodney hasn't been perfect of late. At least Fuentes makes it easy for us to fill this space.
  • The Boston Red Sox's Jonathan Papelbon's second blown save came last night on the backs of two ninth-inning home runs. The first came on a flat fastball; the second on a hanging splitter, deposited in the stands by the Colorado Rockies' Jason Giambi.
    Those two mistakes shouldn't overshadow Paps' recent work; he had a 1.74 ERA and seven straight closures since his last blown save (May 17) until last night.
  • The lone run in the Toronto Blue Jays' 1-0 loss last night came with Kevin Gregg in the game. He was working in a 0-0 tie in the ninth and was one pitch away from keeping it scoreless before giving up the winning hit. However, he didn't walk any batters, and 15 of his 24 pitches were strikes - encouraging. This loss shouldn't lower his standing in Cito Gaston's eyes.
  • Texas Rangers reliever Matt Harrison worked three innings yesterday to earn his first career save in the Rangers' 13-3 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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