Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on August 4, 2010 @ 11:20:00 PDT

 


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: Alfredo Simon

Understudy: Mike Gonzalez

Baltimore Orioles RPs Alfredo Simon (left) and Mike Gonzalez
The save doesn't rule in B-more

Gonzalez tallied five outs last night for the Baltimore Orioles, allowing just one hit and fanning one. He gave way to Simon for the last out, but the save situation was wiped out thanks to Gonzalez's fine work.

New manager Buck Showalter said he was playing the matchups and wanted Gonzalez to turn around the opposing switch-hitters. "Believe me, I know the save rule and, quite frankly, it doesn't carry much weight with me," he also quipped. This could spice up what is already becoming a less secure saves hold.

Simon looks like he's still the stopper, but Gonzalez must be picked up wherever possible; maybe Showalter will build on the trust he showed in the veteran southpaw last night.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • After a breather Monday, Rafael Soriano returned to the closer's mound Tuesday for a scoreless save conversion; the Tampa Bay Rays' righty worked around one walk and a hit and surrendered an unearned run that stemmed from when he dropped a throw covering first base.
  • David Aardsma, still closing for the Seattle Mariners post-July 31, wrapped it up last night with a perfect ninth. Though there's a remote possibility he might be waiver fodder, it looks like Seattle is content with him stopping the show.
  • Detroit Tigers stopper Jose Valverde (illness) left the park after the first game of a Tuesday doubleheader because he was filling sick. Manager Jim Leyland expects Valverde to be back in action Wednesday. Stay tuned.
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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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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