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.
|Job security (JS) score
||1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
|Health (H) score
||1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)
Understudy: Hisanori Takahashi, Bobby Parnell
Lurkers: Pedro Feliciano, Manny Acosta
Spinning the closer wheel for the first time since Francisco Rodriguez (finger) went down for the season, the Mets decided to land on Takahashi, who came through with a scoreless ninth Monday. For what it's worth, Feliciano notched the last out of the eighth inning and garnered the win.
Reports conflict about whether Mets manager Jerry Manuel will hand permanent duties to Takahashi, who closed for a year in Japan but was mainly a starter. The 35-year-old southpaw K's a decent amount (8.50 per nine this year), chiefly through deception, not velocity. Righties pester him more frequently than lefties, and he has struggled away from Citi Field this year.
Positives: He has a 2.68 ERA in 23 relief appearances this year, compared to a 5.01 ERA as a starter. Takahashi's 2.57 August ERA out of the 'pen shouldn't be dismissed.
Takahashi the Mets' best bet?
Before yesterday's game, though, Manuel mentioned every reliever short of John Franco in his quest to replace K-Rod. Though one report says the skipper will probably go to Takahashi as closer, it's hard to cement that after one game. Parnell has potentially top-notch skills and has improved his control. Feliciano is effective against lefties and could also see a matchup-appropriate opportunity.
At least Takahashi made a good impression. Manuel might let the lefty run with things if he continues his success. If saves are holding you back, you can chase Takahashi first. Before you get too excited, note "chase" there; that's probably what Mets save seekers will be doing until October.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 5
Closer: Matt Lindstrom
Understudy: Brandon Lyon
Lindstrom continued his shakiness, returning to action Monday for the first time in six days but allowing two runs in the ninth of a tied ballgame to absorb the loss. Back-to-back one-out singles and a wild pitch produced the first run, and a triple sent home the other. It was the third straight game in which Lindstrom failed to wrap up the ninth inning.
The righty said his back wasn't bothering him, but he was "missing on his pitches." Skipper Bradley Mills said Lindstrom's velocity looked like it was back to normal and that they'll try to examine what's wrong.
Unless you must keep pace in your saves column, it's probably best to sit Lindstrom for a bit. If your roster has enough space and you're in dire saves need, Lyon could be tucked away - maybe he'll have a few more cheap saves here and there. However, Lindstrom likely would fully lose his job due to continued health issues only.
Job security score: 4
Health score: 3
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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