Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on August 25, 2010 @ 14:30:00 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)

 

Texas Rangers

Closer: Neftali Feliz

Understudy: Frank Francisco

Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz
Will take yank Feliz's reins?

It was a nail-biting Tuesday save for Feliz, who was pitching for the third straight day and for the fourth time in five days. In protecting a one-run lead, he allowed two deep flies that luckily fell into gloves, but he hit the next batter before registering the game-ending K.

Despite positive numbers otherwise, Feliz's rate of fly balls allowed has exploded this month (58.3 percent). Is he fatigued? Was it just this one occurrence of a busy workload? Maybe Texas, who's all but a lock for the postseason, will be more cognizant of his use to save him for the playoffs if he continues to slip a bit.

This might mean fewer save chances, but subbing for Feliz probably won't boost any reliever's value that much, unless, say, Francisco were to help out on a frequent basis. No reason to act yet, but at least keep this idea within the realm of possibility.

Job security score: 4

Health score: 5

Mound meetings

  • The Chicago White Sox placed J.J. Putz (knee) and Matt Thornton (elbow) on the 15-day DL Wednesday. At least this does more to solidify Bobby Jenks' regained hold on the closer job. Jenks may still be available in some leagues. If you have the deep league DL space, hold on to the two injured arms.
    With the hierarchy battered, Sergio Santos could be on deck for saves, but he has struggled lately and has little pitching experience. The ChiSox's double whammy might also mean more Chris Sale, who shouldn't be ignored in deep leagues that boost setup relievers' value. Even Scott Linebrink, because of his experience, would be a factor.
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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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