Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - 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.
Understudy: Octavio Dotel
Broxton pitched the eighth inning and showed some resolve in holding the Dodgers' lead. He fell into a 3-0 count on the leadoff batter but battled back and induced a ground-out. He wound up retiring the Milwaukee Brewers side.
Though Broxton looked back in form, Torre said that he isn't ready to give Brox his job back. "That was the Broxton you send out there in the ninth inning," LA's skipper said.
In last night's ninth, though, Torre decided to use half of his bullpen. Righty Ronald Belisario retired Ryan Braun, southpaw George Sherrill retired Prince Fielder, and the lucky vulture stat went to Dotel, who retired Casey McGehee.
Dotel doesn't warrant chasing. Torre likely didn't want to use Kuo on back-to-back nights, and Broxton might have taken a small step toward regaining closer work.
Job security score: 4
Health score: 5
Closer: Leo Nunez
Understudy: Jose Veras
Lurkers: Clay Hensley
Nunez continued his rough August despite locking down his 29th save of the year Wednesday. The righty allowed a leadoff homer, two singles and a walk before escaping a bases-loaded jam; he has allowed at least one run in six of his nine August appearances on his way to a 7.00 ERA, 1 2.33 WHIP and a .381 opponents' batting average.
Nunez has allowed only three homers in 53 1/3 innings, but his strand rate has been below-average all season and has bottomed out at 65.9 percent for the month. Nunez has become increasingly hittable lately while battling consistency issues with his secondary pitches.
It's tough to think the Marlins won't at least give him a break from closing, even if he has been working around trouble to notch saves. Nunez is still eligible for arbitration, so maybe Florida wants to find other closing options before they have to make a decision.
Both Veras and Hensley have had strong Augusts. Veras has stranded all 18 of his inherited runners this year. Three of Hensley's 14 inherited have been plated, but all of them came in his first two appearances of the season.
While Hensley has manned the eighth inning for most of the year, he has stumbled in the second half. Veras has a better power arsenal and would be a better speculative target.
Job security score: 3
Health score: 5
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous publications, and recognized as a finalist in FSWA's awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he's on The Reality Check with Glenn Clark every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. He hits the airwaves every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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