Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on September 9, 2010 @ 12:45:00 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)

 

Chicago White Sox

Closer: Bobby Jenks (forearm)

Understudy: Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz

Lurkers: Chris Sale, Sergio Santos

Jenks, who hasn't pitched since his two-save Saturday, is dealing with forearm tightness. He had difficulty warming up Wednesday and felt discomfort in his right forearm earlier this week. Though earlier reports said he would be ready for Friday, it now appears he'll miss at least a few games.

Jenks was used frequently last week when Chicago had a depleted bullpen. Keep an eye on this injury. Though manager Ozzie Guillen didn't say who would close in Jenks' absence, your best bets are Thornton, who closed in Jenks' place Sunday, and Putz, who was just activated from the DL.

Guillen could very well select his closer between those two depending on bullpen use and matchups. For the short term, Thornton is probably the better option since Putz just came off the DL. But if Jenks misses extended time, Putz could easily take over frequently.

Job security score: 4

Health score: 3

Mound meetings

  • Chicago White Sox RP Matt Thornton
    Thornton and Co. to save day again?
    Though Matt Capps has done the job for the Minnesota Twins (11-for-13 in save opps with them), they haven't come easily lately. He holds a 6.75 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP in his last four outings, all conversions. His Wednesday go-round involved an RBI groundout and a run-scoring single; he allowed two runs on two hits and one walk.
    As long as Capps works within the lead given to him, though, Minny probably won't make a change this late in the year.
  • Fernando Rodney (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) has now given up a run in each of his last three games (eight hits total in three innings) and four of his last five. The Halos' stopper allowed three hits and a run while blowing last night's save chance.
    The Angels still might give Kevin Jepsen or Jordan Walden a brief saves look, but it won't be enough to knock Rodney from the gig for what remains of 2010.
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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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