Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Bryce McRae on July 9, 2009 @ 01:01:02 PDT


Also see: Fantasy baseball closer depth charts

In fantasy baseball, the closer position remains volatile. Rarely does every closer hang on to the job for the entire season - injuries, poor performance and managerial decisions can cloud a team's bullpen picture.

Should you be concerned about a struggling stopper? Which setup men are climbing the depth chart? Any lingering injuries popping up?'s Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.

Mound meetings

  • Some changes to Canada's team yesterday: Toronto Blue Jays closer Scott Downs (toe) is back from the DL, and much-maligned lefty B.J. Ryan has been released. Ryan should catch on somewhere, eventually. Don't worry about him for now. As for Downs; he was called on immediately to clean up a ninth-inning mess left by now setup man Jason Frasor in a tied game. Downs couldn't keep the game locked up; that won't impact his return to closing games, though. Activate Downs. Dump Frasor in mixed leagues and Ryan everywhere.
  • Storm clouds hit the Pacific Northwest last night (big surprise!) when closer David Aardsma (back) gave up five runs (three earned) to blow his second save of the season for the Seattle Mariners. An error on a double play by second baseman Jose Lopez didn't help out Aardsma, either. The righty and his manager both agreed that Aardsma was overpitching, letting the momentum get away from him. After he settled down, his strikes were right down middle. He has been pitching through a lower back strain; is it affecting him more? The team hasn't indicated so. Nothing much to worry about - for now - except for the hit to your ERA and WHIP.
  • If the Boston Red Sox call on Takashi Saito or any other reliever for a save opp today, Jonathan Papelbon owners shouldn't fret. The Irish jigger has been used in each of the last two games (45 pitches, 30 last night) and likely won't be available this evening.
  • Speaking of Saito, his name has been mentioned in trade talks with the Colorado Rockies. With all the rumors swirling around Rox closer Huston Street, take note of any talk involving Colorado; this could develop into a source for cheap saves if any moves happen. Saito recorded 39 saves in a season as recently 2007.
  • Just in case you didn't believe Tim Heaney in this same space yesterday, the Atlanta Braves' Rafael Soriano appears to be the stopper after locking up his fourth straight save last night. Mike Gonzalez, enjoy the eighth-inning setup gig; your save chances, even in lefty-heavy ninth innings, are dwindling.
  • The Florida Marlins bullpen received a boost with the return of Kiko Calero (shoulder) from the DL yesterday. The 34-year-old righty has a 2.01 ERA and a whooping 11.49 K/9 this year. He could be in the mix for saves until Matt Lindstrom (elbow) returns; add Kiko if you have the room.

Also see: Fantasy baseball closer depth charts

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About Bryce McRae

Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.

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