Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Bryce McRae on April 5, 2010 @ 17:00:00 PDT


Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | 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?'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)


Minnesota Twins

Closer: Jon Rauch

Understudy: Matt Guerrier

Lurkers: Jose Mijares, Jesse Crain

Rauch was the favorite to close when Joe Nathan (elbow) was lost for the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed this after initially saying he would go with a committee approach.

In the past, Gardenhire showed tremendous loyalty to his stopper. Of course, he wasn't given much reason not to with Nathan and Eddie Guardado around. The vet manager prefers a bullpen with establish roles. The team could still explore other options at a later date, but for now, Rauch should be given a fairly sizable leash.

His stuff isn't overpowering for a closer, and he has blown 18 of his 44 save opps over his career. He held the job with the Washington Nationals for part of 2008 and managed to save 17 of his 22 tries. That's probably a fairer measure of his ability to handle the role.

He posted a fine 1.72 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 14 K's in only 15 2/3 innings during a short stint with Minny last year. He's still somewhat shaky, but as a No. 3 closer in mixed leagues, he shouldn't be in a position to submarine any of your title hopes.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • The Oakland Athletics' Andrew Bailey (knee) jammed his knee and was removed from an exhibition for precautionary reasons Saturday. It's slightly eyebrow-raising because it was the knee that bothered him last year. He should be fine for Opening Day, though. Bailey is still best utilized as a strong No. 2 in mixed. Brad Ziegler would likely be the next in line should Bailey be unavailable for a game or two.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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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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