Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on April 13, 2010 @ 13:00:00 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? 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)

 

Cleveland Indians

Closer: Chris Perez

Understudy: Jensen Lewis, Rafael Perez

Disabled list: Kerry Wood

Cleveland Indians RP Kerry Wood
Wood inching closer to return

Following a blown save Sunday, Perez loaded the bases without recording an out after starting the ninth in a tied affair Monday. Tony Sipp worked around the jam. Perez's first-week success is still in the mind of manager Manny Acta, though, as he says he's sticking with the righty. "This kid saved two games in Chicago, and everybody celebrated and was happy," Acta said. "Just because he struggled two games in a row doesn't mean we're going to run him out of town."

Noise? Maybe, but it looks like the Indians are comfortable biding their time with Perez until they regain an important reinforcement: Wood (back), who threw a bullpen session before Monday's game. He might be participating in a simulated game or a minor league rehab outing as soon as this weekend after throwing another bullpen session Thursday. Wood says he's able to come back sooner than originally thought, but you don't have to hold him to that, given his injury history.

Lewis is performing well in the late innings and is worth an AL-only pickup as a reliever rental and speculation for Perez losing save chances.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • At this rate, owners of Jason Frasor will really need counseling. The Toronto Blue Jays' stopper blew another save by allowing a game-tying leadoff homer Monday. Frasor has failed to retire the leadoff hitter in each of his five save opps this year, and he threw a fastball on 0-2 in his latest gaffe. Though it's early, keep an eye on his alarmingly low 0.38 groundball-to-flyball ratio. Frasor owners have to ride it out, but as we mentioned yesterday, fantasy players shouldn't let Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs sit on the wire in deeps.
  • Both members of the Texas Rangers' closer tango shined Monday. That Neftali Feliz guy had a clean closer debut with a K and two grounders. Six of his 18 pitches hit triple digits. The ousted Frank Francisco came into a tied game in the prior frame and held the deadlock by retiring the side in order, partially thanks to a great defensive play by shortstop Elvis Andrus. Frank-Frank earned the win, so at least he's still useful as his owners endure his saves banishment. It was a good sign that he came into a tight situation after manager Ron Washington said he wanted to keep Francisco out of high-leverage appearances.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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