Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on April 19, 2010 @ 12:00:00 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)

 

Mound meetings

  • Jim Johnson blew a save chance Saturday and took the loss, allowing two runs in one-third of an inning. After that outing, Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley said Johnson would remain their interim closer.
    His faith was rewarded Sunday as the righty tossed one-hit ball in two innings with two K's to pick up his first closure of 2010. The O's expanded their lead from three to five after a two-run ninth to make things easier for JJ, who might not be available for Monday's game given his recent workload.
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Brian Fuentes
    Fernando Rodney soon yielding to Fuentes
    Chris Perez watched video of some recent performances with Ruben Niebla, the Cleveland Indians' assistant to the MLB coaching staff. Niebla noticed Perez's left shoulder was turned too far away from the plate when he entered his delivery; this hindered his ability to hit the outside corner of the plate against right-handed batters and the inside corner versus left-handed sticks. Perez converted back-to-back save chances this weekend, fanning two in 1 2/3 spotless innings.
  • Perez will soon have to return to sustaining his improvements from a setup role. Indians stopper Kerry Wood (back) threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday and is slated to throw a simulated game against hitters this week. He'll probably go on a minor league rehab assignment before being called up, so weekly lineup owners shouldn't bank on throwing him in for Week 4 just yet.
  • Brian Fuentes (back) is slated for a rehab tuneup at Single-A Rancho California Monday; he'll throw either one inning or 20-25 pitches. A successful bullpen session Friday affirmed that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stopper should be on schedule to return Wednesday if today's outing goes well.
  • Deep-league managers who took advantage of Fuentes' absence should hang on to Fernando Rodney; with the incumbent sidelined, Rodney has saved three games without yielding a walk or hit. It doesn't hurt to have a next-in-line candidate as long as he's on a productive relief run. Given his negative splits in non-save situations, don't blindly keep him in your lineup, though.

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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