Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL
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.
Closer: Neftali Feliz
Understudy: Frank Francisco
Last night Francisco allowed a walkoff hit in the ninth inning versus the Boston Red Sox. He recorded the last out in the eighth but in the following inning allowed the game-winning tally on two hits and two walks (one intentional) with a side of wild pitch. Though his heat improved before Tuesday, his average velocity has dropped, and his stuff is extremely hittable right now.
You have no choice but to think long-term with Francisco. Popular belief has Feliz holding the job all year, but he'll be just 22 soon and already showed some signs of fatigue late in his brief '09 MLB stint.
Texas waited Francisco out and returned him to the role last year when he righted the ship; manager Ron Washington recently said he was comfortable giving him save chances when Feliz rests. In the right situation, deep league managers should consider buying low on Francisco for save possibilities, but Frank Squared shouldn't be in your lineup right now.
Job security score: 3
Health score: 4
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous publications, and recognized as a finalist in FSWA's awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he's on The Reality Check with Glenn Clark every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. He hits the airwaves every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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