by Bryce McRae
on May 10, 2010 @ 12:00:00
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: Bobby Jenks
Understudy: Matt Thornton
Lurkers: J.J. Putz
The White Sox might be ready to give Jenks at least few days to right himself after a couple of horrible outings. He gave up three hits and one walk in a previously tied ninth inning Friday. Sunday was worse. He gave up four hits and three runs without recording an out to blow the save.
Manager Ozzie Guillen after Sunday's game: "Maybe the next couple of days we use somebody different ... That way we can see if Bobby can get regrouped and come back to his form. Obviously, he is not throwing the ball well. The good thing is we have options, and we will see what happens the next few days."
Guillen has always been quick to defend the burly closer in the past. It's tough to see any long-term move to another stopper; Guillen has been loyal to his guys, and Jenks hasn't been horrible outside of some recent blowups. He has had a few issues with his control, but Sunday's save was his first blown chance of the year.
Thornton should be the first to receive any of Jenks' save opps, and he'd likely be the first option to replace him long term. Putz is a distant third, and Sergio Santos, as great as he has been, is a long shot given his lack of experience.
Job security score: 3
Health score: 4
Closer: Kerry Wood
Understudy: Chris Perez
Wood is back in as the Tribe's closer; he was moved back into the job after pitching on consecutive days over the weekend, something he needed to show manager Manny Acta. Wood had to prove he could throw strikes, too. His rehab was a bit rocky (and fairly short), but he's the most proven option Acta has in Cleveland's bullpen.
As for Perez, he'll return to a setup role, but it won't only be his. Tony Sipp, a lefty, has pitched well (nine straight scoreless innings) and could see some work as the bridge to Wood, depending on matchups. Perez was the one called on for the save Sunday.
Add or activate Wood in all leagues, if you haven't already done so. Perez is still the likely first option to save should anything befall Wood, meaning Perez should be held in deep formats. Sipp is deep mixed or AL-only ratio help.
Job security score: 4
Health score: 3
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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