by Bryce McRae
on May 17, 2010 @ 17:00:00
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: Chad Qualls
Understudy: Juan Gutierrez
Lurkers: Aaron Heilman
It sounds like D-backs manager A.J. Hinch has reached a breaking point with his bullpen. Hinch declared that "all bets are off" when it comes to any roles. "You reach the point to where you've got to go with the hot hand ... I'm trying to figure out who the hot hand is at this point."
Qualls' latest outing was a blown save Friday night. It was his third in nine chances. Qualls' BABIP is an atrocious .458 and his strand rate just 49.6 percent; however, helping him most is that no other reliever stands out.
Gutierrez also blew a lead Friday night, in the seventh frame. He has a 9.20 ERA. Heilman has probably been the best reliever of late; his ERA is 3.45, but he hasn't allowed a run since April 23.
Hang on to Qualls; he should still be the first option to close for now. Gutierrez could be added in deep mixed and probably should be in NL-only. Heilman is your third choice; he's for desperate owners in deep mixed. Add him in NL-only.
A long-term option might be Carlos Rosa. He was acquired last Wednesday from the Kansas City Royals. Rosa exhibited some dominance in the minors (10.1 K/9 in '09) and saved seven games for Triple-A Omaha last year. Add him to your NL-only watch list.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 4
Closer: Jose Contreras
Understudy: J.C. Romero
The Phillies placed Lidge on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 10. He'll be eligible to return May 25, though whether he makes it back then is up in the air. Philly were to decide today what Lidge's next step will be; his options include a cortisone shot, joint lubricant injection or rest. Owners should retain Lidge on a DL spot in all fantasy leagues.
Romero nailed one down last night, but Contreras had pitched in five of Philly's last six contests. Contreras will close for now. He earned the first save of his career Saturday. In 13 1/3 innings this year, Contreras has a 0.68 ERA, a 0.68 WHIP and 18 K's. He's a priority add in all leagues.
Job security score: 3
Health score: 4
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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