Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL

by Bryce McRae on June 7, 2010 @ 14:15:00 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?'s Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.


Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)


Philadelphia Phillies

Closer: Brad Lidge

Understudy: Jose Contreras

Disabled list: Ryan Madson (toe)

Washington Nationals RP Matt Capps
Riggs sticking by Capps

Lidge recorded his first save June 4 since returning from the DL. He hasn't allowed a base runner and has four K's in three innings in that time.

No roles have been outlined, but manager Charlie Manuel would like to establish a set pattern. "We're getting a chance to organize our bullpen, whereas before we were going on mix-and-match and feel," said Manuel.

Organization appears to be Lidge in the ninth with Contreras and J.C. Romero as the setup options. Lidge should be owned in all leagues. Contreras is a good handcuff option (ratio help, too). Lidge hasn't exactly been the healthiest pitcher, even if some adjustments made after his DL stint have helped him.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 3

Mound meetings

  • Matt Capps will remain the Washington Nationals closer. Capps gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning yesterday, and it was his third blown save in his last four outings. Bad defense hurt him again. Also, a borderline call on what would have been a third strike for the second out could have rattled Capps. His next pitch was deposited into the bleachers for a two-run jack.
    A bad slider has been one reason for Capps' recent ineffectiveness, per manager Jim Riggleman. He has allowed at least one run in seven of his last 10 outings. Still, Riggleman isn't blaming him entirely. Tyler Clippard is the relevant short-term speculative pickup, whereas Drew Storen should be acquired if you're looking down the line.
  • Milwaukee Brewers reliever John Axford recorded his fourth save in his last six appearances on Sunday. Pick up the Canadian Ax in any leagues, if he is still available.
    Trevor Hoffman hasn't been used since pitching a scoreless inning Thursday. All owners should stash him on the bench. There's still a good chance he could return to closing duty this season.
  • Huston Street (groin, shoulder) threw a perfect rehab inning last week and is throwing again today. His rehab assignment could be finished by the end of this week. When he is ready to return for the Colorado Rockies, Street will be eased back into the closer's role.
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks' Chad Qualls recorded his first save Saturday since May 22. He's shaky (6.86 ERA, 1.88 WHIP), but the lack of a legit successor outside of Aaron Heilman keeps Qualls' job security at a decent level.
  • San Francisco Giants stopper Brian Wilson blew his second save of the year yesterday and first since April 28. He recorded two outs in the ninth before giving up a single and then two-run homer. He threw 35 pitches, so his availability might be in question today.
  • You might be able to say the same for the Cincinnati Reds' Francisco Cordero. He blew the save yesterday - two hits, two walks for two runs - and has thrown 47 pitches over the last two days.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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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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