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: Aaron Heilman
Qualls entered the ninth with a three-run advantage Monday. Despite loading the bases on three walks, he shut the door on 26 pitches for his second straight successful conversion.
Don't exhale fully yet: He had also complained about holes in the mound's dirt affecting the positioning of his push-off foot. More importantly, reports noted Qualls' fastball wasn't sinking but instead was cutting out of the strike zone. The downward motion is the righty's meal ticket. What if that disappears?
Manager A.J. Hinch said he might've yanked Qualls if he hadn't induced a double play from the final batter. Though Qualls remains on shaky ground, no one besides Heilman is a threat for saves. The latter should be grabbed everywhere for those who are desperate; he has proven effective even without save chances.
Job security score: 3
Health score: 4
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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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