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: David Hernandez
Understudy: Frank Mata
Disabled list: Alfredo Simon
Surprise: Baltimore had a save opportunity Thursday. The stopper? Hernandez, who interim skipper Juan Samuel said will see chances before Simon (hamstring) returns from the DL.
Hernandez has thrived since moving to the 'pen: 1.23 ERA, six K's in five appearances (7 1/3 frames). The three walks glaringly represent the fireballer's weakness, the other being his tendency to yield flyballs. But if you need a temporary saves fix, pick him up without dropping anything of long-term value ... and hope the O's give him more chances.
Will Ohman will return to his LOOGY-style setup role.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 5
Closer: Bobby Jenks
Understudy: Matt Thornton
The subject of fleeting trade rumors, Jenks worked around a hit for a scoreless save yesterday. The righty has dialed it up in June, striking out six batters without yielding a walk in five outings. In 10 games since May 9, the only three runs he has allowed came in a May 26 blowup.
Jenks owners should start planning ahead to brace for a possible trade. Thornton is the likely replacement for 2010 if Jenks were to be shipped out. The already useful Santos, Chicago's newfound closer of the future, should be your backup target in deeper leagues.
Putz apparently is also on the block, but his recent resurgence (9 2/3 scoreless innings with 11 K's and one walk since May 7) makes him a helpful deep-league reliever regardless of role.
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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