Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL

by Tim Heaney on June 14, 2010 @ 03:53:25 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)


Arizona Diamondbacks

Closer: Chad Qualls

Understudy: Aaron Heilman

Arizona Diamondbacks RP Aaron Heilman
Heilman: last man standing?

For the second time in less than a month, manager A.J. Hinch is considering changing his stopper. During his latest discussion, he indirectly pointed to Heilman as a deserving candidate.

After showing progress to start June, Qualls gagged Sunday - his second straight bobble - by giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits while recording just one out. A Qualls fielding error led to the unearned run, so no sympathy there.

Though no official bullpen decision has been made, Qualls hasn't helped his cause, and Hinch is scratching his trigger finger. Heilman would likely be the first to earn a trial and should be your first target.

If he's taken, go Juan Gutierrez. After that, good luck.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • Octavio Dotel allowed a solo home run to blow the Pittsburgh Pirates save chance Sunday. It was his first blown opp since April 28, but he has now given up a run in his last three appearances.
    It's hard to expect a change based on performance, but the vet might be trade deadline bait this year. If you're betting against Dotel, the skilled Evan Meek should be on your radar.
  • Don't plan on having Huston Street (groin, shoulder) in your lineup until next week. He's slated to make three rehab appearances for Triple-A Colorado Springs, the final one coming Saturday before a decision is made on his activation.
    Street will probably be eased back into the closer role, too, so Manuel Corpas should squeeze out some extra interim value following Street's arrival.
  • Brad Lidge hasn't allowed a run in five outings since returning from the DL. He came in with one on and one out Sunday, working around a run-scoring single to wrap up the Philadelphia Phillies' win Sunday.
    In doing so, Lidge recorded his seventh K in his post-DL run, during which he has walked only one. His slider is back.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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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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