Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Bryce McRae on June 28, 2010 @ 14:30:00 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)


Baltimore Orioles

Closer: Alfredo Simon

Disabled list: Mike Gonzalez (shoulder)

Simon notched two saves (and a win) in the O's series against the Washington Nationals. Neither of Simon's saves was particularly shaky; he didn't yield any hits and walked only one batter in the two innings. Manager Juan Samuel also trusted him yesterday despite Simon having worked the previous two games.

Boston Red Sox RP Jonathan Papelbon
Tinkering Paps

Gonzalez reached 90-91 mph on his fastball yesterday during a two-run, one-inning rehab appearance with Class A Aberdeen. That's still a bit lower than his usual average fastball velocity, but he is hoping to return this Friday, if all goes well.

Whether Gonzo returns to the closer role immediately remains to be seen, but Simon's tenure might not have much more life despite his capable performance in the role.

Job security score: 2

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • The Chicago White Sox will be without closer Bobby Jenks for at least a couple of more days. He was placed on the bereavement list yesterday and will be out three to seven days.
    Matt Thornton will likely earn the save chances in Jenks' absence. J.J. Putz, who locked down a save chance Saturday, June 20, might also be called upon. The former is the better bet.
  • Jonathan Papelbon returned to his usual self with a perfect save Saturday. The Boston Red Sox's closer received last Friday off, partly to work on some minor adjustments. Per pitching coach John Farrell, Paps has been a bit more east-to-west in his delivery rather than direct with his arm action. It was one reason the splitter Colorado Rockies slugger Jason Giambi hit for a homer last week flattened out.
    Don't let Paps' two midweek meltdowns last week hide the fact he has been one of the top closers this year. His K/9 is down, but he still has solid ratios and is among the league leaders in saves.
  • The Cleveland Indians' Kerry Wood quieted some of his critics yesterday with a scoreless, three-K save. The Tribe's closer was making his first appearance since blowing his third save last Wednesday. He'll probably need a few more appearances like Sunday's if Cleveland is to have any chance of moving his $10.5 million salary.
  • Brandon League saved the Seattle Mariners' victory Saturday. He struck out one in one inning of work. Closer David Aardsma was away from the team to be with his wife, who went into labor. He's expected to be available Tuesday.
  • Andrew Bailey wasn't as secure in the ninth yesterday as he usually is. He gave up two hits and one walk but escaped with his 14th save. The final out was a single that hit Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez as he was running to second.

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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