Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Bryce McRae on July 7, 2010 @ 12:45:00 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)

Baltimore Orioles RP Mike Gonzalez
Gonzalez has tears in rotator cuff

Simon blew his second save of the year yesterday. Manager Juan Samuel used him to get out of a jam in the eighth (one out, runner on third), which Simon accomplished. In the ninth, he walked Detroit Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon and gave up a two-run homer to Miguel Cabrera one batter later. After the blown save, Simon escaped without any more damage.

His biggest competition for saves is still on the DL. Gonzalez said he felt no shoulder discomfort in his Tuesday rehab appearance. He threw 13 pitches in a 1-2-3 inning with one K. His fastball velocity has been clocked as high as 94 mph.

Gonzalez's injury is also a bit more serious than the listed strained left shoulder. He has two tears in his rotator cuff and some fraying of the labrum. He said he's making progress physically and that mentally he feels ready. Tears in the rotator cuff are worrisome, though.

He'll throw on consecutive days Friday and Saturday. His final rehab appearance could be next Tuesday. If that goes well, he's hoping to be activated coming out of the All-Star break. Speculate on him in deep mixed and AL-only.

Job security score: 2

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • Mariano Rivera (knee, oblique) won't be pitching in the Midsummer Classic, and the New York Yankees' closer's availability for the rest of the first half is in question. He ruled out a trip to the DL, but said he'd like to take the days off to recover for the second half.
    It's only five games 'til the All-Star break. He shouldn't miss much time. Joba Chamberlain likely would be the one to step in. If saves are tight in your league, you could pounce on him in all leagues to boost that category. Righty David Robertson or southpaw Damaso Marte might also be used to close, but they aren't worth any fantasy consideration.
  • Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks returned to his usual role in the ninth yesterday. Manager Ozzie Guillen called on the righty to close down the White Sox's 4-1 win. Jenks gave up one hit and struck out one in his inning of work.
    Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz are both back to their usual setup roles but still valuable in deep mixed.

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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