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: Alfredo Simon
Understudy: Mike Gonzalez
Gonzalez was activated from the DL and will be eased back into pressure situations. Simon, on the other hand, probably needs a break after 2 2/3 innings and 44 pitches last night. He finally relented in his third inning of work, giving up the go-ahead run in the 10th. The O's ended up pulling it out in the bottom of the 13th.
Simon had his longest outing of the season. This is probably an example of leaving your best pitcher in for as long as possible to give yourself a good chance to win. That probably destroys his chances of coming in today if needed, though he threw only eight pitches Monday.
Gonzo, meanwhile, will probably need to work his way back into closing. Despite making things interesting, Simon has been solid otherwise this year (3.31 ERA, seven of eight save chances converted since his return from the DL).
Gonzalez is worth owning in deeps on the chance he works his way back, but his return to saves might not come as soon as many think. Maybe Gonzo's contract could force Baltimore's hand in making him closer again, but Simon's success might override that, since ... well, the O's need all the success they can get.
Job security score: 2
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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