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.
|Job security (JS) score
||1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
|Health (H) score
||1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)
Closer: Alfredo Simon
Understudy: Mike Gonzalez
Lurkers: Koji Uehara, Jason Berken
Gonzalez: in waivers limbo?
Manager Buck Showalter poured some cement on Simon's status as stopper Tuesday: Simon isn't losing his closing job entirely, but there will be times where the skipper will throw in situational saves work for other relievers. Showalter already admitted he isn't committed to labeling a solo closer, so this isn't entirely a surprise.
What is slightly interesting is Gonzalez's recent placement on waivers. His $6 million price tag for 2011 gives this justification, and the Boston Red Sox reportedly have interest if Gonzalez can make it to them in the process. There's still cause to speculate on Gonzo, but you should be prepared to cut bait if he goes to an unfavorable saves situation outside of Baltimore. Setup duty for a contender, a la Kerry Wood, is possible.
Simon owners should hold on for now. Uehara and Berken are speculative cases in AL-only but probably won't provide enough value to be worth long-term mixed league attention.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 4
- Andrew Bailey (rib) threw from 100 feet Tuesday and is aiming to move to 120 feet Wednesday. He's probably a few more days away from returning to throwing off a mound, and his timetable to return to the Oakland Athletics isn't clear just yet.
Michael Wuertz - and, if necessary, maybe Craig Breslow or Brad Ziegler - will continue to handle save duties.
- Bobby Jenks returned to in-game pitching Tuesday for the first time since his Aug. 5 blowup, working around a hit to throw a scoreless frame during a Chicago White Sox blowout loss. Manager Ozzie Guillen has stood his ground in saying that Jenks needs to put together an uneventful string of outings before reclaiming saves chances from J.J. Putz and others.
- Guess it had to happen at some point, right? Mariano Rivera, trying to preserve a New York Yankees tie in the bottom of the 10th Tuesday, gave up three hits and a walk in surrendering the game-losing run. It was just the second time he had given up a run in his last 28 appearances.
Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL
Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL
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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