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.
- Francisco Cordero book-ended a Saturday win with a blown save Friday (two runs, four hits in one-third of an inning) and Sunday (three runs on three hits and a walk in one frame). The Cincinnati Reds' righty is now 35-for-43 in save chances this year. Despite his recent struggles, Cordero said he doesn't have mechanical problems. A hanging slider led to the three-run double that cost Cincy Sunday's contest.
Aroldis Chapman? Don't get ahead of yourself. Nick Masset? Please. Coco should continue to be Cincy's stopper for the rest of the fantasy season, even if he receives a brief break here and there.
- Clay Hensley made up for his long drought since replacing Leo Nunez (neck) as Florida Marlins stopper. The former recorded three saves (three combined shutout innings, one hit, one walk) over the weekend.
Nunez, meanwhile, returned Friday in eighth-inning work. He was scheduled to pitch in the seventh Saturday, but he wasn't needed thanks to a solid Anibal Sanchez effort. Nunez was also available Sunday, and if he progresses well on the mound, he might at least regain some save chances before the end of the season. Hang on to both Hensley and Nunez.
Hisanori Takahashi ran his scoreless appearance streak to 11 after a one-inning save Saturday. He'll close for the New York Mets to finish out 2010, and deservedly so.
Reds don't need to stir Coco?
- Joel Hanrahan (Pittsburgh Pirates) split his save chances over the weekend. He blew Saturday's outing (one inning, one run, two hits and a walk) but worked around two-out trouble (hit batsman, single, walk) in recording the final out with the bases loaded Sunday. Hanny also pitched Friday.
Evan Meek hasn't had a save chance since Aug. 24. So much for that competition between the two.
- Breaking news: Brandon Lyon gave up three runs (two earned) Saturday in non-save work. During his save chance Sunday? A perfect inning. Typically better in save sitches than non-, the Houston Astros' righty continues to make Matt Lindstrom disposable in mixed leagues.
- Trevor Hoffman's pomp and circumstance was nice and all, but John Axford reclaimed his role Sunday with 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball (one walk, two K's). The Milwaukee Brewers' righty hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 11 outings (14 1/3 innings, 20 K's, 11 walks). Hoff might see some off-hand chances for the rest of the year, but this is Ax's saves forest.
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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