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.
Ryan Franklin hasn't pitched since Sept. 11, and on Wednesday the righty returned home to tend to a "personal matter," according to the St. Louis Cardinals. Franklin was originally expected to be back this weekend, but skipper Tony La Russa said yesterday he doesn't know when Franklin will return.
Gutierrez showing no signs of slowing
The Cards haven't had a save chance in Franklin's absence and would probably go with a committee approach if one were to come up. If you need to speculate, however, Kyle McClellan is your best fantasy bet, followed by Jason Motte.
- Juan Gutierrez remains a reborn arm following his DL stint. The Arizona Diamondbacks' de facto closer has a 1.35 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP with nine K's in his last 13 games (13 1/3 innings). He's 7-for-7 in save chances in that interim.
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
Don't miss these great reports....