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.
- The Evan Meek portion of the Pittsburgh Pirates' closer competition rolls on. Meek was strong in shutting the door with a scoreless inning Tuesday, his fourth appearance in the last five days. Joel Hanrahan once again came on in the eighth to set him up. Both helpful relievers must be owned, even if Meek sees the rest of Pittsburgh's 2010 save chances.
It wasn't a save situation last night (five-run lead entering the ninth), but the Washington Nationals didn't hesitate to pull Drew Storen after he let up a one-out homer and a two-out walk. Sean Burnett came in and needed just one pitch to retire the Houston Astros' Geoff Blum to end it.
Transition: Hanrahan (L) to Meek
Manager Jim Riggleman pulled Storen because the switch-hitting Blum has been much worse against lefties on the year. Riggleman was "a little more confident" that Burnett could get that last out and reinforced that the Nats don't have an official stopper. Burnett still warrants a speculation pickup for saves ... and he has been helpful with fantasy ratios, too.
- Leo Nunez owners should think about cutting ties at this point if they can't wait until he regains the closer job and there are better potential options on the waiver wire. The Florida Marlins aren't offering consistent save chances, and Clay Hensley has been steady in the role while replacing Nunez. Hensley recorded another save - 4-for-4 this month - with a scoreless frame yesterday.
- Good thing Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker is still cuckoo for Coco. Francisco Cordero made things interesting again Tuesday, allowing a leadoff single, hitting a batter with one out and giving up an RBI single with an error-granted run coming on the same play.
- Juan Gutierrez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning Tuesday and has now converted all eight of his save chances for the Arizona Diamondbacks since his activation from the DL Aug. 18.
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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