Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on April 8, 2011 @ 20:10:00 PDT


What are the odds that you still own the same relief pitchers you rostered in your fantasy baseball draft?'s Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series gives you a no-nonsense perspective on performances, injuries and managerial decisions from MLB bullpens. Get your arm loose: Let's find fantasy baseball players who'll get saves in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league.


Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)


Washington Nationals

Closer: Sean Burnett

Understudy: Drew Storen

Lurkers: Tyler Clippard, Todd Coffey

Tampa Bay Rays RP Kyle Farnsworth
Farnsie has a little comp

They're still feeling out the bullpen roles. Just because he said last week he wanted Burnett available for the ninth didn't mean Jim Riggleman doesn't also want Storen ready, depending on the situation.

"Early on here, we'll continue to look who's coming up," the skipper said after Thursday's game. "If we just had nothing but two right-handers who could hit the ball out of the ballpark, I might want Storen facing them. If it was a left-hander who could hit it out of the ballpark mixed in there, I'd probably have Burnett face them."

Burnett etched another clean save in extra innings Thursday (one hit, one K in a scoreless frame). Storen continued to improve. He whiffed three in two perfect innings, displaying sound location of his heat, which reached 97 mph. He has tempered his slider usage overall, but he mixed that in effectively last night and is increasing its damage.

Riggs said he would've still left Storen in for a save chance Thursday had the opportunity come up in the ninth, just because he was pitching so well. Burnett still has the slight lead here, but it shouldn't shock you if the preference flip-flopped in the near future.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 5

Mound meetings

  • As Keith Hernandez said, Joel Peralta has appeared in the ninth inning twice for the Tampa Bay Rays. Unfortunately, we can't tell fully if he's the best option to close; the Rays haven't seen a save chance yet. Arrangements in losing efforts don't always jive with those in a winning situation.
    He's still widely available, though, and remains a sneaky add that has at least an equal shot of seeing the majority of saves in this 'pen as the spring favorite Kyle Farnsworth or fawned-over youngster Jake McGee.
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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

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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