Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on August 30, 2010 @ 14:00:00 PDT


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?'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)


Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Closer: Fernando Rodney

Understudy: Kevin Jepsen

Lurkers: Jordan Walden

Obligatory notice: With Brian Fuentes sent to the Minnesota Twins, Rodney will close for the rest of the season, per general manager Tony Reagins and common sense. Pick up Rodney everywhere; the righty, who filled in admirably during Fuentes' early-season DL stint, has turned things back on and has usually performed better in save situations than non-.

The Halos have punted for 2010, so they might mix in Jepsen and Walden to see what they have, though they might just hang on to Rodney as stopper next year.

Job security score: 4

Health score: 5

Minnesota Twins

Closer: Matt Capps

Understudy: Brian Fuentes, Jesse Crain

Lurkers: Jon Rauch

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Fernando Rodney
Rodney back in the 9th again

Don't be so quick to drop Fuentes yet, even in his new location. Manager Ron Gardenhire probably enjoys having a closer-capable lefty in the back of his 'pen now. Gardy didn't waste time, throwing in Fuentes for a one-out closure Saturday against lefty-hitting Seattle Mariners bopper Russell Branyan.

Maybe they just wanted to initiate Fuentes quickly, but maybe - just maybe - Fuentes could steal a few saves from here on out as an alternative to Capps. Gauge his value to your team and saves standings before deciding what to do with him.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 5

Mound meetings

  • David Aardsma's ribs are reportedly OK. The Seattle Mariners' righty pitched Friday night in non-save work before recording a save Sunday, when he worked around a hit by inducing a game-ending double play. Aardsma has a 1.13 ERA in 16 frames since the All-Star break, partially thanks to emphasizing first-pitch strikes and adding a new breaking pitch to his fastball-slider approach.
  • After being placed on waivers last week, Kevin Gregg blew a Toronto Blue Jays save chance Friday (one run on three hits) but came on for a one-out closure Saturday. Gregg joined Scott Downs and Jason Frasor on trade waiver placement; all three arms were claimed, but no report yet on by whom or whether a transaction will be worked out.
    Stay tuned; there's a chance this saves picture could shuffle with the waiver trade deadline landing tomorrow.
  • Koji Uehara is tightening his hold on the Baltimore Orioles' closer job, thanks to saves Friday and Sunday (a one-pitch, one-out job). Mike Gonzalez remains the secondary option to chase.
  • If your standings position for saves is stable, consider sitting Jose Valverde until he puts together a few improved outings. The Detroit Tigers' closer continued his second-half meltdown Sunday by allowing three singles and a three-run jack.
    He was pitching with a 10-1 lead, so he might've been testing some things out, but fantasy owners don't appreciate that the same way coaches do.
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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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