Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on September 23, 2010 @ 12:25:00 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? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.

Key

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

 

Oakland Athletics

Closer: Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler

Understudy: Jerry Blevins (shoulder)

Lurkers: Michael Wuertz (finger), Andrew Bailey (elbow)

Bailey will receive word from Dr. James Andrews on his elbow today, but the Athletics' bullpen is now even more battered. Wuertz is day-to-day because of a recurrence of his recent thumb injury and, along with Breslow (workload) and Blevins, was unavailable to close it out against the Chicago White Sox yesterday.

Chicago White Sox RP Matt Thornton
Thornton: ChiSox's 2011 closer?

Ziegler didn't fill in well. Right after he entered in the eighth, Chicago's Juan Pierre stole home. In the ninth with a one-run lead, Ziegler allowed a one-out walk, a two-out, RBI single and a run-scoring double, blowing the lead.

The A's might use Breslow and Ziegler based on matchups, though Breslow has done well against each hitting handedness - unlike Ziegler, whose lefty opponents are hitting .333 against him this year. That makes Breslow the better option if you're speculating.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 3

Mound meetings

  • The Chicago White Sox had an interesting ninth inning Wednesday. Matt Thornton started the frame with a one-run lead after the Sox scored two in the top half - a win sitch, not a save. Thornton let up a two-out single and was removed for J.J. Putz, who promptly allowed a one-bagger. Chris Sale came in with two out and recorded a K for the final out and a save.
    Interestingly enough, Putz came in to face a lefty ahead of Sale, in place for the potential closure. Either way, Sale probably improved his standing with manager Ozzie Guillen even more by cleaning up a mess with two on.
    Also, the ChiSox likely will pick up Thornton's option for 2011, which would make him a prime candidate to close if Bobby Jenks is non-tendered and Sale tries out for and makes the rotation.
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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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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