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.
Brandon League once again filled in admirably for Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma (oblique) with a scoreless one-inning closure Tuesday. Aardsma had to cancel his scheduled session of catch Tuesday because of discomfort in his left oblique.
Mo works on the little things
Aardsma might miss the last few games, which would leave League and Daniel Cortes (when League needs a break) to wrap things up. Cortes is a last-gasp pickup for those who missed out on League.
- It was another adventure for Fernando Rodney, but despite giving up a single and a walk with two outs, the righty preserved a two-run win for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday.
Potential successors Kevin Jepsen (seventh inning) and Jordan Walden (eighth), meanwhile, each tossed a scoreless frame. They reminded fantasy owners of the potential tumult in this bullpen for 2011. Rodney is far from safe long term.
- Bobby Jenks (forearm) hasn't pitched since Sept. 4 for the Chicago White Sox but threw a bullpen session Monday without discomfort. He's hoping he can pitch in at least one more game this season to boost his chances of closing for the ChiSox or another club in 2011. He might not be tendered a contract by Chicago this offseason; the team is likely bringing back Matt Thornton and might turn in-house or to another source for saves if they don't think Jenks deserves what he would make via arbitration.
Thornton and Chris Sale provide the best odds for saves in the final few days.
- Mariano Rivera marked the last two outs in the New York Yankees' playoff berth-clinching victory, entering the Tuesday game with two on and one out while staked to a five-run lead. In his non-save work, Rivera had a chance to work on how he grips his cutter, a talking point during his recent session with pitching coach Dave Eiland.
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.
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