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.
- Bobby Jenks was in line to throw a bullpen session Wednesday to determine if he could pitch at some point in the final days this season. Stick with KFFL.com's Hot off the Wire for the results of that workout - if he's unable to go, you can free up a roster spot for the final few days for that spot starter or hitter you've been craving.
Meanwhile, Matt Thornton wrapped up the Chicago White Sox's Wednesday win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. Since he pitched more than one inning, he might not be available for a save chance tonight, meaning Chris Sale, who pitched two innings Tuesday, could step in if needed.
Checking in: Matt Capps has converted his last 12 save chances (2.25 ERA, 1.06 WHIP in his last 16 innings) and 15 of his 17 with the Minnesota Twins. His long-term stock looks shaky with the impending return of Joe Nathan (elbow) in 2011 and the Twins' other financial concerns with their 'pen. Will Capps close next year? If saves are an issue for your dynasty team, start thinking ahead.
Another long-term closer sitch to watch: After a Wednesday closure, Koji Uehara hasn't allowed a hit, run or walk in his last five appearances (five innings, 11 K's) since his Sept. 17 gaffe for the Baltimore Orioles. His command is impeccable: 52 K's, five walks.
Have you been holding Jenks?
Will Baltimore bring him back? Arbitration is possible. Maybe the O's make Mike Gonzalez earn at least some of his paycheck, but this will be a long-lasting issue this offseason. Cover your bases, Uehara keeper owners.
- Daniel Cortes' first major league save chance could've gone better. He entered for the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday with two on and one out in the eighth with a three-run lead. He registered two straight walks followed by a single and a wild pitch, which amounted to three runs allowed and a blown save.
Cortes stayed on in a tied game in the ninth inning and recorded a two-out strikeout, but a wild pitch allowed the runner to reach. Oh, and the errant throw to first by catcher Guillermo Quiroz allowed the runner who was on first to score. Cortes probably won't make much of a fantasy impact in 2011 unless he lucks into save chances behind David Aardsma and Brandon League (maybe just one, depending).
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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