Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on April 29, 2010 @ 15:07:00 PDT


Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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)


Texas Rangers

Closer: Neftali Feliz

Understudy: Frank Francisco

Texas Rangers RP Frank Francisco
Francisco back in favor? Not yet

Feliz had another rough save opp Wednesday, giving up two runs on three hits, but he managed to close things out. The righty said he's being plagued by shaky location and a reluctance to challenge hitters in the strike zone. Manager Ron Washington is sticking by Feliz as his primary closer, but Feliz is likely unavailable Thursday given how he has struggled pitching on back-to-back days.

Darren Oliver was available for a save if needed Wednesday. Francisco was also on call even though he pitched in back-to-back affairs. Despite his current support for Feliz, Washington maintains that getting Francisco on the right track is the key to their bullpen success. That might mean more frequent saves for the deposed stopper sooner rather than later.

"Frankie is the one guy we know we can put out there three days in a row, and he can shut the game down," Washington said. " ... Right now, at the end of the game we just have to do what we have to do to get the three outs until somebody steps up and really establishes himself. When Feliz is available, we're going to give the ball to him. When Frankie is ready, we'll give the ball to him."

Grab Francisco now.

Job security score: 2

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • Kerry Wood (back) tossed a 35-pitch bullpen session Tuesday and is scheduled for a Friday outing. If there are no setbacks, the Cleveland Indians could activate him in 10 to 14 days. This makes him unlikely to be in your Week 5 lineups. Week 6? Stay tuned. 
  • Tightness in the middle of Jonathan Papelbon's back kept the righty out of a Tuesday save appearance for the Boston Red Sox. He had also pitched in five of the previous seven games, but Paps said he was tired and fatigued. He locked things down in Wednesday's win and seems to be OK.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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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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