Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on June 14, 2010 @ 03:56:44 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? 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)

 

Baltimore Orioles

Closer: Alfredo Simon

Understudy: David Hernandez

Simon was activated from the DL on Monday. He probably won't pitch today and might be eased back into save chances, but skipper Juan Samuel said Simon is his top choice to close when he's ready. Simon earned that when he admirably filled in before being sidelined.

Hernandez will continue to see work in save situations - possibly even after Simon returns to the role, especially when Simon pitches on back-to-back days.

Add Simon everywhere. Though the O's aren't funneling many closures, Hernandez is intriguing enough for save-hungry rosters if you're running out of options.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 4

Seattle Mariners

Closer: David Aardsma

Understudy: Brandon League

Lurkers: Shawn Kelley

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Aardsma to receive more work

Aardsma had a rough Friday, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning to blow the Seattle Mariners save. His previous outing, June 6, saw him yield three runs on three hits in the same workload.

Despite Friday's blowup and speculation of one squad scouting him, Aardsma received a vote of confidence from skipper Don Wakamatsu, who also said he might use Aardsma in more non-save spots to avoid long layoffs.

The M's offered a cheap confidence boost Sunday by letting the righty punctuate the final out of a two-run victory. Aardsma appears safe for now, but if you're hoping for him to lose the job, League should be your target.

Job security score: 4

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • Just a bad day, per Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz after he was pulled from a save chance Saturday. After sitting down the first batter, he yielded two singles and two walks. With the bases loaded, manager Ron Washington yanked Feliz to give Chris Ray an opportunity. He wrapped things up.
    That outing was Feliz's second in eight Texas games; he only has four appearances in June. Washington says Feliz is still his closer.
  • Despite pitching with a swollen left wrist, which was caused when he was struck by a grounder Friday, Bobby Jenks worked a save Saturday. The Chicago White Sox righty didn't make it easy, though, giving up a run on a walk and a single before escaping with a one-run advantage. He fanned two.
  • Brian Fuentes closed things out Saturday and Sunday for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, giving up just one hit and one walk while fanning two in total. The lefty, whose secondary stuff has likely helped his turnaround, has not allowed an earned run in six of his last seven outings, fanning 10 and walking three in that time.
    Though it might be a good time to sell high on him if you're set in saves, he's doing his best to hold off Fernando Rodney. The Halos have stuck with Fuentes through rougher times.
  • The Cleveland Indians turned to Chris Perez Friday for a five-out save with a five-run lead. He worked around a two-out, ninth-inning walk in an otherwise pleasantly uneventful performance.
    Closer Kerry Wood blew a save Thursday night, but the conditions of Perez's save don't warrant any concern over Wood's security. However, Perez, who's next in line, should be at your fingertips if you're yearning for saves - if you don't already own him for his deep league roto utility. 

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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