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.
Closer: Brad Lidge (elbow)
Understudy: Ryan Madson
Lidge will likely be unavailable until at least Friday with soreness in his pitching elbow - yes, the one that was surgically repaired and marred the early part of his 2010 season. Manager Charlie Manuel said he's a little concerned because he said Lidge's elbow was tender, but the pitcher said he pitched through it Monday and said he'll "definitely" return Friday.
Lidge said this malady isn't the same issue from earlier in the season, "but instead of trying to throw through the pain and maybe make it worse, we decided I should take two nights off."
Madson recorded the win last night - but not until after he blew a save chance when he threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded. He entered with the sacks jacked, so he didn't create the whole mess.
Madson should be picked up in deep leagues. Shallow leaguers can, too, if they have the space; given Lidge's history of elbow issues - and recent frequent use - this might linger past Friday. Contreras and Romero aren't worth acquiring for the category unless Lidge hits the DL; even then, it's a stretch.
Job security score: 4
Health score: 3
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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