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.
The Philadelphia Phillies' Brad Lidge (elbow) played catch Wednesday without reported issues and expects to be available to pitch Friday "unless something weird happens." That's all well and good, but then there's this: "I'm not waiting for it to be 100 percent," Lidge said. "I'm just waiting for it to be like normal again."
Gutierrez: 2011 closer for Snakes?
As mentioned yesterday, desperate fantasy owners shouldn't ignore Ryan Madson if he's on their waiver wire and they need to tuck away potential saves. Lidge's elbow issues this year should give his owners pause.
- After his Wednesday save (one inning, one hit allowed, one K), Juan Gutierrez has converted all five of his save opportunities (over a course of 19 days). In his last 10 1/3 frames of work, he has allowed just one opposing tally. He's making a strong case to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks' job next spring.
- The San Diego Padres' Heath Bell had pitched on the two days prior to Wednesday's game, but the Fathers didn't wind up needing him last night. Luke Gregerson earned a save by holding a four-run lead over the final 1 2/3 innings.
This is a boon for those in leagues where Gregerson's setup value could pay off down the stretch. He has had issues with his arsenal and his overall performance lately, and maybe identifying the issues with the former will return him to a valuable ratio entity.
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.
Don't miss these great reports....