Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL

by Tim Heaney on September 16, 2010 @ 12:00:00 PDT

 


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.

Mound meetings

  • Francisco Cordero gave up a run and two hits in an inning last night but still recorded the save. Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker said he has no plans to use Aroldis Chapman as closer this season. Despite Coco's struggles, Baker values the righty's experience in that role, and Chapman's place in late setup innings is probably too valuable to them in making Cordero's job easier.
    Though Baker might be reluctant to make a change, Chapman is likely on deck if Cordero pushes Baker to the brink. Though that's unlikely to happen in time to make a huge fantasy dent, Chapman isn't a terrible option to speculate on. He can help you without saves this late anyway.
  • Brad Lidge appeared in non-save work last night, and it showed. The Philadelphia Phillies' closer entered in the ninth with a six-run lead and allowed one hit and three walks (including a run-scoring free pass). Just eight of the 23 pitches he threw were strikes.
    Jose Contreras entered after Lidge plunked home a run. The former cleaned up the mess with a K and a ground-out.
    Lidge didn't blow a save; he made things interesting with a big lead. This shouldn't be a threat to his job, which he has done rather neatly of late.
  • Cincinnati Reds P Aroldis Chapman
    Sorry, old Chapman, no SVOs yet
    Brandon Lyon botched a save chance for the Houston Astros Wednesday, allowing at least one run for the third time in his last four appearances. Lyon, who has taken an in-game mound on six of the last seven days, started the ninth with a K, but then allowed two doubles to score the tying run.
    Matt Lindstrom, who has pitched on five of the last six days, didn't fare much better in the 10th, allowing two runs on three hits without a recording an out to take the loss. Luckily, the Astros have today off to rest both relievers, meaning Lyon should be back in saves duty when needed again.
  • Drew Storen converted his fourth save in five chances for the Washington Nationals this season with a scoreless, nine-pitch inning Wednesday. The Nats don't offer many save chances - it was his first since Aug. 29 - but Storen remains the better bet for mixed leagues than fellow option Sean Burnett, who hasn't received an opp since Aug. 13.
  • With his scoreless inning of save work on Wednesday, the Colorado Rockies' Huston Street hasn't allowed a run in his last 10 outings while recording seven saves and 13 K's. Street has improved the velocity on his fastball and slider as his health has returned, making him able to throw inside with confidence.
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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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