Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL

by Tim Heaney on April 16, 2010 @ 12:00:00 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? 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)

 

Arizona Diamondbacks

Closer: Chad Qualls

Understudy: Juan Gutierrez

Qualls botched the save chance against the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday - his second gaffe in as many nights - by blowing a two-run lead in the ninth. After recording back-to-back outs, he gave up three straight singles. On the last one-bagger, shortstop Stephen Drew came in on a tough grounder and threw the ball into the stands, allowing the tying run to score. An on-target throw or an "eat it" probably would've held the save-blowing run at third.

Despite the E6, Qualls once again backed himself into a corner. He has allowed four earned runs and seven hits, including five hits and all three of his walks in his last two games (49 pitches), in 4 1/3 innings. Qualls owners must stay put - his leash is still pretty long, and he's still posting a solid groundball rate.

Picking up the hot-starting Gutierrez, however, is a good idea if you have a spot to speculate. The righty saved eight consecutive opps to end last season after Qualls was sidelined with a broken kneecap in late August.

Gutierrez might at least grab a closing sitch if Qualls is rested tonight or in the near future; the former has also pitched two straight days but only needed 21 pitches to get through two innings.

Arizona Diamondbacks RP Chad Qualls
Will the Qualls come crashing down?

Job security score: 4

Health score: 3

Mound meetings

  • Shaky defense on two balls hit to right field added unnecessary drama to Trevor Hoffman's Thursday appearance. With the Milwaukee Brewers holding a three-run lead in the ninth, Corey Hart misplayed a ball in a windy right field that produced a one-out double.
    Hoffman induced a groundout before another "double" fell between Hart and second baseman Rickie Weeks. A warning-track flyout ended the affair. Hoffman's job is safe unless he's injured or melts down; speculative order: LaTroy Hawkins, Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey.
  • Matt Capps' fourth straight save conversion came Thursday on three days' rest in a five-out wrap-up versus the Philadelphia Phillies. It was adventuresome. He retired the last two hitters he faced in the eighth but gave up his first run of the season on a solo jack in the ninth. After allowing a single, he retired Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth.

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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