Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL

by Tim Heaney on August 4, 2010 @ 11:25:00 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.

Key

Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)

 

Pittsburgh Pirates

Closer: Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek

With a Tuesday closure, Hanrahan was the first to land saves booty post-Octavio Dotel. Meek was used for the previous two innings (50 pitches). Hanny worked around a leadoff single, recording three straight outs to follow, including ending with two K's.

Arizona Diamondbacks RP Aaron Heilman
Heilman again heads the hierarchy

General manager Neal Huntington recently stated that if both relievers were available, Hanrahan would receive the nod because of experience. The righty has better closer stuff.

While this doesn't rule out Meek receiving save chances, it probably puts Hanrahan first in the hierarchy for now. Follow the depth chart order when picking them up, if they're somehow still available.

Job security score: 4

Health score: 5

Arizona Diamondbacks

Closer: Committee

Understudy: Aaron Heilman

Lurkers: Jordan Norberto, Sam Demel

Disabled list: Juan Gutierrez (shoulder)

Brace yourselves: Heilman is now considered the best bet for saves in this ever-changing 'pen. In all fairness, Heilman hasn't allowed a run over his last five appearances (7 1/3 innings), during which he has walked two and fanned seven.

When interim manager Kirk Gibson was asked to name a closer? "Nice try," he replied. But he also said Heilman would probably shut things down based on recent events. Gibson also said Norberto could be in the mix.

In other words, Heilman is worth a deep league pickup - and maybe Norberto in NLs - but it'll take more than them to help your saves needs.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • Jonathan Broxton recovered from his Saturday stumble, working around a hit and what became an intentional walk to keep the scoreboard clean Tuesday during a Los Angeles Dodgers save. The righty had a 10.80 ERA in five post-break appearances before last night, during which he was back to pumping mid-90s heat.
  • John Axford was partially bailed out by a Chicago Cubs base-running gaffe. He allowed a leadoff double and a one-out, run-scoring single, but the Cubs' Starlin Castro was thrown out at second; then Ax recorded a K to end it for his 16th save in 17 opps. No signs yet that Trevor Hoffman will resume his quest for 600.
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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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