Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on June 26, 2009 @ 01:00:01 PDT

 


Also see: Fantasy baseball closer depth charts

In fantasy baseball, the closer position remains volatile. Rarely does every closer hang on to the job for the entire season - injuries, poor performance and managerial decisions can cloud a team's bullpen picture.

Should you be concerned about a struggling stopper? Which setup men are climbing the depth chart? Any lingering injuries popping up? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.

Key

Job Security score
Health score
1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)

Texas Rangers

Closer: C.J. Wilson

Next in line: Frank Francisco

Other possibilities: Darren O'Day, Eddie Guardado, Jason Jennings

Disabled list: Joaquin Benoit

Even though Frank Francisco says he's ready to return to his job, Texas Rangers skipper Ron Washington will still be taking his time working the hurler back into the closer slot. Washington recently said the righty needed to be able to work back-to-back days consistently before being entrusted with the role.

"We know that his stuff is back. That's obvious," Washington said of Francisco. "If Frankie is back healthy, to me he's our closer."

Hasn't Francisco been healthy during his return? Does it matter when he would be used if he's good enough to be activated?

Regardless, Francisco looked like his old self Wednesday but let up two runs in the eighth inning to blow a save opening Thursday (his first botch of the season); this process may be delayed a bit, especially if C.J. Wilson continues to deal and Washington remains hesitant with the injury-prone Francisco. It is Wilson's job until Washington is comfortable with Francisco's health.

The righty presumably may not be available tonight after toeing the mound the last two nights, keeping the designated hierarchy listed above for now.

By the way, the Rangers had to climb down the food chain last night as Jennings wrapped things up in the 13th inning.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 3

Mound meetings

  • Expected Florida Marlins interim closer Leo Nunez (ankle) tossed a side session Thursday and remains day-to-day. The committee to replace him includes the highly skilled Dan Meyer, who should already be owned in deep setups. Kiko Calero (shoulder) has the most career saves of anyone on roster besides Lindstrom, and once he comes off the DL in the near future the righty may steal the temporary (?) job.
  • Since it's a slow day, let's revisit Baltimore Orioles saves speculation: Chris Ray came back to the bigs in OK fashion with 1 2/3 shutout frames Tuesday. Quite the opposite happened Thursday night as he gave up five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. In a world where the O's trade closer George Sherrill, one would think Jim Johnson would get the first shot as a replacement if Ray doesn't come around. There's too much talent resting on Ray's arm to completely dismiss him. 

Also see: Fantasy baseball closer depth charts

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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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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