Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on June 30, 2009 @ 00:00:00 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)

 

Florida Marlins

Closer: Leo Nunez

Next in line: Dan Meyer

Other possibilities: Brian Sanches

Disabled list: Matt Lindstrom, Kiko Calero, Scott Proctor

Well, it was Meyer who entered the ninth in a save situation, but two outs and two hits later, Nunez (ankle) surfaced to retire the right-handed Josh Willingham and earn a one-out save. They probably didn't plan on using him, but they have to be encouraged that he did the job under duress.

Reports say Nunez's right ankle was still a bit tender when he was on the mound. Now that Nunez has proven himself in a pressure spot, manager Fredi Gonzalez may give him the majority of chances, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Meyer in there if the matchup dictates it.

Meyer has been the more helpful ratio reliever this year, and although Nunez will probably regain his interim role, it wouldn't hurt to own either arm right now, depending on which stat you need more.

Job security score: 2

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • J.P. Howell was unavailable after pitching in each of the previous three days, allowing Randy Choate to close the door for the Tampa Bay Rays last night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Dan Wheeler had stayed on after working the last two outs of the eighth inning but yielded a two-out single to lefty masher Adam Lind. Choate then came in and retired lefty first baseman Lyle Overbay for his third one-out save this year. This will continue to be Choate's M.O. for stealing wrap-ups.
  • The Chicago Cubs' Kevin Gregg didn't allow a baserunner in his Monday save while bringing his June ERA down to 2.77. Opponents are hitting .163 against him this month.
  • Trevor Hoffman needed just one pitch to induce a double-play groundball and clean up a horrific mess made by fellow Milwaukee Brewer Carlos Villanueva. Todd Coffey has remained effective (2.63 ERA) but has become more of a matchup play; left-handed bats have strummed their bats against him to the tune of a .345 average. Southpaw Mitch Stetter, on the other hand, has made 15 straight scoreless appearances; he has posted a 2.39 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings and impressive opponents' averages against both lefties (.111) and righties (.179). It's conceivable that he's the club's best alternative were the geriatric Hoffman to take a leave of absence.
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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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