Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on July 1, 2009 @ 03:21:44 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.

Mound meetings

  • C.J. Wilson and Frank Francisco made things messy in what should have been a big Texas Rangers win. Wilson pegged the last two outs in the eighth inning but soon faltered while carrying a six-run advantage into the ninth. He loaded the bases before Francisco came in to allow two of Wilson's runners to score; the replacement recovered by fanning two straight batters to end the game. Hopefully this means skipper Ron Washington will let Frankie close again; Washington has already waited too long.
  • Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox lost the matchup game against the Philadelphia Phillies last night. Southpaw Mike Gonzalez retired Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and outfielder Jayson Werth to start the eighth frame, but back-to-back right-handed home runs followed. Gonzalez remains suffocating against both hands this year: Righties are hitting .220 against him, lefties, .236. By the way, Rafael Soriano pitched a one-two-three ninth while also facing both hands.
  • In the Lastings Milledge-Nyjer Morgan trade, the Washington Nationals sent Joel Hanrahan to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who in turn sent lefty Sean Burnett to the Beltway for middle-relief duties. Not to say Hanny's arrival gives them more reason to trade closer Matt Capps, but the Pirates seem to be in a selling mood. This doesn't mean you should speculate on Hanrahan - just observe from far away.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays' J.P. Howell returned to being the official unofficial stopper Tuesday with a scoreless ninth.
  • It was also a rough night for the Boston Red Sox bullpen, which began coughing up a nine-run lead in the seventh and included a Jonathan Papelbon BS in the eighth en route to a loss. Don't think this is a permanent development; Boston's 'pen leads the league with a 3.24 ERA. 

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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