Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on July 21, 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?'s Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.

Mound meetings

  • Frank Francisco (pneumonia) returned to his second home yesterday when he was placed on the DL with a mild case of what's in parentheses. C.J. Wilson wasted no time once again answering the Texas Rangers' call with a four-out, two-whiff save Monday. Francisco can come off the DL Sunday given the favorable retroactivity, so there's no reason to panic here unless his case worsens. You'll just have to wait it out.
  • In the meantime, Wilson provides temporary saves help but won't be a cure-all for your closure woes.
  • In a wild contest, Michael Wuertz picked up a wild save for the Oakland Athletics Monday (Michael Cuddyer was clearly safe). Closer Andrew Bailey (knee) chucked 29 pitches the previous day, so he was unavailable. The A's have been shopping Wuertz, who'd be a solid addition for single-universe setups if he were to switch leagues. It also looks like he's next in line for Oakland saves, too, supplanting Brad Ziegler.
  • Bailey also had a lubricant injection in his sore left knee and could be available tonight.
  • Not that they're giving many save chances, but the Washington Nationals will be going with a closer-by-committee setup under new skipper Jim Riggleman. A mix of Mike MacDougal, Joe Beimel and possibly Sean Burnett (against a slew of lefty hitters) will be considered. You should be glad if you don't have to swim in these waters. If you do, Beimel would be the best bet because of his command, followed by MacDougal and Burnett.
  • Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Broxton might need a breather
  • Expect a breather for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Jonathan Broxton (toe) and Ramon Troncoso if setup and save duties are needed tonight; both were used each of the last three days. In a save chance, we'd look for Guillermo Mota, who has allowed one earned run and five walks while notching 15 K's in 25 innings since May. However, Mota threw 34 pitches Sunday, so they may go with a matchup play if he isn't up to it.
  • Florida Marlins righty Leo Nunez had an uneventful ninth for his fifth save of the season. Kiko Calero entered in the seventh inning, followed by a Dan Meyer/Brendan Donnelly combo in the eighth. Meyer faced two lefties and a switch-hitter, while Donnelly faced a right-handed bat.
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks have been reportedly shopping closer Chad Qualls, asking for a starting pitching prospect in return. If you're into prospecting (who isn't?) you may want to grab Jon Rauch in NL setups or deep mixed leagues if you're desperate.
  • The Cleveland Indians are reportedly listening to offers for stopper Kerry Wood. They also may make righty Rafael Betancourt available for trade due to his 2010 option. If Betancourt isn't shopped, he'd probably receive the chance to close if Wood were to be dealt; otherwise we may see Chris Perez revisit the role, as dangerous as that sounds. The Indians aren't exactly contending, so maybe they'll throw him into the fire.
  • Deep NL-only players may have received a gift Monday as Chad Durbin picked up a three-inning save while holding a 9-1 lead for the Philadelphia Phillies. That's a Jerome Holtzman Special.

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 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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