Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on July 24, 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)

Colorado Rockies

Closer: Huston Street

Next in line: Rafael Betancourt, Matt Daley

Other possibilities: Joel Peralta, Franklin Morales, Juan Rincon, Jhoulys Chacin

Disabled list: Taylor Buchholz, Alan Embree, Manuel Corpas

Huston Street, Colorado Rockies
Street given help in Rox bullpen

The Rockies reworked their Street support group with the news that Corpas (elbow) will probably be out until September. They acquired Betancourt from the Cleveland Indians and called up one of their top prospects, Chacin, from Double-A Tulsa.

Chacin logged a 1.84 ERA with 10 K's in 14 2/3 frames in July. Coming off a DL stint, Betancourt has a 2.61 ERA since April.

Both could realistically garner productive reliever time for NL-only players. Betancourt would presumably stand closer to a save chance and is probably the better first pickup in this 'pen.

Job security score: 5

Health score: 4

Mound meetings 

  • Texas Rangers closer Frank Francisco (pneumonia) isn't expected to be activated Sunday. Stay tuned next week for an update. Keep C.J. Wilson in your lineups; we know how DL stints can linger for Francisco.
  • Indians fireman Kerry Wood plunked the leadoff batter last night but retired the next three to preserve the one-run lead, leaving the tying run at third base.
  • Following the Betancourt trade, it's hard to say anyone from Cleveland would be a shoe-in for next-in-line duties; Jensen Lewis hasn't allowed a run in his last 10 appearances for Triple-A Columbus and could be up soon, if his 20 K's in 13 frames have anything to say about it. He should be scooped up in AL setups for Indians speculation. For now, Cleveland would probably turn to Joe Smith or Chris Perez if Wood were incapacitated; neither are bankable options for fantasy leagues. Keep a casual eye out for Tony Sipp, too.
  • New York Yankees fans typically get nervous on Mariano Rivera's nights off. Phil Hughes is no slouch, though. The youngster recorded a scoreless two-inning save (his first in the bigs) without letting up a hit or walk, cementing his next-in-line status in his meteoric bullpen rise.
  • The Joe Nathan Train came to a halt last night for the Minnesota Twins as he blew a save - and allowed a run - for the first time since May 15. He had locked down 20 straight opportunities before that.
  • For a smaller positive for the Chicago White Sox, Mark Buehrle's historic outing helped closer Bobby Jenks rest some more. Keep tabs on KFFL's Hot off the Wire as we post more updates on Jenks' attempts to overcome his recent struggles.

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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