Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on August 28, 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

  • Andrew Bailey (knee) tweaked his bothersome left knee while fielding a bunt in last night's Oakland Athletics contest, but the AL Rookie of the Year candidate induced a grounder against the next batter, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Vladimir Guerrero, to earn his 14th straight save. Keep an eye on this; AL players should already have gone after Michael Wuertz and Brad Ziegler, in that order, for speculation. 
  • The San Francisco Giants submitted a waiver claim on the Milwaukee Brewers' Trevor Hoffman, and the teams will now have three days to work out a deal. It seems, however, that the Brew Crew aren't keen on trading the all-time saves leader, and there's speculation the Giants may have made the claim to block the Los Angeles Dodgers or Colorado Rockies from doing the same.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers update: Skipper Joe Torre moved up the in-game schedule for each of his closer-type relievers Thursday in an important battle with the Colorado Rockies. He called upon George Sherrill in the seventh inning to retire a lefty for the final out, and in the eighth he tapped stopper Jonathan Broxton to face a righty batter, which he retired to put out that fire. Broxton worked around two singles in the ninth to wrap things up; he fanned the last two sticks.
    Matt Capps, Pittsburgh Pirates
    Capps yet to walk a batter in August
  • For all the blowups he has had this month, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Matt Capps has wrapped things up in three of his last four chances, which included a shutout frame last night. Also, for as hittable as he has been, Capps has not walked a batter since July 29.
  • Kyle McClellan technically recorded a blown save chance with a one-run lead in the eighth inning yesterday and stayed on to absorb the St. Louis Cardinals loss in the ninth. The damage: two earned runs on three hits (one homer) and a walk in 1 2/3 frames. Stopper Ryan Franklin was unavailable after taking the mound in three of the previous four days.
  • In the above contest, Houston Astros savior Jose Valverde worked two innings on only 22 tosses to pick up the victory. He hadn't pitched since Aug. 21.
  • Jim Johnson botched his first chance since assuming closer duties, allowing two earned runs on three hits, including a jack, while absorbing the loss for the Baltimore Orioles. Not even two groundouts to start the inning could prevent him from allowing a single and a two-run jack in the next two at-bats. In the same contest, the Cleveland Indians gave Kerry Wood his second save chance in as many days after he hadn't had an opp since Aug. 6.
  • Mike MacDougal recorded five outs with only 27 pitches last night to wrap up his eighth Washington Nationals victory this month. He has fanned 10 while giving up only five hits and walking only four in 13 August innings. Though his K rate has fallen since his last long-term stint in the bigs, he still throws his four-seam heat nearly all the time. He has improved his balance of attacking the zone and keeping the ball low. MacDougal's slider remains a work in progress, yet the retread has taken the reins and is adding more cred to his case to retrain this role for 2010. Drew Storen probably has something to say about that.
  • There hasn't been any waiver interest in Cincinnati Reds freezer Francisco Cordero, who's under control until after the 2011 season. His $25 million price tag is probably a reason why many aren't biting. The Reds brass doesn't expect any waiver claims or trades to happen before Aug. 31, but stay tuned.
  • Cordero, by the way, worked around two walks to wrap up the second straight Reds victory. He has now appeared on three straight days and may not be available if needed Friday. You don't necessarily need to act on this, but Arthur Rhodes would be the best bet to take his spot.
  • Did the Boston Red Sox really need to acquire Billy Wagner? Shortstop Nick Green took the mound and made it through the last two frames during a blowout loss despite walking three batters. Wagner was activated Thursday but was unavailable because he tossed a bullpen session.

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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