Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on September 11, 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.


Job Security (JS) score
Health (H) score
1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)


Philadelphia Phillies

Closer: N/A

Next in line: Ryan Madson, Brett Myers

Other possibilities: Brad Lidge

Philadelphia Phillies P Brett Myers
Myers reprise, circa 2007?

Well, manager Charlie Manuel made it official: Lidge is no longer the Phillies' sole closer. He will work to regain the role for the playoffs, and that could happen during the season, but until it does, consider Madson and Myers - in that order - the top two options to shut the door.

Lidge threw a scoreless eighth inning Thursday with Philly down by six. He worked around a one-out triple by striking out the next two batters. You may want to keep him out of your lineup, especially now that, without save chances, he isn't very useful.

Myers now becomes an immediate pickup everywhere. If you STILL haven't picked up Madson, what are you waiting for?

Job Security score: 1

Health score: 4

Washington Nationals

Closer: Mike MacDougal

Next in line: Jorge Sosa, Sean Burnett

Other possibilities: Tyler Clippard

Last night's game between the Phillies and Nationals had more events besides Lidge's non-save cameo. Ron Villone cleaned up a ninth-inning mess that melted a six-run lead into a one-run nail-biting victory. With Zack Segovia starting the ninth, a one-out error opened the floodgates, leading to a single, a walk to load the bases and a grand slam.

MacDougal came in at an 8-6 advantage; then he gave up a run-plating double before Villone came in to face two lefties - well, not just ANY lefties - in the Phillies' Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Villone induced a double play from Howard to end things.

This still doesn't really hurt MacDougal's status as the top closing option.

Job Security score: 4

Health score: 5

Mound meetings

  • Huston Street (biceps) played catch from 75 feet Thursday but still is slated to miss the weekend for the Colorado Rockies.
  • Carlos Rosa had a nice season debut, recording a save for the Kansas City Royals after spending the year at Triple-A Omaha. Rough May and August numbers clouded the righty's closer stuff (10.14 K/9 this year); he shut seven doors at Omaha. Stopper Joakim Soria had pitched in three straight, so Rosa may become one of the alternatives if this situation comes up again. Give him a look in bottomless AL formats.
  • Once again boosting his 2010 campaign for the job, Jason Frasor converted his second straight scoreless, hitless and walkless save opp for the Toronto Blue Jays. He has successfully notched all five - yes, only five - save chances since July.
  • A shortened arm motion has improved Minnesota Twins righty Jesse Crain's performance by allowing him to get more on top of the ball during his delivery. He abandoned his slurve and returned to using his slider from his early MLB days. The Canadian has a 2.55 ERA, a 1.75 opponents' clip and 17 K's in 17 2/3 innings. We smell a ratio-friendly reliever recruit....

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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