Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on September 22, 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)

San Diego Padres

Closer: Heath Bell

Next in line: Luke Gregerson, Mike M. Adams

San Diego Padres CL Heath Bell
Another bad night for Bell

So much for the progress he made over the weekend. Bell blew his third save chance in the last 10 days; he has only given away six all year. The San Diego Padres righty gave up a run on two hits in one inning yesterday to ... the Pittsburgh Pirates. He almost escaped a jam, too. With the sacks loaded and no one out, he induced a force-out at home, but a groundout scored the tying run.

Bell's 6.00 ERA in September and his 10.80 ERA in his last 6 2/3 innings point to the big man wearing down despite throwing what stands as his lowest single-season innings total (65 2/3) since '06. Of course, him pitching three days in a row (52 pitches) didn't help. Will we see Adams or Gregerson spell Bell?

Job security score: 5

Health score: 5

Mound meetings

  • Huston Street (biceps) may return for the Colorado Rockies today but probably not in a save situation immediately. You probably still want him in your lineup if they change their minds; you don't want to leave a save on the bench if that's what you need.
  • Instead of Kevin Jepsen, it was starter Joe Saunders giving Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim closer Brian Fuentes a one-out handicap in the ninth with a three-run lead Monday against the New York Yankees. Saunders registered a flyout then allowed a single. Fuentes came on to induce a flyout to a switch hitter and a walk to another switcher before retiring a lefty bat to end things. You should still expect Jepsen or another arm to factor into save chances for what's left of the season.
  • What was more surprising? That furious Kansas City Royals rally against the Boston Red Sox last night, or the fact that Joakim Soria recorded a save for the second straight day? We may see someone different if needed tonight, but we suggest you not count on another Royals win against Boston.
  • Following a meaningless frame in which he gave up one run with an eight-run advantage last night, Jason Frasor hasn't done much in his last three games. He has totaled 2 2/3 frames, 13.50 ERA and seven hits. He hasn't had a save chance since Sept. 14, which, of course, he blew. The Toronto Blue Jays have some work to do in firming up the 'pen next year. Hopefully you're not throwing Frasor in your lineup for non-saves aid.
  • After his three-whiff, one-inning scoreless save last night, Brian Wilson has now given the San Francisco Giants good vibrations in his nine-game shutout streak: nine innings, nine K's and a 1.00 WHIP, which only includes one walk. 
  • The Oakland Athletics know how to breed relievers. Brad Kilby has not allowed a run in his first 11 major league innings, during which he has also fanned 13 while giving up just one walk and three hits. You know what to do.
  • A four-inning save for the Atlanta Braves' Kenshin Kawakami "punctuated" an 11-3 win over the New York Mets. We're guessing he used an ellipsis.

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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