Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on September 29, 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)

Tampa Bay Rays

Closer: N/A

Next in line: Randy Choate, Grant Balfour

Other opportunities: Lance Cormier, Dan Wheeler, Jeff Bennett

The Rays went to Balfour for a one-out save last night one night after Cormier set him up with the first two retired batters. This came a night after Balfour recorded a two-out hold in the ninth to set up a save by Cormier.

Given that Balfour and Cormier have pitched on each of the last two days (Balfour three of the last four), they may not see action tonight if a save situation arises. Beware: Manager Joe Maddon will probably continue to mix and match, especially given these two pitchers' workloads. It's best to avoid this situation unless you can make big moves in the saves column. We recommend speculating on Choate, Balfour, Cormier and Wheeler, in that order.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 5

Mound meetings

    Mike MacDougal, closer, Washington Nationals
    Finally a clean outing for MacDougal
  • Mike MacDougal broke a disastrous slide with a scoreless inning of work Monday for the Washington Nationals, which resulted in his first save since Sept. 18 (fourth appearance since). If you're putting closures above any other stat, you can keep putting him in your lineup, but if you can't risk stats otherwise, be wary. 
  • The Atlanta Braves' Rafael Soriano threw a scoreless inning in a non-save situation, providing more evidence that his 5.32 September ERA is reflective only of his early-month struggles. In his last nine trips to the mound, he only let runners cross the plate once - during a four-run meltdown Sept. 19 in a non-save chance. Given that game is included, a 4.32 ERA with a .194 opponents' clip in this nine-game stretch is pretty impressive. He has only let up one hit outside of that botched spot.
  • In an unexpected development, the Chicago Cubs probably won't retain righty Kevin Gregg after this season.

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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