Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL
In fantasy baseball, the closer position remains volatile. Rarely does every closer hang on to the job for an entire season - injuries, poor performance and managerial decisions can cloud a team's bullpen picture.
Should you be concerned about a struggling stopper? Which relievers are climbing the depth chart? Are any injuries popping up? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.
The two righties are expected to share closing duties for now after the Bucs traded Octavio Dotel.
Hanrahan has more upside, but Meek has been more consistent this year. Both closers have the pedigree for the job, but Hanrahan has more K power. For what it's worth, Dotel recommended Hanny for the job on his way out the door, and Hanny has been the eighth-inning option for most of the year.
Both relievers are worth acquiring, but keep in mind this might be a tight race that isn't even decided this season. If you're desperate to move up in saves and can fit both on your roster, do so. Go with Meek as your first option if you can't, but don't sleep on Hanrahan.
Job security score: 4
Health score: 5
Closer: Jonathan Broxton
Despite Broxton giving up a two-run homer to lose the save and the game Saturday, manager Joe Torre is sticking by the righty. Bullpen coach Ken Howell said Broxton was OK while throwing in the bullpen before entering that contest.
Brox has two blown saves and allowed six runs in five second-half innings, but Broxton's problems, according to Torre, point more to a lack of confidence and trying to be too fine with his pitches. This, Torre says, is partly responsibly for the righty's velocity drop.
The manager has not given any thought to replacing Broxton with the newly acquired Dotel or the highly effective Kuo. Maybe they acquired Dotel because they are concerned about Broxton, but they probably just wanted insurance.
Job security score: 5
Health score: 5
Lurkers: Sam Demel
The D-backs had some trade rumblings surrounding Heilman, but they ended up sending Chad Qualls to the Tampa Bay Rays. In giving up just one run over his last eight appearances (10 2/3 innings), Heilman has posted a 0.84 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP with nine K's. The righty recorded a scoreless save Friday.
Gutierrez's 4.91 July ERA doesn't bode well for his chances of earning consistent saves duty. Though Heilman, Gutierrez and Demel, in that order, are worth hanging on to in NL-only, this situation remains a mess - something to watch more so in mixed leagues in case someone emerges. It isn't worth chasing until we see something definite.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 5
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous publications, and recognized as a finalist in FSWA's awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he's on The Reality Check with Glenn Clark every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. He hits the airwaves every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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