Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on May 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 - injury, poor performance or 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? KFFL.com's Closer Hot Seat keeps you informed when looking for saves.

Key

Durability grade: 1 (very injury-prone) to 10 (extremely durable)

Job security grade: 1 (very shaky) to 10 (firm grasp)

Mound meeting

  • Brian Wilson hasn't been giving the San Francisco Giants good vibrations of late. The Mohawk-sporting righty botched a chance Thursday, loading the bases, hitting a batter to force in the knotting tally and allowing a walkoff single. He has two blown saves and two losses in his last six trips to the mound. His job probably isn't in danger yet, but Wilson owners' WHIPs have never been safe.
  • Joel Hanrahan rebounded last night, fanning two while allowing one hit to record the Washington Nationals' save. Not surprisingly, the positive outing stemmed from his improved mixing of fastballs with his out pitch, the slider.
  • Speaking of steps in the right direction, Brandon Morrow forced three whiffs in two scoreless middle innings. It was the first time since April 17 that he didn't allow a hit or a walk in an appearance. Seattle Mariners Manager Don Wakamatsu said Morrow would eventually regain the role when he shows his control is back. Though David Aardsma has been near spotless, you should scoop up Morrow if he was prematurely dropped.
  • The Houston Astros saw LaTroy Hawkins (hip) return to action in non-save work during their home loss. He fanned two batters in a scoreless ninth inning. Stay tuned to see if they still let Chris Sampson try to close the door.
  • Finally, a sense of stability. Oakland Athletics skipper Bob Geren said Andrew Bailey and Brad Ziegler may share closure responsibilities for the near future. Both are probably already owned, but act accordingly if they aren't. Still, beware Geren's on-the-fly matchup management in the ninth.
  • Rafael Betancourt cleaned up a bases-loaded mess for the Cleveland Indians with Kerry Wood, who has been suffering from control and mechanical problems, receiving the day off. The erratic Betancourt probably still isn't next in line for saves, but he has at least perked the ears of AL-only owners as he has improved from his disastrous 2008.
  • The Kansas City Royals' Juan Cruz was lit up for four runs in one-third of a frame yesterday. It wasn't a save opportunity, but it certainly makes you wonder if Kyle Farnsworth (no runs and just two walks allowed since April 19) will be used to fill Joakim Soria's (shoulder) gap.
  • From the Rockies to the Baggie? The Colorado Rockies' Huston Street is reportedly an object of the Minnesota Twins' affection. They need the setup help, and the Rockies are going nowhere. Preseason speculation called the Street acquisition a Rox effort to gain more trade bait. Don't lose track of this rumor. Could Manny Corpas regain the job ... again? Aside from his recent blowup, he has made strides; since May 3, six of his last seven outings have had empty runs columns, and he has allowed only one walk.

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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