Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on June 15, 2009 @ 11:00:01 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)

Texas Rangers

Closer: C.J. Wilson

Next in line: Darren O'Day

Other possibilities: Eddie Guardado, Jason Jennings, Warner Madrigal

Disabled list: Frank Francisco

Despite a reportedly positive bullpen session Sunday, Francisco (shoulder) returned to the DL, making Wilson's stay at stopper a bit longer. Texas' stopper hadn't seen game action since June 3.

Through retroactivity, Francisco can return Friday, but that will probably depend on the result of his long toss and bullpen session scheduled for tomorrow. He's also scheduled to go on a rehab outing before resurfacing, especially because he didn't partake in one last time he came back from the DL.

Wilson remains available in a vast number of leagues. Act accordingly.

Job security score: 5

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • J.P. Howell shut the door by fanning the side for the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday and hasn't yielded a run since May 23 (11 1/3 frames). Howell is the best all-around reliever in manager Joe Maddon's non-Troy Percival (shoulder) committee, but he probably won't see every opportunity, despite his equally impressive numbers against both batter's boxes. If you're dipping into this pool, throw a lifesaver to Howell first. Righty Dan Wheeler and left Randy Choate offer a platoon for the second best option. 
  • The Houston Astros welcomed back Jose Valverde for a brief one-out appearance Saturday, but the burly righty struck out the side in his Sunday inning of work. Throw him back in your lineup if you haven't already. LaTroy Hawkins remains a valuable stash for Valverde insurance - and the event in which a trade gives him another closer job.
  • Trevor Hoffman gave up his first run of the season Sunday in a non-save condition for the Milwaukee Brewers. If you're stocked in saves, you may want to start shopping the Hoff. 
  • You must trust No. 1 if you have triple-digit heat. Matt Lindstrom has walked two in 4 2/3 June frames, but he's using his burner more often. Lindstrom's slider is also undergoing a makeover; the righty has learned to tuck his front shoulder in when offering his secondary pitch in order to locate the plate better. Remain wary of Leo Nunez, but the Fish stuck with Lindstrom through worse times than his current run, so their patience speaks volumes.
  • Huston Street trade rumor update: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have expressed interest in the Colorado Rockies stopper. Signs would point Street to a setup role to Brian Fuentes if acquired. The Rox are working their way back into contention, though, so maybe a trade won't happen. See if one of your leaguemates will buy, regardless.

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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