Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on June 25, 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)

Florida Marlins

Closer: Leo Nunez

Next in line: Dan Meyer

Other possibilities: Brian Sanches

Disabled list: Matt Lindstrom, Kiko Calero, Scott Proctor

Lindstrom (elbow) will be out for at least six weeks with a right elbow sprain. He was having trouble throwing breaking balls despite using his fastball normally, touching 98 mph on the gun in his last pre-DL mound trip.

With Lindy on the mend, the Marlins will probably turn to Nunez (ankle), who will be out for a few days more, at most. If he's still available, bring him aboard.

In Nunez's absence, Meyer shut the door last night, protecting a three-run advantage by facing hitters from both sides of the plate. The Fish trust Meyer to spell/replace Nunez, so he's worth hanging on to if you scooped him up.

Calero has been arguably the most effective bullpen arm in Miami this year and could also receive a look upon his return from the DL sometime next week. Stash him.

Job security score: 3

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • The Texas Rangers brought in Frank Francisco for an eighth-inning hold Wednesday before calling upon C.J. Wilson to send everyone home. Manager Ron Washington is sticking to his plan to ease Francisco back into the job, but Frankie's velocity looks to be normal, and he may be ready now. It wouldn't be surprising to see Wilson continue for the next few games, especially if Texas faces a lefty-heavy hitting slate in the ninth.
  • A one-out, ninth-inning error by first baseman Lance Berkman cost the Houston Astros a pivotal second out and opened things up for Jose Valverde to blow a closure opportunity. The righty gave up two consecutive singles after that to allow the unearned tying run to score. Before last night, the vet had run off three straight saves since resuming stopper duties.
  • Joakim Soria didn't do his job for the Kansas City Royals Wednesday. In the 10th inning he blew a one-run lead, leaving southpaw John Bale to protect Soria's good-luck win in the following frame. This by no means makes Bale next in line; Kyle Farnsworth and Jamey Wright were used earlier in the game.
  • Another rough Fernando Rodney appearance, another save. After last night's gift wrap, he's 15-for-15 in closure chances this year. He usually makes the Detroit Tigers sweat, but he hasn't been overly lucky with runners on base. His strand rate (70.0 percent) actually sits below the typical 72.0 percent league average. His K's are down (7.20 per nine); does this mean he's trying to become a better pitcher? His 1.62 groundball-to-flyball ratio says yes. That 9.5 percent line-drive rate may experience an up-tick, though.
  • Keeper leaguers: On the subject of the Tigers closer situation, there's increasing speculation that Detroit may let Rodney walk after this year to install Joel Zumaya as closer, with Ryan Perry playing John Stockton to Zumaya's Karl Malone. A big second half could elevate Rodney from Type B to Type A free-agent status.

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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