Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on July 6, 2009 @ 01:00:01 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? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.

Key

Job Security score Health 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, Brendan Donnelly

Nunez (neck) had been unavailable for the previous two games with a neck strain but notched a non-save ninth inning Sunday for the Marlins. Meyer closed the door in Nunez's place on Independence Day. Expect the same setup going forward with Meyer as the alternative when Nunez can't go due to workload or injury.

The hobbled Lindstrom (elbow) felt no pain in his throwing elbow following offering somewhere between 50 and 60 throws Friday from 75 feet. He reportedly tossed from longer distances Saturday.

Lindy will continue to rehab in Juniper, Fla., but there's no timetable for him to return to throwing off a mound. He hopes to be back before the end of this month, but his original prognosis pointed toward an August return.

Calero (shoulder) also threw a 12-pitch scoreless inning with a K at Class A Juniper Saturday.

The Fish added two arms for depth in Donnelly and Luis Ayala. For what it's worth, manager Fredi Gonzalez would consider using Donnelly in a save situation. Don't buy into that.

Job security grade: 2

Durability grade: 4

Mound meetings

  • David Aardsma (back), one of the biggest waiver wire gems this year, missed Friday's contest with a mild strain in his lower back but trotted to the mound Saturday to notch the save. He had received treatment before Saturday's game on what was called a muscle knot near the back of his rib cage. Mark Lowe recorded a closure in Aardsma's place Friday and remains next in line.
  • Texas Rangers righty Frank Francisco welcomed back his location and movement in his last two outings, a pair of one-two-three breezes this past weekend. 
  • A stud for most of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Jonathan Broxton harkened back to his 2008 NLCS days with a wild three-run, 38-pitch blown save in a four-run ninth (three were his). Nineteen of those offerings went for strikes.
  • Probably the most unheralded New York Yankees reliever this year, Alfredo Aceves, recorded a four-inning save while tallying five K's and just one hit allowed. Mariano Rivera had pitched each of the previous two days.
  • Speaking of the Yanks' pen, they're keeping Phil Hughes in relief duty even with Chien-Ming Wang (shoulder) going on the DL. Hughes was essentially installed as the eighth-inning option last week; he hasn't given up a run in his last 10 innings and holds a 1.23 ERA in 10 relief trips this year.

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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