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.
Closer: Michael Wuertz
Understudy: Craig Breslow
Lurkers: Andrew Bailey (elbow)
Bailey has been shut down for a few days with elbow soreness; he'll make the dreaded visit to Dr. James Andrews this week. The right-hander believes it's another case of tennis elbow, which bothered him earlier this year; he said the problem isn't on the inside of the elbow. Bailey underwent Tommy John surgery in college. Still, it wouldn't be surprising if "a few days" turns into "the rest of the season."
In Monday's affair, Oakland used Wuertz in the eighth, and Breslow picked up the save. The righty Wuertz faced four right-handed batters: the Chicago White Sox's Alex Rios, Paul Konerko, Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones. Oakland likely valued those outs enough to use Wuertz early.
Breslow faced all righty bats, too, and excels against both batter's boxes, but Wuertz remains the better bet for most of the chances without Bailey. Wuertz sports a 2.92 ERA and 29 K's in 24 2/3 innings since June ended and went 5-for-5 in closing out contests after Bailey was sidelined in late July.
Job security score: 1
Health score: 4
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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