Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - AL

by Tim Heaney on August 5, 2010 @ 11:30:00 PDT

 


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.

Key

Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)

 

Baltimore Orioles

Closer: Alfredo Simon

Understudy: Mike Gonzalez


Gonzo: Soon, right? Soon?

The O's reportedly don't have a designated stopper, per manager Buck Showalter, but Simon would likely be the first to receive the closure call at this point, and Showalter didn't rule out solidifying the role down the line.

The righty worked around a double in tying a bow on Wednesday's game. He's now 16-for-19 in save chances, including six conversions in his last seven.

With Showalter essentially leaving the chance open for Gonzalez to return to saves action, though, the lefty must not be left on your waiver wire if you need to catch up in the category.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 4

Oakland Athletics

Closer: Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow

Disabled list: Andrew Bailey (rib)

Breslow was used in the eighth inning Wednesday and gave up a homer. Wuertz took the ball in the ninth and fanned the heart of the Kansas City Royals' order, wrapping up the victory. On Tuesday, Wuertz retired all four batters he faced.

The righty had struggled pitching back-to-back days often since returning from a shoulder surgery-prompted absence. This might go a long way toward keeping Wuertz as the likelier option for saves in Bailey's absence.

The closer's return timetable remains unknown. Bailey made 20 throws from roughly 60 feet on Wednesday and will throw again either today or Friday. An activation before the end of this coming weekend is questionable, though.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • Jose Valverde wasn't available for Detroit Tigers use Wednesday. The righty was reportedly throwing on the side in the Tigs bullpen this morning and said he's feeling better. Signs point to him coming back today.
  • Matt Capps blew it for the Minnesota Twins last night. Manager Ron Gardenhire placed some of the blame on outfielder Delmon Young, who couldn't get to a fly ball that turned into a leadoff double. After a fly-out moved the runner to third, a single tied the game.
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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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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