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.
|Job security (JS) score
||1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
|Health (H) score
||1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)
Closer: Brad Lidge (elbow)
Understudy: Ryan Madson
Lurkers: Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero
Madson: never out of the picture
Lidge will likely be unavailable until at least Friday with soreness in his pitching elbow - yes, the one that was surgically repaired and marred the early part of his 2010 season. Manager Charlie Manuel said he's a little concerned because he said Lidge's elbow was tender, but the pitcher said he pitched through it Monday and said he'll "definitely" return Friday.
Lidge said this malady isn't the same issue from earlier in the season, "but instead of trying to throw through the pain and maybe make it worse, we decided I should take two nights off."
Madson recorded the win last night - but not until after he blew a save chance when he threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded. He entered with the sacks jacked, so he didn't create the whole mess.
Madson should be picked up in deep leagues. Shallow leaguers can, too, if they have the space; given Lidge's history of elbow issues - and recent frequent use - this might linger past Friday. Contreras and Romero aren't worth acquiring for the category unless Lidge hits the DL; even then, it's a stretch.
Job security score: 4
Health score: 3
- Trevor Hoffman threw a scoreless inning Tuesday, earning his 600th career save. The Milwaukee Brewers' organization gave him a grand ovation and an oil painting depicting the righty throwing a pitch.
Will they present him with another save chance? Maybe when John Axford isn't available. Hoffman, who has a 2.63 ERA over his last 29 appearances, could swipe a save or two, so deep leaguers in a tight saves race should keep him in tow.
- Take a rest, Brian Wilson. The San Francisco Giants' closer had pitched on the three previous days, so southpaw Jeremy Affeldt stepped in for his fourth save.
It was a cheapie, though, as Affeldt induced a double-play ground-out by facing a lefty bat, Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero. Sergio Romo started the inning by retiring a righty bat but allowing a single to a left-handed hitter. This was reflective of what a non-Wilson chance would look like: a day-to-day situation, depending on matchups and usage.
- Another New York Mets save chance, another Hisanori Takahashi wrap-up: The lefty allowed two hits but pitched a scoreless ninth Tuesday. In his last nine appearances, he hasn't allowed a run and has yielded just two walks, furthering his successful stint as a reliever this year.
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
Don't miss these great reports....