Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on April 14, 2011 @ 01:16:47 PDT


What are the odds that you still own the same relief pitchers you rostered in your fantasy baseball draft?'s Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series gives you a no-nonsense perspective on performances, injuries and managerial decisions from MLB bullpens. Get your arm loose: Let's find fantasy baseball players who'll get saves in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league.


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


Chicago White Sox

Closer: Matt Thornton, Chris Sale

Understudy: Sergio Santos, Jesse Crain

And you thought this was complicated before Wednesday? "I don't have any closer," Ozzie Guillen said after yesterday's game. "I don't have any closer. I don't."

Chicago White Sox RP Chris Sale
Sale next to the front?

Frustration? Yes. False? Probably not.

On Wednesday with Chicago up three, Sale started the ninth with a three-run lead but, along with Crain and Thornton, failed to wrap it up. Sale and Thornton were rocked, with the latter blowing the save and taking the loss.

The fact that Sale threw 34 pitches in two innings Tuesday might've hindered his effectiveness and leash for the game. On the other hand, that Guillen tabbed the southpaw for the save capacity might hint at Sale having the next crack at the job, even though Guillen didn't stick with him. That was who he trusted in an inning that started with two righty bats.

Santos, who threw two innings Tuesday, could easily get a shot to run with it because he wasn't part of Wednesday's disaster and has thrown 7 2/3 scoreless frames this year. Crain, a closer in his farm days, has the velocity to do the job but hasn't displayed stopper-like consistency in his career.

If you haven't already done so, follow our hierarchy for speculation or a handcuff. Though Thornton's case for closing is dwindling along with his effectiveness, his owners must hang on, even by benching him until he's right. Even if Guillen announces a new direction following Chicago's off-day Thursday, this could take awhile to shake out.

Job security score: 1

Health score: 5

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Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat | AL depth charts | NL depth charts

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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