Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on August 14, 2009 @ 01:00:00 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?'s Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.

Mound meetings

  • Kansas City Royals CL Joakim Soria
    KC rarely requires Soria to save the day
    Joakim Soria, of Kansas City Royals "fame," ate two innings and 35 pitches during his one-hit, two-whiff Thursday save. He rebounded from the four runs and three home runs combined he gave up in his previous two outings (58 total throws), despite wrapping up one of those games. Thursday's cameo was his first appearance since he appeared in non-save work Saturday. It's easy to worry about a closer going two frames three times in his last six appearances, but the Royals have given him long layoffs between work days. He'll probably continue this pattern. In the rare case the Royals go on a winning streak, they'll probably change how they manage him. Keep in mind: During his Saturday appearance, Soria was pitching with a nine-run lead, and he probably employed a different approach.
  • Mariano Rivera (shoulder) received Wednesday off due to a "cranky" right shoulder but was available Thursday if needed; the New York Yankees' 11-1 demolition last night gave him the extra rest day. Mo described it as "normal muscle soreness." The Bombers have used him for a four-out conclusion three times in their last 17 games, but they didn't cite that as the reason. "We're just cautious with him. When he says he feels cranky we need to give him a day or maybe two days. That day seemed to help him and he came back fresh," manager Joe Girardi told reporters.
  • Despite needing 21 pitches, Frank Francisco returned to his stopper role by working around a hit for his 16th Texas Rangers closure. It was the first time he had pitched in a week. Frankie hasn't allowed a run or walk despite giving up two hits in 3 2/3 frames since his second return from the DL.

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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