Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat

by Tim Heaney on September 10, 2009 @ 00:00:00 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.


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


Philadelphia Phillies

Closer: Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson

Next in line: Brett Myers

Lidge was healthy and ready, but Madson was called upon last night in a save chance with a two-run lead and wrapped things up. He yielded a single and a stolen base but then recorded a K before a double-play lineout sent everyone home. You could say it was a fortunate course of events, but we don't think manager Charlie Manuel will nitpick.

Hold on, folks. Manuel confirmed that Lidge would see chances before the fantasy season ends, but he admitted last night that he "wanted to use Madson." He wouldn't confirm who would shut the door if needed tonight, and the day-to-day questions probably won't yield any definitive answers unless one of the options has been overworked.

Lidge and Madson should be owned everywhere. Please don't force us to write that again.

Job Security score: 4

Health score: 4

Mound meetings

  • Atlanta Braves RP Mike Gonzalez
    Will Gonzo see save opps soon?
    Another rough outing doomed Rafael Soriano. He allowed two runs and three hits in blowing the save Wednesday after only fanning the leadoff man. Since July 22, he has a 5.95 ERA and a .282 enemy clip in 22 appearances. Opponents' BABIPs for August (.333 in 12 innings) and September (.429 in 4 1/3 frames) further the concern. Does this mean a return to frequent save opps for the Atlanta Braves' Mike Gonzalez?
  • Maybe his new approach is working. Maybe it's merely because he's facing the New York Mets. Either way, Leo Nunez has wrapped up Florida Marlins victories on two straight days without allowing a hit or walk.
  • The Colorado Rockies will probably be without Huston Street (biceps) this weekend, meaning Franklin Morales will continue to fill in.
  • Carlos Marmol since inheriting the Chicago Cubs' saves job: seven saves, 14 K's, 2.16 ERA, .107 batting average against and 1.08 WHIP in 8 1/3 frames. His six walks aren't encouraging, though.
  • Joakim Soria needed only two-thirds of an inning to record a save Wednesday. He has now pitched three of the last four days (3 2/3 frames, 52 appearances, eight K's, 0.82 WHIP) and the Kansas City Royals will probably give him some time off soon.
  • His job security carries no risks, but Francisco Cordero (Cincinnati Reds) has come back to earth since the All-Star break with a 3.52 ERA, a 1.70 WHIP and a .292 batting average against. First-half numbers: 1.75 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .208 opponents' average.
  • The New York Yankees rested Mariano Rivera (groin) last night, instead splitting the ninth between Brian Bruney and Phil Coke. Bruney walked the leadoff batter and served up two flyouts. Coke closed things out by retiring the only batter he faced, a lefty.
  • The latest age discrepancy settled: Jose Valverde will turn 32 in March, not 31 like the Houston Astros' media material said. This probably won't affect his stock in the next hot stove season.

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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