With the sixth week of the fantasy baseball season upon us, it is pretty clear if you are set at the closer position or if you have a gaping hole at the bottom of your lineup. The position is growing more and more important in fantasy baseball and is always worth taking a closer look at. Each week of the season I will dissect the closer position: by evaluating injuries, looking at position battles, and reviewing some future stars. Below is the week 6 edition of my fantasy baseball closer report:
The Med Room:
Injured Starter: Mariano Rivera , NYY – After a devastating pre-game injury to Rivera, the Yankees now have to replace one of, if not the best closer of all-time. Rivera has been a top-ten closer for over a decade now and he will be extremely hard for fantasy owners to replace.
Replacement: David Robertson, NYY – Robertson is the most likely candidate to take over as the team’s closer, but manager Joe Girardi said it will be a time-share situation with Roberston and Rafael Soriano. Roberston will still get the majority of ninth inning work, but Girardi just wants the world to know that he will not get all the ninth inning action.
Chris Sale, CHW– Sale was given the closer role from manager Robin Ventura right before the week started, as it was only a matter of time with the recent struggles of Hector Santiago. Sale has been groomed to be a closer his whole career and his jaw-dropping strikeout ratio makes him a perfect candidate for the ninth.
Coming Into His Own:
Chris Perez, CLE – Perez was overlooked by many owners in this year’s draft, but has certainly produced numbers like a top-tier closer. The 26-year old has already racked up an AL-leading 11 saves and “CP54” has truly become a fantasy All-Star.
On a Short Leash:
Grant Balfour, OAK – Balfour currently has a miserable 4.40 ERA after allowing 5 runs in his last 1.1 innings of work. The team has already turned to Brian Fuentes once in the last week to close a game, and if Balfour continues to struggle he will eventually lose to job to his BF.