With the ninth 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 9 edition of my fantasy baseball closer report:
Chicago Cubs Closer Committee:
James Russell vs. Shawn Camp – With the Cubs finally giving up on the ever-struggling closer Carlos Marmol last month, the team has decided to go with a committee for now. Both James Russell and Shawn Camp will be competing for the ball in the ninth innings, with Russell getting first crack at it. Camp may eventually win the job down the line though, as he has 10 career saves under his belt.
Leagues Above the Rest:
Tom Wilhelmsen, SEA – Brandon League’s struggles have finally caught up with him this past week, as manager Eric Wedge finally removed him from the closer role. The most obvious replacement for the veteran is Wilhelmsen, who was League’s setup man through the first part of the season. “Slick Willy” has struck out 30 batters in just over 25 innings this year, an attribute that always transitions well into the ninth inning.
Tyler Clippard vs. Sean Burnett – Clippard and Burnett will be splitting the save chances in the nation’s capital from here on out with former closer Henry Rodriquez frustrating the team to no end. Clippard seems like the early favorite to secure the duties in the ninth inning, but Burnett’s sub 1.00 ERA (0.614) has certainly got manager Dusty Baker’s attention. For now it is a situation to watch closely, with Clippard getting the early advantage.