Always be closing?

In 2009, there were 10 relievers
penciled in as Opening Day closers who were out of those roles by August,
due to poor performance, trades or injuries.  Guys like Brandon
Morrow, Brad Ziegler and Joel Hanrahan became hot names around draft
time but were setup men by June. 

The closer role becomes a merry-go-round
for lots of teams once the season starts, and a fantasy player you’re
most likely to get burned by is one you’re relying on for saves.  
Heading into 2010, you can already pinpoint a few guys who are destined
to lose their jobs at some point, so if you unfortunately drafted one,
it’s time to start thinking of him as trade bait.


Arizona’s Chad Qualls managed
to barely get by in 09, but you just get the feeling he isn’t a true
closer.  He missed the last month after knee surgery, and he’s
pitched to a 7.45 ERA this spring with opponents hitting .300 off him.

Not having to pitch in a single
game with any meaning, Trevor Hoffman turned back the clock last season
and put up incredible numbers.  It was really somewhat of a miracle,
and there is almost no chance the 42-year-old will be able to stay healthy
enough to do it again.  His .450 opponents’ average this spring

Frankie Francisco went on the
DL three separate times last season and posted a 5.82 ERA after the
All-Star break.  He also has a spring BAA of over .300, as there
seems to be a pattern developing here.


Leo Nunez has been getting
some preseason hype but his 4.40 post-All-Star break ERA (6.10 in September)
creates some skepticism.  Just get the feeling he isn’t closer
material, especially with a career K/BB ratio barely above 2/1. Going
along with the crowd, his spring ERA is an ugly 5.59.

Dump these guys for some value
if you can, and quick.

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