This was an actual stable week at the closer position as outside of the games that Angels manager Mike Scioscia likes to play at closer, no one lost their job. There may be no better time for Fantasy owners to hear this news than going into your playoffs or battling down the stretch. Good luck to everyone in either case.
Baltimore Orioles: Any concern about Zach Britton and his knee seem to have been eliminated as he has now gone four straight appearances without allowing a run. You might worry a little bit about the Orioles shutting him down if/when they are eliminated from playoff contention but that isn’t likely to happen until the end of September at the earliest.
Cleveland Indians: Andrew Miller is still on target to return to the bullpen within 10 days. He won’t take over the closer role from Cody Allen but could once again be a good source of Ks and ratio protection for a Cleveland team that doesn’t seem to want to lose right now.
Colorado Rockies: After struggling for most of August, Greg Holland has also seemed to right the ship with three straight scoreless outings. There were some whispers that Jake McGee could take over the closer role from Holland if he continues to struggle but for now, that talk has been quieted. With the Rockies struggling to hold onto the final wildcard spot in the National League, the team may not give Holland all that much rope to hang himself with.
Los Angeles Angels: As we play spin the closer with the Angels, it’s now Blake Parker’s turn to see what he can do in the role. Well, after converting four straight save opportunities, he blew the save Monday in Oakland. The Angels did eventually win the game but with Bud Norris likely to return from the disabled list Tuesday, it’s really anyone’s guess as to who will lead the team in saves from this point on. It could be Parker or maybe Cam Bedrosian; I mean, at this point it wouldn’t surprise me if Kenyan Middleton got a shot.
New York Mets: Jeurys Familia has been struggling since his return from the DL and doesn’t seem to be any closer to taking over the ninth inning role from A.J. Ramos. With the Mets out of contention, there really isn’t much of a need to take a chance with him or any pitcher on the roster. Then again, nothing would surprise me with this team as they have decided to start Matt Harvey on short rest Wednesday after a terrible outing Saturday in Houston. How does this make any sense? Didn’t he just come back from a long DL stint? Now you want to start him on only three days’ rest? Familia could still end up as a Top 10 closer next year but I wouldn’t trust him now, even if the Mets did put him back as closer.
New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman is also no closer to returning as closer. The Yankees are in quite the battle for a playoff spot and don’t have the time to let Chapman work through his problems. Dellin Betances is the closer with David Robertson next in line. As for Chapman, he is the seventh inning guy and even that is iffy, as manager Joe Girardi seems very hesitant to bring Chapman in the game if it’s close. The next save Chapman gets for the Yankees is likely to be next season.
San Francisco Giants: Mark Melancon will eventually need surgery for chronic exertional compartment syndrome that could sideline him for a couple of months. Melancon is hoping to postpone this surgery until the end of the season and still pitch for the Giants in September. Even if he is able to pull that off, he is unlikely to pick up any more saves. Sam Dyson has done quite the job since taking over for Melancon and the ninth inning should be his at least until spring training.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.[table “2165” not found /]