Fantasy Baseball Closer Updates and Full Bullpen Depth Charts
Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles seemed to switch up roles in their bullpen over the weekend by having Darren O’Day close out a victory over the Tigers on Sunday. This wasn’t a case of Brad Brach not being available, as he pitched earlier in the game. Have the Orioles made the change to O’Day as closer? Possibly, but we really won’t know until the O’s have their next save chance. It also may not matter, as for one, the Orioles aren’t going to win all that many games with their current roster. This season is really about getting maximum value out of possible trade pieces in Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Zach Britton. Speaking of Britton, he is progressing well. Britton is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, and if he gets clearance from his doctors, he will then begin a rehab assignment.
Los Angeles Angels: Kenyan Middleton was placed on the disabled list Tuesday due to an elbow injury. Cam Bedrosian is expected to take over the role in his absence, but we have been down this road before. Manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t always seem to trust Bedrosian for whatever reason, but with Blake Parker having a poor start to the season his only other option would seem to be Jim Johnson, and he may not be ready to be a closer at this point in his career.
Houston Astros: Ken Giles closed out the victory over the Yankees on Monday in impressive fashion by striking out the side. While I wouldn’t consider his job security high, he shouldn’t be in danger of losing it any time soon outside of a complete meltdown either. That’s not to say that I would be against claiming Brad Peacock and/or Chris Devenski to cover yourself should you own Giles, but which one? That is the problem. Devenski would seem to be the logical choice, but he may be more valuable to the team in his current setup role and the same thing could be said for Peacock. I have no problem rostering a top setup man to protect my ratios over a lower ranked starting pitcher, but I also like to make sure that setup man is next in line to close out games should the current closer lose his job. Unfortunately, with Peacock and Devenski, we just don’t know who that will be.
Miami Marlins: Kyle Barraclough was fantastic in getting his first save of the season Saturday. This doesn’t mean he is any closer to owning the role, however, as the only reason he got the opportunity over Brad Ziegler was because the latter wasn’t feeling well. It makes all the sense in the world for the Marlins to stick with Ziegler, so they can extract as high a price as possible for his services at the trade deadline. Barraclough should be the closer for Miami after Ziegler has moved on.
Milwaukee Brewers: Yes, Josh Hader was great Monday night as he struck out all eight batters he faced in picking up a save over the Reds, but Fantasy owners need to slow their roll a bit. No matter how well he pitches, he is highly unlikely to supplant Corey Knebel from the role once Knebel is deemed healthy enough to return to the team. Hader is just more valuable to the team pitching multiple innings as a bridge to Knebel. As for Knebel, he is just about set to be sent out on a rehab assignment and could return to Milwaukee in about two weeks.
Minnesota Twins: Fernando Rodney blew three straight save opportunities before closing out a win over the Reds on Saturday. It’s somewhat surprising that the Twins haven’t made the switch to Addison Reed. He’s been the far superior reliever this season and it’s not even close, but so far, the Twins seem willing to crash and burn with Rodney. Still, if you are a Rodney owner or if you need a speculative save addition, Reed would be it.
St. Louis Cardinals: Greg Holland blew another save chance this past weekend. It seems like whenever the Cardinals give him a chance to take over the job from Bud Norris, he gives it right back. Norris deserves to keep the job until he proves he can’t handle it, but the Cards are likely to keep giving Holland chances to justify the $14 million contract they gave to him.
Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Chart[table “2726” not found /]
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Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky