Fantasy Baseball Closer Updates and Depth Charts
Atlanta Braves: Arodys Vizcaino returned to the disabled list almost a week ago but has still yet to record a save. The Braves have let it be known that for the immediate future save opportunities may go to the reliever that has the best matchup. That could mean if left-handers are due up in the ninth inning that A.J. Minter gets the save chance and not Vizcaino. The Braves say they are just easing him back into the role. That’s probably the truth, but Minter still may be an addition to your Fantasy team should you be desperate for saves.
Baltimore Orioles: It’s no secret that the Orioles are trying to move Zach Britton before the July 31 trade deadline. The only questions are where he will pitch, and will he be the closer? Britton hasn’t pitched well this season even when healthy, as his 4.63 ERA and 1.37 WHIP will attest to. It does seem though as Britton may not have as much interest among contending teams as the Orioles had hoped. They have let it be known that he and Manny Machado can be moved in a package deal. It seems less and less likely by the day that Britton will close for his new team.
Detroit Tigers: Shane Greene was able to throw a bullpen session Monday which is a pretty solid indication that he will be able to return from the disabled list immediately after his time is up. This is good news for Fantasy owners, as that return could be as soon as this weekend. Greene will still be one of those names bandied about in trade discussions and if he is dealt, it won’t be to close for his new team.
New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman had to be removed from the game Saturday because of a flare-up of the tendinitis in his right knee. At this point it doesn’t look like Chapman will require a DL stint but he didn’t pitch in a save situation Sunday. The Yankees didn’t have a need for a closer during the doubleheader Monday, but word was that Chapman would’ve been available to close should the team have called upon him. This is a situation to watch as the Yankees could elect to play it safe with Chapman as they have four days off next week for the All-Star break.
San Francisco Giants: Nothing has changed for the Giants. Will Smith is the current closer and deserves a chance to remain so long term. That doesn’t mean manager Bruce Bochy agrees. Bochy does have other options like Tony Watson, Mark Melancon, and Sam Dyson. The truth is I wouldn’t feel all that comfortable with any of these options in the short term.
Toronto Blue Jays: Roberto Osuna is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on Saturday but still isn’t eligible to return to the team until August 5. There are quite a few rumors that Osuna’s court case probably won’t be resolved by the time he returns but it doesn’t look like any further discipline will be forthcoming from Major League Baseball. Osuna should be good to pitch for the Blue Jays or any team he is traded to upon his return.
Washington Nationals: The Nationals played it cautious and placed Sean Doolittle on the DL with inflammation in his toe Tuesday. The move seems to be precautionary as he is expected to be back immediately after the All-Star break. Kelvin Herrera should be the Nationals closer until Doolittle returns. This was why he was acquired from the Royals, to give the Nationals depth in their bullpen. The problem for Doolittle’s owners could be what happens should Herrera perform flawlessly in the role between now and when Doolittle returns? It’s unlikely that Doolittle would lose his job, but they both may split the duties.[table “2743” not found /]
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.