Fantasy Baseball Closer Report: Zach Britton Near A Return?
Latest Fantasy Baseball Closer News | Full Bullpen Depth Charts
Baltimore Orioles: We will start off with our weekly Zach Britton update. He is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday. Assuming that Britton will need to pitch in multiple games before being recalled by Baltimore, that puts his return to charm city at some point next week. Britton should regain the closing role almost immediately, as Baltimore tries to build up his value before the July 31 trade deadline.
Chicago White Sox: Nate Jones has converted three straight save opportunities for Chicago and has taken over the closing role from Joakim Soria. Should Fantasy owners be rushing to the waiver wire to claim Jones? Yes and no. Yes, if you need saves as every save counts, but no as it should be just a matter of time until Jones is moved via a trade. Jones is 32 years old and isn’t part of the rebuilding plan for Chicago. They should and will move him by the trade deadline, and he isn’t likely to close for his new team.
Cincinnati Reds: Raisel Iglesias was placed on the disabled list retroactive to May 20 due to a biceps injury. Don’t panic here. The Reds have announced that the injury is minor, and they expect to activate him when he is first eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday in Arizona. Jared Hughes has closed in his place and has picked up a couple of saves, but his time in the role will be coming to an end sooner rather than later.
Cleveland Indians: The Cleveland bullpen is in shambles right now other than closer Cody Allen. Andrew Miller has been placed back on the DL due to inflammation in his right knee. This is the same knee that gave him problems last season, and there is some speculation that the knee has never fully healed and is the reason for his subpar performance this season. Miller may not have been picking up many saves this season, but he was still a top hold reliever and his loss will be missed by both the Indians and Fantasy owners.
Houston Astros: Ken Giles had another meltdown in Cleveland on Sunday, as he allowed three runs without recording an out in an eventual loss to the Indians. Houston put him right back out there however in a non-save situation versus the Yankees on Monday, and he responded by giving up only one hit in a scoreless inning. Should you feel confident in Giles? No, but the Astros keep going back to him as they believe he is the best of what they have in the bullpen.
Los Angeles Angels: The Angels haven’t exactly had a plethora of save opportunities of late, but when they have had one, it’s gone to Blake Parker. He is the reliever you want out of the Angels’ bullpen at this point in time. Manager Mike Scioscia just doesn’t want Cam Bedrosian in the role and doesn’t seem to want to trust the ninth inning to rookie Justin Anderson.
Philadelphia Phillies: Hector Neris is still the closer right now for Philadelphia, but his job security is hanging by a string. Seranthony Dominguez keeps putting up unbelievable numbers (0.00 ERA, 0.17 WHIP) and is closing the gap dramatically with Neris. It might not take more than another blown save or two by Neris for Dominguez to take over the closing role.
Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates received a scare over the weekend when Felipe Vazquez informed them that he was feeling tightness in his forearm and couldn’t move his ring finger. Yeah, that doesn’t sound good at all. Apparently however, the injury won’t require a DL stint, and although Vazquez wasn’t available Monday, he could be ready to return to close for the team Tuesday. The Pirates didn’t announce if this injury was the reason Vazquez has struggled of late, as he has blown his last three save chances.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals finally seemed to have put Greg Holland out of his misery by placing him on the DL with a hip injury. Even if this injury wasn’t the cause of his problems so far this season, at least a few weeks off might get his head straight. It certainly couldn’t hurt at this point. Holland is unlikely to be reinstated as closer upon his return. The job should be Bud Norris’ to lose now.
San Francisco Giants: Mark Melancon has made three rehab appearances and should get recalled by the Giants within the next 7-10 days. The team hasn’t announced what role Melancon will assume upon his return, but even if they still do want him to close, the prudent thing might be for Melancon to prove he is ready for the role as a setup man first. Melancon is being paid closer money and although Hunter Strickland has pitched well and hasn’t done anything that warrants a removed from the ninth inning, Melancon may still get another chance to earn that contract.
Seattle Mariners: That screaming you may have heard Friday was Alex Colome Fantasy owners when they heard the former Tampa Bay closer was dealt to Seattle. He goes from being a solid source of saves to being a solid source of holds with the move to the pacific northwest. Edwin Diaz owners have nothing to worry about here. Diaz is still the closer, regardless of Colome picking up a save over the weekend.
Tampa Bay Rays: The question being asked since the trade of Colome is who will now close games for Tampa? The smart money would seem to be on Jose Alvarado, and he is the player you should be spending your FAAB money on, but one could argue that it makes sense for the Rays to put Sergio Romo in the role. Not only has he closed in the past, but with the Rays in sell everything that isn’t nailed down mode, wouldn’t it make sense to see if you can raise the value of Romo and acquire an asset or two for his services down the stretch?
Toronto Blue Jays: In a stop me if you heard this before moment, Roberto Osuna’s stay on Administrative Leave was once again extended another week. No one really knows if/when Osuna will be allowed to return to Toronto. Tyler Clippard’s hold on the closing job has predictably gone awry and now Ryan Tepara gets his shot. It would seem unlikely that he stays in the ninth inning long-term however and it may just be a matter of time until it’s next man up (John Axford, Seung-Hwan Oh).
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Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.
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