Fantasy Baseball Bullpen Updates and Analysis
Atlanta Braves: It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Arodys Vizcaino will be out quite a bit longer than the minimum period with his shoulder injury. Vizcaino almost certainly returned to soon from this injury last time and the Braves will play it safe now. The team announced Monday that Vizcaino won’t even begin throwing for at least another 2-3 weeks, which makes a return in September his most likely scenario. Also, Vizcaino is not guaranteed to return as the team’s closer after such a lengthy absence. A.J. Minter is the closer now and could be for the remainder of the season unless the Braves decide to acquire a top-notch reliever before the trade deadline on July 31.
Baltimore Orioles: Zach Britton will only be the Yankees’ top left-handed setup man for Aroldis Chapman. Brad Brach has been shaky, but will remain the top man for saves in Baltimore for now.
Chicago Cubs: Brandon Morrow is currently on the disabled list with a biceps injury. The Cubs keep stating that Morrow should return shortly but they have been careful with Morrow’s workload for a couple of months now and the recent Britton rumors could indicate that Morrow is either hurt more than the team is letting on or that they don’t think he can remain healthy for the remainder of the season. Then again, they could just be looking to add a top reliever for the stretch run and now have to look outside of Baltimore.
Cleveland Indians: Andrew Miller could be back in the bullpen or the Indians at some point next week. He is pitching in the minors while rehabbing his knee injury but won’t return to the team until he proves he can pitch in back-to-back games, something that could happen this weekend. Once he does return the bullpen for the Indians will look much better with Brad Hand and Miller available to setup for Cody Allen.
Miami Marlins: The Marlins are set to have a fire sale by the trade deadline. At present time it seems that just about everyone is available with the exception of J.T. Realmuto. This includes closer Kyle Barraclough and top setup man Drew Steckenrider. While these two are available, the price is said to be extremely high, which could make moving them unlikely. The one reliever who is expected to be sent packing is Brad Ziegler. That will have little Fantasy impact as Ziegler won’t close for his new team.
New York Mets: Whether or not you think the Mets received a big enough return for Jeurys Familia or not really doesn’t matter. He’s gone. Who will close in his place? Robert Gsellman is the most likely candidate, but manager Mickey Callaway came out after the Familia trade and stated that the closer each night could change depending upon who is available. This would seem to indicate that no reliever will have a specific inning to pitch in. They will be used depending upon the situation. Maybe it’s Anthony Swarzak or Seth Lugo who closes out games. I’d be very careful spending a fortune on Gsellman.
New York Yankees: Chapman had an absolute disaster of an outing Saturday as he just couldn’t find the plate. The Yankees have stated that there is no reason for concern. That it was just a matter of Chapman being used in a non-save situation and that he hadn’t pitched in a week. This is probably true, but one still can’t help but raise an eyebrow or two as this came just a little over a week since he was lifted in a save opportunity versus the Blue Jays because of tendinitis in his knee.
Oakland Athletics: Even with the addition of Familia, Blake Treinen is expected to remain the closer for the Athletics. Whether or not you should keep Familia on your Fantasy roster depends on who you would replace him with. Familia could still pick up a save here and there and at the very least could protect your ratios which may be more valuable than placing a fourth or fifth MLB starter in your lineup who is going to give up 4-5 runs per outing. It really comes down to what is more important for your Fantasy team, protecting your ratios, or trying to pick up counting stats.
Philadelphia Phillies: Although nothing is really written in stone, it does look like Victor Arano is the current closer for the Phillies, or at the very least, he is when Seranthony Dominguez has pitched the day before. Dominguez has 0.61 ERA when pitching on at least one day’s rest, but it balloons to over 10 when he pitches on back-to-back days. That’s a staggering difference and should lead to Dominguez earning more rest as he gets accustomed to the long baseball season. The Phillies are another team that could be in line for bullpen help before the trade deadline.
Washington Nationals: Sean Doolittle won’t be spending the minimum amount of time on the DL after all as a stress fracture was discovered in his foot that will likely keep him from pitching until at least mid-August. Who will close in his absence? Well, if you spent heavily in FAAB on Kelvin Herrera when Doolittle first went on the DL, it looks you are about to be rewarded, as he did pick up the last save chance for the Nationals. That being said, I wouldn’t count out Ryan Madson or Brandon Kintzler either.
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Seranthony Dominguez Featured Image: (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)