Fantasy Baseball Closer Updates and Depth Charts
Atlanta Braves: Arodys Vizcaino was originally expected to return to the Braves on Sunday, but the team wanted him to complete an additional bullpen session first. That session was completed successfully Monday, and Vizcaino was expected to re-join the Braves in New York on Tuesday. While there is always a chance that the Braves could elect to have Vizcaino prove he is up to the task in a setup role upon his return, he is just as likely to resume closing duties should the need arise.
Chicago Cubs: Not only did Brandon Morrow return from the disabled list last Thursday, but he also picked up a pair of saves over the weekend versus the Twins. Morrow is safe to be activated to your starting roster and with the Cubs offense finally starting to come alive, he could have a much more active second half for your Fantasy team.
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers were dealt a blow Monday when they announced that Shane Greene was placed on the DL due to a shoulder injury. The injury is being described as a strain, but the team still hasn’t announced how long Greene may be out for. This is pretty terrible timing for the Tigers. as they had likely hoped to be able to deal Greene for a prospect or two by the trade deadline on July 31. While it’s still possible that a deal could take place, Greene would not only have to return to the bullpen but also pitch effectively for that to happen. Until Greene does return the closing job will go to Joe Jimenez. That change started out rough Monday as Jimenez blew the save versus Toronto. He gave up a hit, walked three, and allowed a run in the only inning he pitched. Jimenez did receive a vulture win as the Tigers scored in the top of the inning, but the outing certainly wasn’t encouraging. The Tigers don’t have much behind Jimenez, however, so he should have a long leash.
Houston Astros: Ken Giles hasn’t picked up a save since June 12, so the ninth inning does look to be in the hands of Hector Rondon at this point in time. Will he keep the job? Unlikely, as you have to think the Astros will look to land a closer before the trade deadline expires. Wouldn’t Zach Britton look good here? We know the Orioles want to move him and a bona fide closer may be the last piece of the puzzle in order for Houston to repeat as World Series Champions.
Kansas City Royals: The Royals have already started their fire sale and the only thing they are going to compete for this season will be the first overall pick in next year’s draft. That’s my coy way of saying wins are going to be very hard to come by. Wily Peralta is the closer right now and if you need saves, do what you have to do, but remember, he’s no lock to have the job for the rest of the season and if he records 10 more saves I’d be surprised.
San Francisco Giants: It’s a complete guessing game as to who will close out the next game for the Giants. I don’t even think manager Bruch Bochy knows right now. Mark Melancon and Sam Dyson have both struggled of late. Tony Watson probably deserves a shot to close, but Bochy may prefer the left-hander to get key outs in the seventh and/or eighth innings. Will Smith has picked up the last two saves for the Giants and may be the odds-on favorite right now, but that is only likely to last until he struggles in the role. This has the making of a full-blown committee.
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