Cleveland Indians: Andrew Miller pitched in a simulated game Monday and was activated off the DL Wednesday. He won’t be used on multiple days, maybe not until the last week of the season, and he is unlikely to get any saves, so his Fantasy value is next to none right now. If you had been holding onto him you should move on and use the slot for a player who can do more for you down the stretch.
Kansas City Royals: The Royals finally made the move that most of us have been waiting for by removing Kelvin Herrera from the closing role. Whether it’s the effects of a long season or an injury, they haven’t announced. Herrera has not been the same pitcher over the past month that he was earlier in the season. The Royals have stated that they will go with the dreaded committee approach in the ninth inning for now. Scott Alexander picked up his fourth save Monday night but was hit around for two runs on Wednesday and ended up taking the loss. Prior to Wednesday’s meltdown, Alexander had a run of 17 straight appearances without allowing a run, so he will likely get more save opportunities.
Los Angeles Angels: This is what can drive you crazy about Mike Scioscia and the Angels. Bud Norris returned from the disabled list Wednesday. The Angels have only had one save opportunity since his return. The closer was Blake Parker during his absence but he also blew his last chance. So, who gets the save chance Sunday? Not Parker, he pitched the eighth inning. Not Cam Bedrosian, he pitched the seventh inning. Norris didn’t pitch at all. Enter Yusmeiro Petit. Yeah, who saw this coming? It may just be that Scioscia is using his best relievers when he feels the game in on the line, and not necessarily automatically in the ninth inning, or maybe he just enjoys keeping everyone guessing.
Miami Marlins: Brad Ziegler wasn’t available over the weekend due to a back injury but he’s expected back Tuesday. Kyle Barraclough got the save chance on Tuesday and was unable to keep the Phillies off the scoreboard. Only a great catch by Giancarlo Stanton in right field kept Barraclough from taking the loss on top of the blown save. Barraclough may have lost his final chance to prove he can close. Ziegler is due back any day now.
New York Yankees: How quickly things change? Ten days ago, it didn’t look like there was any chance that Aroldis Chapman would close for the Yankees again this season, but a couple of subpar outings by Dellin Betances and good ones by Chapman saw a change in their roles. Chapman is back where he belongs and is closing for the NYY once again. As for Betances, his reliance on the curve ball has been baffling of late and has led to quite a few bases on balls. It would be nice for him to realize that with his size and herky jerky motion, his high 90s fastball plays like 110. Throw it more often.
St. Louis Cardinals: Since being acquired by the Cardinals a little less than a week ago, Juan Nicasio has taken over the closer’s role for St. Louis. This shouldn’t come as to big a surprise as Seung Hwan Oh has failed multiple times this season, while Trevor Rosenthal was just lost for the season due to Tommy John surgery. Nicasio has picked up two saved for the Cards and should be a solid source of saves over the final few weeks of the season.
San Francisco Giants: The Giants finally did the smart thing and shut Mark Melancon down. He will be undergoing surgery on his forearm Tuesday and should be fully recovered in time for spring training. Sam Dyson will continue to close out games for the Giants, a job he has done very well in Melancon’s absence.
Toronto Blue Jays: The Jays announced Monday that Roberto Osuna will be away from the team for a few days, as he is about to become a father. This really may be the best thing for Osuna and the team even without the family addition, as Osuna has pitched poorly of late and there have been rumors that he was going to be removed from the job. A few days off will allow him to get a breather before he returns to the ninth inning, most likely this weekend. Ryan Tepera will close until he returns.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.[table “2186” not found /]