Matt Belisle Takes Over as Twins Closer | Angels’ Bud Norris Struggling
The past week has been a quiet one as far as closers are concerned and that was to be expected, as the non-waiver trade deadline has finally come and gone. That’s not to say that more trades can’t happen but now those players will have to pass through waivers to be dealt. Some will fly through ,so it shouldn’t shock anyone if Jim Johnson (Atlanta), Bud Norris (Angels), Brad Ziegler (Miami), Santiago Casilla (Oakland), Sam Dyson (San Francisco), or another reliever is dealt.
Los Angeles Angels: It was no secret that the Angels tried to trade Norris by the deadline but when there were no takers, he remained with the team and continues to be the closer, but he has struggled of late. In his last six appearances, he has allowed 10 earned runs to see his ERA balloon to 4.09. Still, there have been no talks about removing Norris and putting Cam Bedrosian back in the role. Perhaps the reason for that is to once again try and trade Norris during August, but the Angels are still in the hunt for a playoff berth, as they sit only three games out of the last wildcard spot in the American League.
Minnesota Twins: When the Twins dealt Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals on deadline day there was some confusion as to who would close. That person looks to be Matt Belisle, as he had picked up saves Sunday and Monday. I wouldn’t write his name in pen but if you need saves, he’s the reliever to get in Minnesota.
New York Mets: Jeurys Familia is getting closer and closer to a return to action. He has thrown bullpen sessions and should head out on a rehab stint shortly. Assuming there are no setbacks he could be ready to return to the Mets bullpen as soon as next week. The question will be whether he automatically becomes the closer again or if the Mets will want him to prove his health in less stressful situations, and continue to have A.J. Ramos close until they feel comfortable.
Oakland Athletics: In somewhat of a surprise, the Athletics have installed Blake Treinen as their closer instead of Santiago Casilla. The Athletics traded Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson and received Treinen as part of the return. He failed as the Nat’s closer earlier this season but has pitched solid of late, only allowing two earned runs in his last 15 appearances. He is yet another closer that could be available on your waiver wire should you need saves.
San Francisco Giants: Mark Melancon will need at least one more rehab appearance before being called back up by the team. He has pitched three times during his rehab stint and if not for a bit of a struggle in his last appearance (4 runs in .2 IP) he might already be with the team. Sam Dyson’s days are numbered as I expect Melancon to be back and closing for SF by the time I write this column next week.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.
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