The Latest Closer Insights, Analysis and Depth Charts
Atlanta Braves: Arodys Vizcaino had to be placed back on the disabled just before the All-Star break due to right shoulder inflammation. The Braves were trying to play it safe with Vizcaino as he had just returned from the DL with the same ailment but decided the best course of action was to put him back on the DL and let him rest for at least 10 days. A.J. Minter will once again be the main source of saves in Vizcaino’s absence and probably should be held onto even when Vizcaino returns as insurance.
Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles finally traded Manny Machado, but Zach Britton is still on the team. There were rumors being floated that they might go in a package deal, apparently not. Britton is still likely to be traded before the July 31 trade deadline and he’s still unlikely to be a closer for his new team. Brad Brach may not be the choice to replace Britton if/when he’s dealt. Brach just hasn’t been all that impressive this season, (4.46 ERA, 1.73 WHIP) so the team may want to see what they have in Mychal Givens and/or Miguel Castro.
Chicago Cubs: Fantasy owners who weren’t paying attention may have been dealt a blow Thursday when Brandon Morrow was a late addition to the DL with right biceps inflammation. Hopefully they noticed the late move and were able to make a substitution. The Cubs have stated that they don’t expect the injury to keep Morrow out long term, but Morrow seems to be breaking down somewhat. Manager Joe Maddon has skipped over him for several save opportunities over the past couple of weeks as he has stated that Morrow is healthy but needed the rest. You really can’t have it both ways. Pedro Strop could be next man up, but the Cubs have several options including Steve Cishek and Carl Edwards.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians did quite a bit to reinforce their bullpen Thursday with the addition of Brad Hand. It was no secret that the bullpen has been the team’s Achilles’ heel this season. Hand should help the bullpen be able to get the ball to closer Cody Allen with the lead still intact, especially when Andrew Miller returns. As for Miller, it doesn’t look like he will return any earlier than early to mid-August as he is still dealing with knee issues and is just now working himself back into shape.
Detroit Tigers: As expected, Shane Greene returned to close for the Tigers last weekend. Greene will continue to gather saves for the Tigers until he’s traded. If and when Greene is moved, he is also highly unlikely to close for his new team, but rather be a top setup man. Joe Jimenez will return to the closing role if/when Greene is moved.
Milwaukee Brewers: By now we have all heard about the unfortunate tweets made by Josh Hader in his late teen years. Major League Baseball will not discipline Hader for his hateful remarks so if you were starting him, you’re still safe to do so.
New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman skipped the ASG to give his knee some rest. Chapman has been dealing with tendinitis in that knee for the entire season but outside of coming out of a game versus the Blue Jays two weeks ago, has been able to pitch through it. Chapman is expected to be ready to go for the Yankees when they return to action Friday versus the Mets.
San Diego Padres: With Hand traded to the Indians on Thursday, it is assumed that Kirby Yates will close for the Padres. That isn’t the problem. The problem is that quite a few FAAB dollars are going to be spent this week on Yates as so many of us need saves. Well, I hate to throw cold water on those bids, but what happens if/when Yates is also dealt? Yates is not some top young prospect that the Padres will feel the need to hold onto. He is 31 years of age and is having a better season than Hand. The Padres will definitely market Yates and like Hand, a contender may want him to help in the seventh and eighth innings.
Washington Nationals: Unfortunately for Fantasy owners, Sean Doolittle will not be ready to come off the DL when first eligible to on Friday. The Nationals haven’t stated when he will return, just that he is making progress. It was assumed that Kelvin Herrera would pick up the saves in Doolittle’s absence, but Ryan Madson was chosen to pick up the only save that Washington has needed since Doolittle went out. It could’ve been a one-time thing or perhaps manager Dave Martinez just prefers to keep Herrera in his eighth inning role.[table “2744” not found /]
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.