Closer Carousels: MLB Closers & Saves Update (Week 21)

Stay on top of the MLB closers and saves updates for week 21. RotoBaller brings you fantasy baseball advice on saves, as closers are an important piece of your fantasy team!

Josh Bixler - RotoBaller

Yeoman’s Work

Jim JohnsonJim Johnson:  Johnson has allowed four runs, 11 hits and two walks over his last 4.2 innings of work.  He continues to struggle and news out of Baltimore indicates it might be time for change in the “Charm City,” at least until Johnson gets back on track.  He will probably finish out the season as the O’s closer, but until then Tommy Hunter looks like the pitcher to own.  Francisco Rodriguez is dealing with strained right groin so it’s tough to say who would be used while Johnson tries to rebound.  K-rod has the experience and the better strikeout rate, but he is slightly injured and probably better suited for the 8th inning at this point in his career.

Edward Mujica:  Mujica has been fantastic this season, converting 33 saves in 35 chances.  If you look strictly at his numbers, they don't necessarily scream out "closer," but he is getting the job done, and doing it well.  His success to this point has hinged on limiting baserunners, but what's amazing is that he is mainly using only one pitch, just like Mariano Rivera, except it’s not a cutter.  Mujica is throwing his split-finger fastball or change-up almost 70% of time and his fastball roughly 30% of the time.  The current issue with Mujica is that he is pitching with a big knot in his right trapezius muscle which is “supposed” to be the cause of his arm fatigue.  Trevor Rosenthal will receive the save chances when Mujica is unavailable, with Seth Maness backing up if neither pitch.  Rosenthal displays those prototypical closer numbers that we like to see in a game finisher.  So if you are already thinking about next year, you may want to snag Rosenthal because he could be closing for the Red Birds in 2014.



Brad Ziegler:  The Brad Ziegler experiment could be coming to a close sooner rather than later.  He blew his first save on Monday, August 12, and he has only compiled 34 strikeouts through 57.7 innings.  Get ready to pounce on J.J. Putz.

Kevin Gregg:  There are only eight days left in August, so Gregg could be staying put, but if he doesn’t, I hope you are still holding Pedro Strop.

Aroldis Chapman:  Chapman is still slinging 100+ mph and striking out batters in bunches, so nothing new here.  Thank you, drive through!

Rex Brothers:  Rafael Betancourt hit the DL once again, and this time it’s for the rest of the season.  I bet Rex Brothers owners are not too broken up about it, though.

Kenley Jansen:  Yup, I have said this almost every week but Jansen is still nailz.  Brian Wilson came back this week, but he is expected to work as the setup man, though he could grab the occasional save when Jansen is unavailable.

LaTroy Hawkins:  Hawkins picked up his fifth save of the season on Tuesday night and cruising right along as the Metropolitans’ closer.  I would get ready to grab Gonzalez Germen if Hawkins were to falter.

Mark Melancon:  Melancon has only blown one save since taking over the closer’s role when Jason Grilli went on the DL.  Grilli might be back at the beginning of September, so Melancon’s chances at saves could be winding down.

Rafael Soriano:  Soriano has been struggling as of late, but managed to pick up his 32nd save in 38 chances on Wednesday night.  Drew Storen picked up a save in an extra-inning affair on Thursday night.  Tyler Clippard is listed as the setup guy, but I think the Nationals would turn to Storen if anything were to happen to Soriano.

Chia-Jen Lo:  Bo Porter stated that Lo and Josh Fields will continue to alternate as co-closers, but it’s only a matter of time before Chia-Jen Lo is the full-blown closer.  Lo is only owned in 7-8% of the leagues so he is still on the down Lo.  Get Heem now!

Ernesto Frieri:  Apparently, Frieri and Dane De La Rosa are sharing the closer role for the time being.  This type of situation can only last so long, so expect Frieri to get his job back soon.  Frieri has not allowed a run since being demoted from the ninth-inning role.  Trust me: nobody but Frieri is destined to finish out the year as the Angels' closer.  Next year? Well, that's a different story; the Halos may look to acquire a closer via trade.

Mariano Rivera:  After blowing three consecutive save chances, Rivera rebounded on Wednesday night by nailing down his 37th save... See? He aight; move on!

Danny Farquhar:  Farquhar continues to impress as he earned his ninth save of the season on Wednesday.  Yo, haters, any questions?

Fernando Rodney:  Like I've said before, Rodney will finish out the year as the Rays’ closer.  If you have any doubts, then grab one of these scrubs:  Joel Peralta or Jake McGee.

Casey Janssen:  Janssen has struggled a bit, but he must have been in a slump; we will give him a pass just as the Blue Jays will.  Janssen does not get many save chances but when he does receive them, he nails them down as he only has two blown saves for the year.

Be sure to stay up to date on all of the MLB closers and fantasy baseball saves situations around the majors. Our closers and saves depth charts provide a summary of each MLB team and their current closer situation, including who’s next in line.

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