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Closers and Saves Report - Week 19 Waiver Wire

The trade deadline shook the fantasy baseball world, so this week wasn't going to be nearly as important, but there were still plenty of things going on around the league that need to be looked at. There were injuries this week, and there were key roster moves. One team more or less just got a closer, lost him to the IL, then replaced him with a reliever who was just coming off the IL. Another team finally gave up on a closer and removed him from the role, then gave up on him even more and took him off the roster completely.

It was a pretty active week in bullpens, only overshadowed by the recent trade deadline (and maybe by the Miracle Mets?) With fantasy managers starting to look ahead to the playoffs and some fighting for the final spot or two in the postseason, it's important to stay on top of what's going on from one day to the next. Keep an eye on Rotoballer for any more changes in the weeks to come.

Take a look at our Closer Depth Chart, which is updated daily. Let's jump in and take a look at what's been going on in the bullpens around baseball.

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Bullpen News for Week 19

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs waited almost half of the season to get a closer, and when Craig Kimbrel signed, it seemed like things were looking up. Kimbrel hasn't quite been Kimbrel, and now he's on the injured list, leaving the Cubs with a committee to handle the ninth inning again. The day after Kimbrel went down, Pedro Strop was activated from the IL and should get the bulk of the save chances in the meantime, unless David Phelps proves to be the better option. Brandon Kintzler would have been another option, as he's been the most consistent member of the Chicago bullpen, but he joined Kimbrel on the IL the next day. So it will be Strop again, as it was in the beginning of the season, with a little help from Steve Cishek and David Phelps now and then. Owners of Kimbrel who need some temporary help with saves can look for Strop on the waiver wire, but his role as closer will be temporary.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Greg Holland closed for the Diamondbacks for way too long. He was obviously not pitching well, but the team stubbornly kept him in the role, even talking about removing him once before changing their mind the very next day. Finally, they removed him from the ninth inning officially last week, and he didn't even make it another week before he was designated for assignment. Holland wasn't looking like he'd ever gain his ninth inning back anyway, but the DFA just makes it crystal clear. He should be dropped in all formats of fantasy, even though he's sure to get picked up by some real-life team who thinks they can "fix" him. Archie Bradley has taken the reins in the desert, but he's still just a part of a committee that also includes Yoan Lopez and Yoshihisa Hirano. Bradley is the arm to target for fantasy, and could have some nice upside if he takes over the role all for himself.

Texas Rangers

It took a few trades and some injuries for Jose Leclerc to regain the closer's role in Texas, but it's his now. After the Chris Martin trade to Atlanta, Leclerc looked like the guy in the Lone Star State. But with Shawn Kelley returning from the injured list, some fantasy owners were worried that he'd take the ninth inning back for himself. Manager Chris Woodward made sure to assuage those concerns though, saying that Leclerc has earned the role and will continue to work as the team's closer. Kelley will help setup and should be a solid contributor in holds leagues and the next guy up if Leclerc stumbles again.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies finally made a switch in the ninth inning, removing Wade Davis and his 6.61 ERA from the role and installing Scott Oberg and his 1.53 ERA in there instead. Oberg is outpitching his peripheral stats by quite a bit (3.35 FIP, 26.1% K%), but has still been far better than Davis this season and should be able to hold down the ninth inning for the rest of the year. Davis can be dropped in most formats and Oberg needs to be added anywhere he's available. Owners should expect a bit of regression, but still decent ratios and a good number of saves.


Short Relief

  • Jarlin Garcia seems to be the leader of the Marlins closer committee, but that might not last long. He's been good at keeping runs off the board, but he simply does not have closer "stuff" as batters very rarely swing and miss at his pitches. New Marlins Ryne Stanek could take over the closer's role before long and might be in that role next season as well. He's worth a look in deeper dynasty and keeper formats.
  • While nothing has been made official just yet, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Seth Lugo take the ninth inning from Edwin Diaz in the Mets bullpen sometime soon. As bad as Diaz has been this season is as good as Lugo has been, so the swap just makes sense as the Mets are suddenly in the playoff hunt again.
  • Brandon Workman has officially taken over in Boston, as he's now the closer and not just the leader of the committee. He can be added in all formats.


Roster Moves of the Week


Scott Oberg, Colorado Rockies- Oberg closed for a bit when Wade Davis hit the IL earlier this season and did really well. Now that Davis has been removed from the role entirely, we should expect more success from Oberg. He should be added in all formats.

Brandon Workman, Boston Red Sox- Workman was already owned in many leagues as the head of the Red Sox committee, but now that he's the full-fledged closer, he should be picked up anywhere he's still available.

Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks- Bradley hasn't been named the closer just yet, but he's been leading the committee and should take the role all to himself if his success continues.

David Phelps/Pedro Strop, Chicago Cubs- One of these two will lead the team in saves while Kimbrel is gone. Strop did the job before Kimbrel signed, but Phelps has been the better pitcher of late. Owners desperate for saves can take a chance on either guy and hope they made the right choice.

Ryne Stanek, Miami Marlins- Stanek was awesome as an opener for the Rays, but now that he has a manager who can't even manage a regular pitching staff, he's likely to work in a more traditional bullpen role. There's a strong chance he works his way into the ninth inning and could hold that job into next season if he does well.


Greg Holland, Arizona Diamondbacks- Hopefully it didn't take your fantasy team as long to drop Holland as it took the Diamondbacks. If he's still on your roster, I have mean things to say about you.

Wade Davis, Colorado Rockies- Who would have thought that an ERA over 6.50 wasn't good enough to hold down a closer's job? Davis is out, Oberg is in, and there's no reason to believe Davis will make his way back to the ninth inning this season.

Shawn Kelley, Texas Rangers- Some fantasy owners were holding onto Kelley in hopes that he'd go right back into the closer's role once he healed, but the Rangers are keeping Jose Leclerc in the ninth and moving Kelley into a setup role. He'll retain value in holds leagues, but in standard leagues he's no more than Leclerc's backup.


Best of the Week

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees- 3 IP, 3 SV, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP

Another strong week from the Yankees closer, who saved all three games he pitched in, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out six.

Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals- 3 IP, 2 SV, 3 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP

A good week from another lefty, as Doolittle allowed just one hit this week, saving two games and striking out three batters.

Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds- 3 1/3 IP, 2 SV, 4 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.30 WHIP

Reds closer Raisel Iglesias pitched well, saving two games while allowing just one hit in getting 1o outs. He struck out four without issuing a walk.



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