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Closers and Saves Report - Week 2 Waiver Wire

If the first two weeks are any indication, this should be a good baseball season. There are fans of some teams that may dispute that claim, and as a Marlins fan myself...well, bullpens have been crazy haven't they?

Smart baseball minds have been saying for years that a team's best relief pitcher shouldn't be pigeonholed into the ninth inning, and it looks like teams are finally starting to listen. Guys like Josh Hader and Andrew Miller kind of started the trend, but Raisel Iglesias on the Reds and Matt Barnes on the Red Sox may be the latest examples.

Take a look at our Closer Depth Chart, updated daily:

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Let's jump in and take a look at what's been going on in the bullpens around baseball.


Bullpen News for Week 2

Seattle Mariners

How about the Mariners, folks? They reached 10 games over .500 and have the best record in baseball as of Thursday. Anthony Swarzak looked like he jumped off the IL and into the closer's role, but manager Scott Servais looks ready to use Swarzak in a fireman role rather than a set ninth inning one. Swarzak pitched in the eighth inning of a tie game after the previous reliever allowed a baserunner, showing that Servais has plenty of confidence in him. The Mariners have now had six different relievers earn saves in just 15 games, as Connor Swarzak became the newest member of that list with a save on Thursday. It still seems like Swarzak is the arm to own if you have to own a Seattle reliever, but the situation is one best left alone in standard leagues for now.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies have some solid relievers in their bullpen, but most of them have struggled to some extent to open the season. Still, manager Gabe Kapler isn't one to select a full-time closer anyway, so the Philadelphia bullpen should be an interesting one to follow throughout the season. David Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez figure to get the most save opportunities, but Hector Neris has arguably been the best reliever in a Phillies uniform this year and Edubray Ramos got a save chance this week as well. In standard leagues, this bullpen is better left alone, but in holds leagues there should be plenty of value.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds seem to be going with the fireman model as well, using Raisel Iglesias in the toughest late-game situations rather than saving him for the ninth inning every night. That means David Hernandez and Amir Garrett should work their ways into save situations from time to time, although Iglesias is still the arm to own from the Reds bullpen. Garrett could have some nice upside in holds leagues, but is better left on the wire in standard.

Kansas City Royals

The Royals bullpen has, predictably, been a mess. Brad Boxberger has struggled and Ian Kennedy (yes, that Ian Kennedy) has worked a few ninth innings. The team called up one of their top pitching prospects, Richard Lovelady, earlier this week. He has the upside to be a very good reliever, and if he works his way into the ninth, he could put up some solid fantasy production sooner than you might expect.

Boston Red Sox

It looks like the Red Sox are going with a fireman bullpen too, using Matt Barnes at the most critical late-game moments. That's led to Ryan Brasier finding his way to the mound in a few save situations. Barnes is still the higher-upside guy in the Boston bullpen, but Brasier is no slouch and should pick up a few saves going forward. He's a deep league option.

Roster Moves of the Week


Adam Conley, Miami Marlins - Conley earned a save this week and also blew a game. But Drew Steckenrider and his 9.00 ERA inspire even less confidence. Sergio Romo should still get the most save chances in Miami for now, but Conley will mix in as well. With the recent news that Miami is trying to dump Wei-Yin Chen's awful contract on another team by including a younger arm like Conley or Steckenrider in the deal, it's possible Miami will use Conley to close in an attempt to beef up his numbers before a potential trade.

Richard Lovelady, Kansas City Royals - Lovelady is young with a ton of upside, but not a defined role just yet. In deeper leagues, if you have the roster room, he's a strong speculative add. In shallower formats, keep an eye on him on the wire and be ready to pounce.

Ryan Brasier, Boston Red Sox - Brasier isn't the Red Sox closer, but then again, no one is. Matt Barnes should still end up with the majority of the work, but Brasier will be the one to shut the door in games where Barnes was used in earlier innings for a key matchup.


No immediate drops this week, but if you're still holding out hope for Trevor Rosenthal, there's good news: he brought his ERA down this week from infinity to 72.00!


Best of the Week

Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers - 4 IP, 4 SV, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP

Folks, I think Shane Greene might have heard all of the bad things the fantasy community was saying about him in the offseason. He's come out of the gate absolutely on fire this season, as he leads all of baseball with eight saves, four more than the second most (Brad Hand, Roberto Osuna, and Jose Alvarado) in the American League. Greene hasn't allowed a run yet, and this week he struck out five while allowing just one walk and one hit.

Kirby Yates, San Diego Padres - 4 IP, 4 SV, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

Kirby Yates had an excellent second half last season and has continued his excellence to open up this season. He holds second place in baseball with seven saves, and this week he saved four games while striking out five and allowing two hits and two walks.

Cody Allen, Los Angeles Angels - 4 IP, 3 SV, 3 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

Cody Allen had a perfect week, appearing in four games and saving three without allowing anyone to reach base while he was on the mound. He struck out three in the process. Allen is a risky fantasy asset, but he does have the upside to go on dominant stretches like this one.

Felipe Vázquez, Pittsburgh Pirates - 3 2/3 IP, 3 SV, 9 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.55 WHIP

Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez was almost unhittable this week, recording nine strikeouts out of the 11 outs he got. He saved three games and allowed just two hits all week without issuing a walk.

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

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