Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Closers and Saves Report - Week 23 Waiver Wire

A particularly quiet bullpen week leading into- or starting, depending on your league- the fantasy playoffs makes for less drama, but maybe more worry? Kind of the whole "calm before the storm" type of thing. It almost seems like since sort of nothing happened in bullpens this week, maybe everything will happen next week, right in the fantasy playoffs. We'll see.

This week, not a lot happened, but an established closer started to struggle again while a brand new closer who wasn't good as a starter showed that (gasp!) he might not be good as a closer either. Meanwhile, a hurt closer got back on the mound and a few young future closers got their first taste of a save. Also, Edwin Diaz.

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.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!


Bullpen News for Week 23

Miami Marlins

Jose Urena returned from the injured list and, as promised, he almost immediately slid into the closer's role. Perplexingly overrated by the team as a starter (they called him their ace), Urena does have velocity going for him. He doesn't miss bats and rarely strikes guys out, but if he was throwing 98 as a starter, maybe he could touch 100 in a relief role and get a few more swings and misses. Not so much. Still sitting between 96 and 98, Urena picked up a save in his first chance, pitching a clean 1-2-3 10th inning. His next outing though? Not so good. Urena was handed a two run lead and before long, the Pirates walked off with a win. Urena is still likely to remain in the closer's role until the end of the season as the Marlins will want to see what he might be able to do in the future. How many save chances they'll have to give him remains the issue, though. He's only worth owning on teams desperate for maybe two or three more saves.

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland closer Brad Hand was awesome. He made the All-Star Game. Then he was awful. For almost two months, he posted an ERA close to seven. He got a vote of confidence from his manager, and then just like that, he was good again. For a little while. This week, however, Hand struggled again. Given a four-run lead, Hand gave up a two run blast before loading the bases and only getting one out. He was pulled from the game and Nick Wittgren was able to close it out and earn a save. Hand owes him...a round of applause. He'll likely get another vote of confidence if necessary, but it's clear that Wittgren is his handcuff and Hand's owners may want to handcuff him if they have the roster space.

Washington Nationals

Sean Doolittle is back from the IL, but with the Nationals focusing on the real-life playoffs, he may not be right back into the closer's role. He seems healthy, but he'll work lower-leverage situations at least for now, leaving Daniel Hudson as the most likely National to earn saves. Doolittle should take over before long, though, making him a solid target for teams planning a deep run in the fantasy playoffs.

Chicago Cubs

Craig Kimbrel is hurt. Again. He'll go on the injured list, leaving closing duties to a mix of Rowan Wick, Pedro Strop, and Steve Cishek. Wick might stay in his setup role, leaving Cishek and Strop as the saves candidates. Neither is a must-add, but either one could potentially help a fantasy playoff team with a couple of saves here and there.



Short Relief

  • Edwin Diaz learned a new grip for his slider, borrowing some knowledge from Jacob deGrom. Edwin Diaz is no Jacob deGrom, especially not this season. Seth Lugo continues to be the most valuable member of the Mets bullpen.
  • Andres Munoz earned a save this week. He'll probably earn a ton more in his career, but the Padres ninth inning belongs to Kirby Yates for now.
  • Reyes Moronta is out for the year and at least part of next year as well. He's dealing with a torn labrum and while he still may end up as the closer of the future for the Giants, that future just got a little further away.
  • Josh James also earned a save this week. Sure to earn many more throughout his career, he'll work ahead of Roberto Osuna for at least the rest of this season.


Roster Moves of the Week


Jose Urena, Miami Marlins- Ew, gross. Only the most desperate owners need to target him, but he will at least get the chance to come in for saves for the rest of the month.

Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals- Dropped in many leagues, Doolittle could be a solid contributor in the later games of a fantasy playoff matchup.

Nick Wittgren, Cleveland Indians- Really, really desperate for saves? Wittgren is the Brad Hand-cuff and might jump into some ninth innings if Hand keeps slumping.

Pedro Strop or Steve Cishek, Chicago Cubs- One of these two will be on the mound in save situations for the Cubs. Owners looking for saves can flip a coin and pick either guy for now. Hopefully, there will be a bit more clarity soon.



Ryne Stanek, Miami Marlins- Stanek's time as Marlins closer was brief and brutal. He'll work in a setup or middle relief role ahead of closer Jose Urena, mostly because Marlins manager Don Mattingly is not creative enough to use him in the opener role he excelled in with the other Florida team.


Best of the Week

Mark Melancon, Atlanta Braves- 2 1/3 IP, 3 SV, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

Braves closer Mark Melancon had a perfect week, saving three games and striking out five without allowing a single base runner.

Emilio Pagan, Tampa Bay Rays- 5 IP, 3 SV, 7 K, 1.80 ERA, 0.40 WHIP

Rays closer Emilio Pagan pitched five innings this week, striking out seven while saving three games. He allowed a run on two hits.


More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!

More Recent Articles


2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The @Fleaflicker Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 343 teams - across two divisions - competing to be crowned champ... Read More

Biggest Surprises of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 NFL season was an interesting year for the running back position. Christian McCaffrey was the overall RB1, but some of the other top players fell below expectations. That led to some interesting final results when the final season standings came around. And while some of those -- Dalvin Cook as the RB3, Leonard... Read More

Introducing the 2020 Rookie Tight End Class

Out of all the skill positions, tight end is the one where rookies have the most issue making an immediate impact. But there's still always some value at every position in every NFL Draft, and the 2020 one is no exception, even if people are very down on this year's crop of tight ends. Let's... Read More

Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More

Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More

The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More

Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More

Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More

Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More

Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More

Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More

Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More

Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More

Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More

Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More