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Closers and Saves Report - Week 6 Waiver Wire

Some pretty important moving and shaking went on this week in the bullpens across the league. Craig Kimbrel is still looking for somebody to love him (Queen reference in intro: ✔), and I'm still recommending anyone holding him in fantasy leagues without an NA spot lets him go. Thought it would be good to get that clear off the top.

Diving into more current news, the Braves went into a full committee, the Twins dipped their toes in the committee pool, the A's escaped a bullpen disaster, and the Cubs descended into chaos. The Red Sox bullpen might be figuring itself out, and the Marlins lost a potential save candidate to an injury this week as well.

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 6

Atlanta Braves

A.J. Minter pitched in the seventh inning of a game the Braves were losing, in case you were wondering where he is in terms of the closer-by-committee in Atlanta. Even worse, his manager said the lefty was likely headed to the minors to work things out. He's not even a consideration for the ninth inning at this point. Luke Jackson seems like the choice here despite a tough outing on Thursday, but Dan Winkler should get some chances and Minter could work his way back into more important innings eventually. Owners desperate for saves can snag Jackson off the waiver wire if they have an open roster spot, but he's probably not worth dropping anyone you've been starting this season.

Minnesota Twins

It really looked like Blake Parker was taking over the closer's role in Minnesota and not looking back but then he...looked back at Taylor Rogers and saw him earning saves. At first, Rogers was only given save situations when Parker was unavailable, but this week, Rogers was on the mound while Parker waited patiently in the bullpen. What looked like Parker's ninth inning is back to being a committee, although it seems more like a platoon with the righty Parker and the lefty Rogers. That means Parker should still get most of the save chances, but he won't have the numbers of a full-fledged closer as long as Rogers sticks around.

Oakland A's

The A's have one of baseball's best closers in Blake Treinen and a lot of A's fans and fantasy owners of Treinen were rightfully worried when Treinen was deemed unavailable due to "right elbow discomfort", but he was able to avoid a trip to the injured list and returned on Wednesday night with two scoreless innings. Crisis averted in Oakland.

Chicago Cubs

Speaking of crises, there's one in the Chicago bullpen. Pedro Strop, already closing in place of the injured Brandon Morrow, is now on his way to the IL as well. Strop hurt his hamstring and was placed on the injured list, leaving the closer's role likely to some mix of Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler, and Brad Brach. Lefty Kyle Ryan might get a chance or two when the situation calls for it as well. There's no real must-own in this bullpen right now, but the best bet would be Cishek for owners trying to replace Strop from within.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers demoted closer Jose Leclerc after a difficult start to the season and were going with Chris Martin and Shawn Kelley for a bit. On Thursday, Kelley wound up on the IL with an infection and the ninth inning seems to be Martin's for now. He's not a high-strikeout guy, but he should be able to provide a couple of saves a week and can be picked up in most formats as a temporary source of bullpen help.


Short Relief

  • The Marlins bullpen has been interesting this season, with expected-to-be-good guys like Drew Steckenrider and Adam Conley being awful and expected-to-be-wait-who-even-is-that guys Nick Anderson and Tyler Kinley being solid. "Steck" had to return to Miami for testing on his elbow and will miss some time. That and the awful start to the season by Conley should propel Anderson and Tayron Guerrero into more significant innings going forward.
  • Ryan Brasier has been struggling for the Red Sox lately and is only further proving that Matt Barnes is the superior talent. Barnes is currently being used as the fireman in the Boston bullpen, but he may start seeing some more traditional save chances if Brasier keeps blowing it.
  • The Angels activated Cody Allen from the injured list, but he doesn't seem like a late-inning factor for now. Ty Buttrey is getting the fireman treatment in Anaheim, with Hansel Robles looking like the designated ninth inning arm. Buttrey needs to be owned in all holds leagues, and Robles could be an option for owners struggling to get saves.


Roster Moves of the Week


Taylor Rogers, Minnesota Twins - Rogers puts up excellent rate stats and piles up the Ks. Now that he's part of the ninth inning committee, he's worth picking up in deeper standard formats and should already be owned in all holds leagues.

Chris Martin, Texas Rangers - Martin wasn't a recommended add when he was sharing the closer's role with Shawn Kelley, but now that Kelley's on the injured list, Martin should get the bulk of the save chances until Leclerc is deemed ready to return. Martin won't blow away hitters and isn't a huge strikeout arm, but he's solid enough to provide a save or two here and there, and that always means fantasy value.

Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves - If Jackson is still available, he should be a somewhat solid source of saves for the next few weeks. A.J. Minter should be able to work his way back into the ninth inning, but for now it seems like Jackson's job to lose.

Steve Cishek, Chicago Cubs - Cishek should get most of the save chances for the Cubs while Pedro Strop recovers from his hamstring injury. Cishek won't light the world on fire and will likely share the role with other Cubs relievers, but he could provide a save or two per week.


No immediate drops this week, unless you're still holding out hope for Craig Kimbrel and have him in an active roster spot. Also, if you're out of IL spots, Pedro Strop doesn't need to be held onto for too long, since he might end up returning to a committee role anyway.


Best of the Week

Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers - 3 2/3 IP, 3 SV, 10 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.82 WHIP

Hader was the only closer with three saves this week, but even if he'd had fewer, he'd be in the top spot with 10 strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings and no runs allowed. He gave up just three base runners, a hit and two walks.

Felipe Vazquez, Pittsburgh Pirates - 3 IP, 2 SV, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP

Vazquez had a solid week, striking out five in his three innings and picking up two saves. He allowed two hits this week without giving up a walk.

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees - 1 1/3 IP, 2 SV, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP

Chapman was barely on the mound this week, getting just four outs, but he was still able to secure two saves and two strikeouts while allowing only one hit.

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