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Closers and Saves Waiver Wire Report for Fantasy Baseball - Week 18

Ian Kennedy - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Closers and Saves, Waiver Wire Pickups

The trade deadline dust has settled, and we're still not over it here at RotoBaller. Those were some wild days leading up to what was a really wild Tuesday! Bullpens across the league were affected, and while some of the changes were obvious, others were a little less clear and needed time to sort themselves out.

Now that that's happened, we'll take a look at the bullpens that have changed and how they have changed since the deadline. A veteran traded to a team in need of a closer...isn't exclusively closing? A guy considered the best closer in baseball...certainly hasn't been. Lots of other things to look at, discuss, talk about, predict, and revisit, so let's get into it.

Be sure to also keep an eye on our RotoBaller Fantasy Baseball Closers and Saves Bullpen Depth Charts. They're updated daily, or sometimes even more often in this wild 2022 baseball season. 

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Arizona Diamondbacks - Bullpen and Closers News

Everyone was pretty sure that the Diamondbacks would trade either Mark Melancon or Ian Kennedy, or maybe even both. They...did nothing. Both veterans remain in the desert, but Melancon has been removed from the closer's role after a season's worth of struggles. When Arizona manager Torey Lovullo made the announcement, we assumed Ian Kennedy would be the closer, but instead it looks like a committee that will still include Melancon.

Since Melancon "lost his job," he has two saves and Kennedy has two saves. The two veterans should continue to split save chances, with Joe Mantiply possibly mixing in as well. There's no one in this bullpen that needs to be rostered in most formats, but Kennedy could be the best bet for managers desperate for an extra save or two.

Risers: Ian Kennedy, Joe Mantiply
Fallers: Mark Melancon

 

Boston Red Sox - Bullpen and Closers News

Red Sox closer Tanner Houck landed on the injured list this week due to inflammation in his lower back. Houck had been consistently pitching in save situations, but that role could go to Garrett Whitlock now that he's out. If the Red Sox choose to keep Whitlock in a more flexible role, John Schreiber could see save chances as well.

Fantasy managers could sneak their way in to a few saves with Whitlock or Shreiber, but being able to guess which guy will get the ninth on any given day won't be easy. Both should be rostered in holds leagues, though. Houck isn't expected to miss a ton of time, so an open IL spot fits him well in most leagues.

Risers: Garrett Whitlock, John Schreiber
Fallers: Tanner Houck

 

Cincinnati Reds - Bullpen and Closers News

The Reds bullpen hasn't been of much value in fantasy leagues this season, but closers are always worth keeping an eye on, especially in deeper saves-only leagues. Hunter Strickland was given the closer's role and struggled, so manager David Bell has said he will be keeping Strickland out of the ninth inning for a while. He hasn't named a closer to replace him, but Alexis Diaz is likely the best bet. Diaz has great stuff, but can struggle with his control. If he can throw strikes, he can be a very good closer and a very good fantasy asset.

It will most likely be a committee though, as Bell has said he likes to have flexibility with how he deploys Diaz late in the game. That means that Joel Kuhnel and Reiver Sanmartin could see some save chances, along with Buck Farmer as well. Diaz is the only one worth considering in most fantasy formats, and if he does well, he could keep the job for the rest of this season and beyond.

Risers: Alexis Diaz, Joel Kuhnel
Fallers: Hunter Strickland

 

Philadelphia Phillies - Bullpen and Closers News

We all assumed David Robertson would take over outright in Philadelphia, but he's been sharing save chances with Seranthony Dominguez, who has been excellent. It's been close to an even split in the ninth since Robertson came over from the Cubs, with Dominguez having the slight edge.

Both need to be rostered in holds leagues, and flip a coin (hoping it lands on Dominguez) in saves-only formats. Brad Hand remains in a high-leverage role in theory, but hasn't earned a hold in almost a month and hasn't even pitched all that much. He can be dropped in most leagues.

Risers: Seranthony Dominguez
Fallers: Brad Hand, David Robertson

 

Short Relief - Other Bullpen News

Diego Castillo is back from the IL and already pitching significant high-leverage innings. He's likely back in the Seattle committee, but Paul Sewald is still "the guy" over there.

Matt Bush earned a save for the Brewers when Devin Williams needed an extra day of rest. Taylor Rogers is dealing with a knee injury as well, making the Brewers bullpen a mess.

Felix Bautista was the obvious choice to take over in Baltimore after closer Jorge Lopez was traded, and (although it seems rare now) the obvious has happened. Bautista is a must-add in all formats.

Ryan Tepera seems to have the top spot in the Angels committee, but it's mostly a mess that most fantasy managers should just avoid if possible.

James Karinchak has worked his way back into high-leverage innings in Cleveland, making him a possible consideration in holds leagues. He won't take Emmanuel Clase's ninth inning job, though.

Jonathan Hernandez has been working as the Rangers closer and has decent enough ratios to make him worth a spot in most leagues.



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ROTOBALLER PLAYER NEWS

Ke'Bryan Hayes12 hours ago

Has Lower Back Discomfort
Dane Dunning12 hours ago

Set To Undergo Hip Surgery, Out For Season
Freddie Freeman12 hours ago

Scratched Due To Illness
Brandon Lowe12 hours ago

Will Not Return This Season
J.K. Dobbins12 hours ago

To Make Season Debut In Week 3
Luis Castillo12 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Agree To Five-Year Extension With Luis Castillo
Luis Robert13 hours ago

Headed To IL, Done For Season
Josh Jacobs13 hours ago

To Travel To Tennessee
Shane Baz13 hours ago

To Undergo Tommy John Surgery
Brandon Nimmo17 hours ago

Not In The Lineup On Saturday
Freddy Peralta17 hours ago

Will Start Sunday Vs. Cincinnati
Nick Castellanos17 hours ago

Will Return To The Phillies Next Week
Minnesota Twins18 hours ago

Rocco Baldelli Will Remain With The Twins In 2023
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Designated For Assignment
CJ McCollum18 hours ago

C.J. McCollum Signs Extension With Pelicans
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Langston Galloway Joins Pacers
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Norvel Pelle, Justin Anderson Get Training Camp Deals
Golden State Warriors18 hours ago

Andre Iguodala Returns To Warriors
Jake Odorizzi19 hours ago

Torched By Phillies Friday
Gerrit Cole19 hours ago

Gets Ejected Friday Against Red Sox
J.D. Martinez20 hours ago

Retreats To The Bench Saturday
Nathan Eovaldi20 hours ago

Allows Three Runs In Rehab Start
Spencer Strider20 hours ago

Braves Place Spencer Strider On The Injured List
Adolis García20 hours ago

X-Rays Come Back Negative On Adolis Garcia
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Has Impressed Hornets
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To Get More Minutes
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Won't Be Fully Ready For Training Camp
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Out Again On Friday
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Won't Pitch Again In 2022
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Ruled Out For Sunday
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Questionable For Week 3
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To Make Season Debut Sunday Night
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Questionable To Play In Week 3
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Ruled Out Against Packers
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Out For Week 3
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Shaquille Leonard Ruled Out For Week 3
Michael Pittman Jr.2 days ago

Ready To Go For Week 3
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Expected To Be Game-Time Decision In Week 3
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Off The Week 3 Injury Report
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Practices Again Thursday
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Believes He Can Play This Season
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Misses Start Of Training Camp
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Out Of Action For A Couple Of Weeks
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Saben Lee Join Jazz Via Trade
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Misses Training Camp
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Out For At Least Six Weeks
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Still Not Ready For Action
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