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Closers and Saves Waiver Wire Report for Fantasy Baseball - Week 22

Alex Lange - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

We've reached the point in the baseball season where no matter how your team is doing (real or fantasy), there's a tangible air of restlessness. Is my team going to blow it? After such a great year is it all coming crashing down? How are we going to mess this up? You know...that kind of thing. Some leagues are starting playoffs, others are almost there. Every little thing matters even more, including your bullpen guys.

This week, a usually elite closer had one of the worst weeks of his career. A closer with an elite career behind him is hurt and may miss some time. A committee dissolved and had a bullpen right back where it started. Lots to talk about, lots to worry about, lots of fun, this fantasy baseball thing, right? Read on in this week's Closers and Saves Report for more!

Be sure to also keep an eye on our Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Charts for saves, holds, and bullpens. They will be updated daily or sometimes even more often throughout the 2023 baseball season. 

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Boston Red Sox - Bullpen and Closer News

Kenley Jansen has been excellent for the Red Sox this year, helping them remain right on the periphery of the Wild Card chase, currently four games back. Jansen has 29 saves and a 2.81 ERA to go with strong strikeout and walk peripherals as well. He's only blown three saves, but he was forced to leave a game this week due to a hamstring injury.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora seems optimistic, saying that it's "just hamstring tightness" but that the team hopes their closer will be ready to go for the weekend series. If Jansen misses time, it would be Chris Martin taking save chances for the Red Sox until Jansen returns. It's a wait-and-see for now, but fantasy managers rostering Jansen should check if Martin is available just in case.

Risers: Chris Martin
Fallers: Kenley Jansen


San Francisco Giants - Bullpen and Closer News

The Giants got off to a slow start this season, but they put it all together. Now in late August, they're only a half game out of the Wild Card spot in the National League. Closer Camilo Doval has solid numbers (3.09 ERA, 33 saves, 32.8 K%), but has really been struggling lately. He set a franchise record this week, becoming the first Giant to blow a save in four straight appearances.

Manager Gabe Kapler said Doval needs to, "mix his pitches better" and that "the game is moving too fast" for his closer right now. It remains to be seen what they'll do in their bullpen, but Doval might get a little lower leverage time to ramp back up to his elite self. Tyler Rogers and Taylor Rogers could form a twin closer committee if Doval gets a break. Another wait-and-see over here.

Risers: Tyler Rogers, Taylor Rogers
Fallers: Camilo Doval


Detroit Tigers - Bullpen and Closer News

The Tigers bullpen has been a bit of an adventure lately, but it looks like they may be going back to how it all started this season: with Alex Lange in the ninth inning. Lange struggled with control recently and lost his closer's job, but based on recent usage, it looks like he may be back.

For a while, it looked like Jason Foley was taking over the closer's role. Lange now has the last two Tigers saves and has always seemed to be manager A.J. Hinch's preferred ninth-inning option. Lange's astronomical walk rate (17.8 BB%) is what's mostly keeping him from being an elite option. He certainly misses a lot of bats (28.8 K%) and generally keeps the ball on the ground.

Risers: Alex Lange
Fallers: Jason Foley, Beau Brieske 


Texas Rangers - Bullpen and Closer News

The Rangers made one of the first trade splashes when they picked up Aroldis Chapman in late June. William Smith was pitching well, but it never hurts to make your bullpen even deeper by adding an experienced flame thrower. Smith kept his job, and Chapman settled in as a very effective setup man throughout July and most of August.

But all of a sudden, Smith has now given up runs in three straight appearances and six of his last eight. He's also not missing nearly as many bats, with only three strikeouts in his last 6 1/3 innings pitched. It may be a rough patch, it may be an injury, but it also may be the beginning of the Rangers leaning into a committee approach where Chapman starts seeing some ninth inning work. Yet again folks, we wait and see.

Risers: Aroldis Chapman
Fallers: William Smith


Short Relief - Other Bullpen News

-JoJo Romero has the two most recent Cardinals saves, but they came 10 days apart. He and Giovanny Gallegos figure to continue sharing the closer's role in St. Louis.

-Justin Lawrence has three blown saves in his last five outings, and has allowed eight runs in his past three appearances. Daniel Bard could start seeing some save chances if Lawrence's struggles continue.

-Padres reliever Robert Suarez was ejected from a game this week before even throwing a pitch and is now facing a 10-game "sticky stuff" suspension.

-Jose Alvarado has rejoined the Phillies bullpen after another injury. He should find himself in high-leverage setup situations right away.

-Bowen Francis earned the first save of his career this week for the Blue Jays, pitching the final three innings of a big win.


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