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Closers and Saves Waiver Wire Report for Fantasy Baseball - Week 6

david bednar fantasy baseball closers saves relief pitchers draft sleepers

Another week of home runs, bats broken over knees, a cycle, a no-hitter, offensive eruptions in ninth innings, and so much more is behind us. It was a very exciting week in baseball, but for the first time in a while, the bullpens mostly remained away from center stage. Now, there were still plenty of holds, saves, and the occasional blown save, but there weren't as many of the enormous team-altering shifts we'd gotten used to seeing each week.

With some more COVID cases popping up throughout the league, we saw a resurgent closer forced to take some time off. A restructuring of sorts in one of the league's better bullpens will shift fantasy values a bit while not making a huge "real life" difference. A closer returns from injury and really struggles: that phrase describes two different situations. All that and more, let's jump in.

Be sure to 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. 

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Chicago Cubs - Bullpen and Closers News

The Cubs bullpen has been led by a resurgent David Robertson, who has posted five saves and a 1.50 ERA while striking out 37.8% of the batters he's faced. It's been an impressive comeback for the veteran righty, who before this season had combined to pitch just 18 2/3 innings since the 2018 season. There are always going to be injury and workload concerns with Robertson because of his last few seasons, but his current injured list trip is COVID-related and won't affect his role once he returns.

For now though, Rowan Wick and Mychal Givens will lead the Cubs committee, with Wick getting the slight nod while Givens sticks mostly to the 8th inning. Fantasy managers looking to pick up a quick save or two can look to the Cubs temporarily. Managers with Robertson can rest easy knowing he'll be back in the 9th inning soon.

Risers: Rowan Wick, Mychal Givens (temporarily)
Fallers: David Robertson (only while on IL)


Oakland A's - Bullpen and Closers News

The A's bullpen was fully expected to be led by Lou Trivino, but a long COVID IL trip combined with some really poor outings opened the door for 28-year-old rookie Dany Jimenez to enter the 9th inning. Jimenez has five saves in five chances and has put up a perfect 0.00 ERA, yet to allow a run in 12 innings of work. He's striking out 28% of the batters he faces and making it very difficult for manager Mark Kotsay to even consider removing him from the 9th.

Meanwhile, Trivino has pitched to a 10.50 ERA in six innings and has a 7:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The A's reportedly wanted Trivino in the closer's role to boost his trade value, but as long as Jimenez keeps pitching well, it's looking like Trivino may have to boost his trade value as a setup man at best.

Risers: Dany Jimenez
Fallers: Lou Trivino


Baltimore Orioles - Bullpen and Closers News

Former not-so-good starter Jorge Lopez has become current-very-good closer Jorge Lopez. The 29-year-old Oriole struggled his way through the last few seasons as a starting pitcher, putting up ERAs in the sixes for three years in a row. A guy with a career 5.83 ERA, it was hard to imagine he'd make a good closer, but all of a sudden: he has four saves in five chances and has posted a 1.13 ERA to go with career highs in K% (23.9%) and ground ball rate (54.8%).

This week though, Lopez unfortunately had to be placed on the bereavement list, leaving the Orioles with a committee in his place. Dillon Tate got the first save chance, but he was unable to shut things down, so Felix Bautista came in for the final out and earned the first save of his career. Manager Brandon Hyde has basically said he'll be playing the matchups in the 9th inning until Lopez returns, but Tate and Bautista figure to be the ones to split any remaining save opportunities.

Risers: Dillon Tate, Felix Bautista (temporarily)
Fallers: Jorge Lopez (only while on IL)


Miami Marlins - Bullpen and Closers News

The Marlins bullpen has been among the best in the league...until the 9th inning. In innings six, seven, and eight, the Marlins have a team ERA under 2.00. In the ninth inning though? Almost SIX. That's how you end up on a losing streak with almost every game being a one-run loss. Anthony Bender started the year as the Marlins closer and hasn't been great. He has six saves in eight chances with a 4.91 ERA. In his most recent appearance, he tossed the sixth inning, so it seems like he may have already lost his grip on the ninth. Dylan Floro, who led the Marlins in saves last season with 15, returned from the injured list this week and it didn't go well. He pitched one inning and allowed three runs on four hits and a walk, and he threw a wild pitch.

First game back ineffectiveness isn't too much to be concerned about, but the fact that his velocity was reportedly down throughout his rehab appearances is. Floro is likely to still get the chance to earn a save the next time the Marlins have an opportunity, but guys like Anthony Bass and Cole Sulser have to be considered more likely to have success at this point. In fact, Sulser was warming up for a save opportunity on Wednesday before an offensive explosion by the Marlins made it much more than a three run lead. For now, Sulser remains the favorite for saves in Miami.

Risers: Cole Sulser, Dylan Floro
Fallers: Anthony Bender


Short Relief - Other Bullpen News

-Lucas Sims is heading back to the injured list just as the Reds decided they could in fact win baseball games in 2022. Tony Santillan, Hunter Strickland, and Art Warren should mix and match whenever Cincinnati has a late lead.

-Paul Sewald got a multi-inning save this week and is moving his way up the Mariners bullpen hierarchy. It's still a committee there, but Sewald has excellent strikeout upside.

-Kendall Graveman is clearly the direct backup to Liam Hendriks in Chicago and would immediately have immense fantasy value if Hendriks were forced to miss time.

-Jake McGee landed on the IL, so Camilo Doval will take over as closer full time, at least for now. John Brebbia and Tyler Rogers get slight upticks as they won't compete with McGee for holds.

-Jhoan Duran dazzled in a six-out save, recording five strikeouts and locking down a 1-0 Twins win. He's clearly the best pitcher in the Minnesota bullpen, but remains part of a committee along with Emilio Pagan for now.

-Mark Melancon is back from the IL for the Diamondbacks and Ryan Pressly is back for the Astros, making those two bullpens much easier to predict. Neither pitcher has been great, but with their past success, we can assume they have some leeway.

-David Bednar is really, really good.

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