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Florio's Bullpen Week: Figuring out Bullpens First Week Post Deadline!

Devin Williams - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Relief Pitchers, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News Updates

Last week, the trade deadline gave us the big reliever shake-up that we had been waiting for weeks to happen. But it did not disappoint. While we were able to speculate about a lot of the bullpen situations impacted we now have a week of games in the books and have seen the early plans on how teams who traded their closer would operate. 

The time to be aggressive for saves off the waiver wire was last week. But, with there being at least a couple of bullpens with question marks, it's possible some of these useful names are still out there in your league. 

Here is how the questionable pens shook out in the first week since the trade deadline. 

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Changing Bullpens for Fantasy Baseball

The Orioles traded closer Jorge Lopez despite being in wild-card contention. Lopez had been a very useful fantasy reliever but his departure has opened the door for Felix Bautista. He has pitched great in a setup role all year and has frequently been mentioned as a ratio and strikeout arm before he was listed as a trade deadline stash. Well, now he can provide those great ratios and strikeouts, while also picking up saves as he has two in the past week for the Orioles. Baltimore has shown they like to use one closer which only makes Bautista more trustworthy. He is a must-start reliever in the final two months. 

Lopez was traded from the Orioles to the Twins and the assumption was he would take over the closing duty in Minnesota, but they have been unpredictable at times with their ninth-inning usage. In his first week on the Twins, Lopez both picked up a save and blew one. But the day after he blew the save, the Twins showed confidence in him, using him in the ninth of a four-run game. He is the closer here moving forward and can continue to be started with confidence. Michael Fulmer, Jhoan Duran, and Emilio Pagan are backup options should he falter, but it would likely take a lot for that to happen.

The Brewers traded superstar closer Josh Hader to the Padres last week, in what would later become just an appetizer for San Diego. But for the Brewers, it completely shook up their bullpen. In the past week, we have seen Devin Williams pick up the lone save for the Brew Crew. But, we did see Jake McGee, Matt Bush and Brad Boxberger all pick up a “blown save”. McGee and Bush have struggled so far in a Brewers uniform, and Taylor Rogers, who was acquired in the Hader deal, has been so-so in a small sample size. Williams should be viewed as the top option moving forward, followed by Rogers. Trevor Rosenthal continues to work his way back as well. 

The Angels traded Raisel Iglesias to the Braves last week, and since then, we have seen not one, not two, but three different relievers pick up a save. We saw Jose Quijada get the save on deadline day, with Jimmy Herget pitching in the setup role. Then on Friday, Herget picked up the save in extra innings, and Quijada pitched in the seventh inning of that game. Then on Monday night, Ryan Tepera picked up the save. This is a full-blown committee right now with all three involved. That means if you are in need of saves, you can nab any of these three for cheap. I would rank them Tepera, Quijada, and Herget, but for now, it is very much so a guessing game. 

The Cubs dealt closer David Robertson, along with Mychal Givens, which left Rowan Wick as the likely closer by default. In the first week since the deadline, Wick has picked up the lone save for the Cubs. He will not provide a ton of strikeouts and solid ratios, but as long as he is getting save chances he is worth rostering in fantasy baseball. Get him if he is still out there. 

The A’s sent closer Lou Trivino to the Yankees at the deadline, meaning we would see someone else pick up saves for them. In the first week since the trade, we saw Zach Jackson and A.J. Puk each pick up a save. But, maybe even more noteworthy, we also saw the return of Dany Jimenez, who has pitched two clean innings, striking out 63 percent of the batters he faced. He still leads Oakland in saves this season and is likely being eased back, but we could see him return to closing duties soon. He would be the top arm to roster here. Both Puk and Jackson are worthy of a flier for save needy teams. 

The Diamondbacks did not make a trade at the deadline, but it is worth noting that Ian Kennedy has picked up three saves in the past week - tied with Edwin Diaz for the most in the league in that span. Mark Melancon also picked up a save on Sunday, but that was more likely because Kennedy was unavailable. Kennedy picked up another save on Monday night and is looking like the clear closer. Add him if he remains out there. 

Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.



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