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Florio's Fantasy Baseball Bullpen Report: Changes in Arizona, Toronto, Milwaukee?

Paul Sewald - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB DFS Picks, Betting Picks

Fourth of July is behind us; before you know it, the All-Star break will be here. After that, we are just weeks away from the trade deadline. At this point, you may be getting sick of me telling you all the moves that will shake up the relief pitcher position. At this point, you’re probably like that meme of the kid poking the stick saying “Cmon do something.”

But trust me, the moves are coming! Just with the league being so jumbled up this year, teams are opting to take things down to the wire both to give their team as much time to try and compete, but also to allow more teams to determine that they are buyers. I am expecting a lot of moves to happen in a very short span. It may not happen until the week or so of the deadline, but they are coming. 

These moves will have a huge impact on fantasy baseball leagues. I will continue to try and get out in front of these moves, as well as plenty of other changes going on in bullpens around MLB. 

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:


Changing Bullpens for Fantasy Baseball

It was a rough go for the Mets bullpen without Edwin Diaz and unfortunately, it has been a bit rough even with him back. Diaz has picked up a save and blown a save since he has returned from suspension. Still, the Mets bullpen is extremely thin. They will continue to stick with Diaz and he remains a must-start fantasy option. But Reed Garrett continues to be the pitcher they rely on when Diaz is off or not available. He remains an option for save-needy teams to roster. Dedniel Nunez, who continues to go multiple innings while providing elite ratios and strikeouts, remains an elite non-closer if you want to stream him over a firing back-end starting pitcher. 

Chad Green continues to be the Blue Jays reliever to roster. He picked up two saves in the last week, with the other going to Genesis Cabrera. Green is someone who should be rostered and started for the time being in all roto leagues. Cabrera is an option for save-needy teams in deep leagues, but that may soon be changing. Yimi Garcia is working his way back and looked good with the Buffalo Bisons. He should be back with the Jays soon and immediately in the saves picture. A committee between Green and Garcia seems likely. Go check your waiver wire as he was dropped in a good amount of leagues. As for Jordan Romano, he underwent elbow surgery this past week and should be sidelined for at least six weeks. 

Devin Williams continues to progress for the Brewers. He was set to face batters in live BP on Tuesday, and if all goes well, he could begin a rehab assignment. Do not be surprised if he is back after the All-Star break. Perhaps the Brewers ease him into things, but we all know the upside Williams possesses. He had 36 saves last year with a 1.53 ERA. This is your last chance to nab the potentially elite closer either off the waiver wire or in a trade. If you have Trevor Megill, you have two options. You can ride out with him and take the saves that he provides along with good ratios and strikeouts. Or you shop him now and try to sell before Williams returns. 

The Tigers bullpen has officially become messy. In the past week, Jason Foley, Andrew Chafin, and Shelby Miller have each picked up a save for Detroit. If you stretch that out to 10 days, you have to add Tyler Holton into the mix as well. This is a nightmare for fantasy purposes. I still believe Foley is the top option, but it is hard to say with much confidence. There is also the possibility that any of these relievers could be dealt by the end of the month. This is a bullpen best left for those in need of saves but I rank them: Foley, Miller, Chafin, then Holton. 


Speculative Saves for Fantasy Baseball 

It has been a rough go for Diamondbacks closer Paul Sewald. For the first time in his career, he has blown three straight saves. He has a 37.8 ERA and 4.80 WHIP in the past week, so he has done a lot of damage to fantasy baseball managers' ratios. But it is not yet time to give up on him. After the game Monday night, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Sewald will remain the closer. Now, that could just be a manager trying to instill confidence in his closer, but until we see someone else closing out games for Arizona, we have to take his word on it. 

Still, that does not mean we cannot take action. Right now, Sewald’s value is at a low point, so I would not shop him. If you need saves, though, throw out a low-ball offer for him and see. But, it would be smart to add Kevin Ginkel just in case. Not only has he pitched well as of late, but he sports a 2.61 ERA on the year and has five saves. He proved early on when Sewald was sidelined that he could hold down the job. There is also the chance the D-backs swing a trade for some bullpen help. But for now, Ginkel is a strong speculative add in fantasy baseball. 

The A’s have expressed that they do not plan to trade Mason Miller. The electric reliever has been amazing for them, but he is a reliever on a one-year deal on a team that is clearly not competing. They are likely just trying to drive up the price. If the A’s were to trade Miller, Lucas Erceg and Dany Jimenez are two in-house candidates that could take over. If you are in a deep league and are in need of saves, grabbing one for cheap now is a play for you. 

The Nationals have been falling out of the race as of late and that means they could be sellers. Kyle Finnegan has been excellent for the Nationals this season with 23 saves and a 2.17 ERA. Although the 4.11 xERA may indicate he’s been fortunate. Still, a 32-year-old closer on a non-competitive team is a prime trade candidate. If Finnegan is dealt, I would expect Hunter Harvey to take over as the Nationals closer. Derek Law, who has the only non-Finnegan save for the Nationals this season, would be another option. Harvey, despite his struggles, is a stash option for those in need of saves. 

Since June 1, Hector Neris has had six saves for the Cubs. No one else has more than one in that span. Neris’ ERA in that span? A whopping 5.73. So while he is getting saves, he is hurting ratios and not pitching as well as those saves may indicate. Plus, the Cubs have been free falling in the standings, so it is very possible they can trade their veteran reliever. If so, Mark Leiter Jr. is my favorite pick to replace Neris as the closer in Chicago. He has struggled as of late, but was pitching really well early in the season and can miss plenty of bats. 

Adbert Alzolay, who closed games last year, is another option, as is Keegan Thompson. Also, shout-out to Scott Engel, who pointed out on RotoBaller Radio this past weekend that they called up Hunter Bigge, a 26-year-old pitcher who throws gas and has closer experience in the minor leagues. He is a deep sleeper in this bullpen. 


Elite Strikeouts and Ratios for Fantasy Baseball

Bryan Hudson may not get to close out games for the Brewers, but that does not mean you should overlook him for fantasy purposes. He has been lights out, pitching to a 1.54 ERA, 2.95 xERA, and 0.75 WHIP with a 30 percent strikeout rate. Batters have hit just .148 against him this season. And the best part? He routinely goes multiple innings. He’s thrown 46.2 innings in 32 appearances. Hudson right now is an RP1 for fantasy purposes and it is like no one cares. He is much better for your ratios and strikeouts than a fringe starting pitcher. 

David Robertson leads all qualified relievers with a 50 percent strikeout rate in the last month. In that span, he has a 2.08 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP. He provides elite strikeouts and ratios and as a veteran reliever on a team that is likely to be sellers, he could be dealt. And if he is traded to a team with a shaky closer, him and his vast closer experience could take over. He is one of my favorite stash candidates right now. 

Hunter Gaddis has struck out 45 percent of the batters he has faced in the last month, the third-highest rate amongst qualified pitchers. He has not allowed a run in that span and has just a 0.42 WHIP. Batters are hitting .079 against him and he contains walks. He may not get you saves in that Cleveland pen, but he provides everything else you could ask for from a reliever. 

Remember Michael Soroka? The former Braves starter is now a lights-out reliever for the White Sox. In the last 30 days, he has pitched to a 1.72 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with a 41 percent strikeout rate, the fifth highest among relievers in that span. He can provide strong strikeouts and ratios despite not being a closer. However, if the White Sox do a fire sale, it could mean Soroka ends up on a better team or is one of the last few relievers left standing in Chicago. 

Seranthony Dominguez has struck out 47 percent of the batters he has faced in the past month, the second-highest rate among relievers. He has a 2.08 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in that span. Dominguez may not get saves, but he has long been one of the more trustworthy relievers in MLB.

Make sure to follow Michael on X, @MichaelFFlorio. 

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