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This was an interesting week in the world of bullpens, as no closers outright lost their jobs, but a couple of teams saw the beginning of what might lead to a significant changing of the guard.

Also, Craig Kimbrel is incredible and on an ever better pace (by most markers) than Eric Gagne was in his Cy Young season.

That's intriguing enough, but let's dive into some bullpen and closer news for week 10.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our MLB off-season news and fantasy analysis all year round. Read our daily fantasy columns about MLB prospects, dynasty outlooks, player outlooks and much more. It's always fantasy baseball season here. Let's Go!


Bullpen News for Week 10

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates closer Tony Watson hasn't been good this season. He started off the year pitching poorly according to advanced metrics, but "getting the job done" according to back-of-the-baseball card stats. He was saving games, and his ERA was nice and tidy. However, a monster lurked below, as his strikeout-to-walk ratio and BABIP numbers led to high FIP and SIERA values, both of which pointed to sharp regression. That regression came, and it came with a vengeance.

After two straight rough outings, Watson's ERA stands at 4.44 and he has now blown five saves. Even that 4.44 ERA is generous, as his 5.76 FIP shows even more regression yet to come. Watson has been given an extremely long leash by manager Clint Hurdle, but soon he'll need to realize that enough is enough and make a change. Almost certain to take over the ninth inning once Watson is removed is fellow lefty Felipe Rivero.

"We've talked at length since Felipe got [here] that one day he'll close," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He shows you that stuff." Rivero has a 0.58 ERA and a 34:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He'll make an excellent closer once inserted in the role and is already worth picking up in mixed leagues since it's only a matter of time until he starts picking up saves.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies bullpen, much like the Phillies Baseball Team, has been a mess. They started with Jeanmar Gomez as their closer, which everyone but Jeanmar Gomez thought was a bad idea. They removed Gomez, and things have barely been better. Hector Neris, the fantasy darling in the Phillies bullpen, has struggled enough that manager Pete Mackanin has removed him from a ninth inning save situation in two of his last three appearances.

Most recently, veteran Pat Neshek closed out an inning Neris started and earned his first save since 2015. Neshek is having an incredible season so far, posting a 0.82 ERA to go with a 21:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. On Wednesday, Mackanin said that Neshek would have closed the game out if there had been a save situation.

It might be a bit of a closer-by-committee situation for a bit, but with the trade deadline coming up next month, the Phillies will want to put Neshek in as many high leverage situations as possible in an attempt to increase his trade value. Neshek is worth an immediate pickup in deep mixed leagues, and is someone to keep a close eye on in standard leagues.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels were supposed to get veteran reliever Huston Street back already. He experienced a setback in his rehab assignment as he was diagnosed with right triceps tendinitis and shut down from throwing once again. The reliever who opened the season as the Angels closer, Cam Bedrosian, was also supposed to be back this week, but he also experienced a setback in his recovery, informing the team that he still felt soreness in his groin, which is what landed him on the disabled list in the first place. So what does this all mean?

Bud Norris gets to live his closer life for another day. The longer Norris spends as closer (as long as he continues to pitch well), the better chance he has to hold off Street and Bedrosian when they're healthy. Bedrosian is a better pitcher than Norris and Street combined at this point, but if Norris and manager Mike Scioscia get comfortable with the current ninth inning set up, Bedrosian may end up working in a role similar to Andrew Miller of the Indians or Archie Bradley of the Diamondbacks.


Roster Moves of the Week


Felipe Rivero, Pittsburgh Pirates- Rivero was here in the "Adds" section last week, and he shows up here again this week, only with an even stronger push to be added. Current Pirates closer Tony Watson is holding onto his job by a silk thread, and manager Clint Hurdle has basically already said Rivero is next in line. He should be closing by the end of the month at the latest.

Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies- The Phillies closing role has been messy, and will likely continue to be messy all season. It seems like veteran Pat Neshek is taking over for now, but he's almost certain to be traded this season, and the team may not wait until the trade deadline to start moving veterans. Still, Neshek should be a source of saves for at least a few weeks, and that makes him worth adding in most formats.


Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates- Not an outright drop just yet, but Tony Watson is a guy owners should be trying to sell for any remotely decent return at this point. He's going to lose his job soon, and almost certainly won't get it back this season. Watson's owners should look to move him immediately, before an official announcement is made.


Best of the Week

Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers- 5 IP, 4 SV, 10 K, 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Brewers closer Corey Knebel wasn't perfect this week- far from it, in fact. He allowed a run on two hits and four walks in his five innings of work, even blowing a save along the way. But...he was the only closer to record four saves and the only closer to record double digit strikeouts this week. That's more than good enough for a mention in the "Best of the Week."

A.J. Ramos, Miami Marlins- 3 1/3 IP, 3 SV, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.30 WHIP

Marlins closer A.J. Ramos has been extremely frustrating to own in fantasy leagues this season. For a while, he wasn't getting any save chances and was struggling mightily in his "get some work in" non-save outings. This week, though, he fired 3 1/3 hitless innings, allowing just a walk while striking out five and picking up three saves.

Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds- 4 IP, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP

Reds closer Raisel Iglesias was great this week, saving two games and picking up a win while allowing only one hit and one walk in the process. He looked like the head of a closer-by-committee situation at the beginning of the season, but as expected by many, he's taken the reins and solidified himself as a solid mixed league closer.


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