MLB Closers and Saves Report - Week 12

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After a few relatively quiet weeks in bullpens across the league, week 11 gave us a little more to talk about, with some relievers heading to the disabled list while others came back from it.

Giants closer Mark Melancon earned his first save in what likely seemed like a few decades for his fantasy owners. There was a huge fantasy-relevant shakeup in the Indians bullpen that was supposed to happen but hasn't yet, and Angels closers just keep getting hurt, but one has returned and should provide great value.

Let's not get hurt today, instead let's opt to carefully dip our toes in the week 12 waiver wire for closers before diving in head (or elbow) first:

Editor's note: Get a free one-week MLB Premium Pass including our famous Lineup Optimizer/Generator, Premium Matchup Ratings, DFS Lineups, Cheat Sheets, and 10 other tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Bullpen News for Week 12

Cleveland Indians

Andrew Miller is ridiculous. Even after a bad week (by his standards) he still has video game numbers for the season: 1.43 ERA and 12.90 K/9. He hasn't been the Indians closer this season, though, as that role has belonged to Cody Allen. While Allen is no Andrew Miller, he's no slouch either. His 2.00 ERA and 12.33 K/9 go nicely with his 15 saves.

Miller's bad week, however, did give Indians manager Terry Francona an idea: in an attempt to minimize Miller's workload for a while, the two star relievers were going to switch roles. Allen would assume Miller's Swiss Army knife role of coming in to the toughest situation in the later innings while Miller would assume Allen's role of a traditional ninth-inning closer. All that sounded fine and seemed to make sense, but then Miller was brought into a bases-loaded-no-outs jam in the seventh inning of Wednesday's game. He got out of it unscathed and then pitched a scoreless eighth for good measure.

Bryan Shaw ended up picking up the save because Allen was unavailable- he left the team to join his wife for the birth of their child. Allen is on the paternity list, so he'll be away from the team for a few days. Once he returns, the assumption is that Miller will work the ninth and Allen will work the earlier innings. But you know what they say about when you assume...

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels started the season with Cam Bedrosian as their closer. Fantasy owners were excited because "Bedrock" put up excellent numbers in 2016 and had all the looks of a great closer coming into 2017. He was great in few opportunities before getting hurt and landing on the disabled list. Then Bud Norris, yes that same Bud Norris, assumed closer duties for the Halos and did far better than anyone could have expected. But now, Norris is hurt as well.

Luckily for the Angels, Norris got hurt just as Bedrosian and Huston Street got better. With Bedrosian and Street in the bullpen, the Angels will be fine without Norris. While some expect Street to take the closer job because Mike Scioscia is the Angels manager, it's a safer bet to go with Bedrosian as the reliever who will lead the Angels in saves going forward. He's worth a pick up in mixed leagues for any teams looking for a closer.

San Diego Padres

The Padres have used Brandon Maurer and Brad Hand as their late-inning relievers this year, with Maurer serving as closer more often than not. Both are potentially going to be traded before next month's trade deadline, with Hand being almost a sure thing to be dealt. That means someone new will need to save what few wins the Padres will get after the trades go down. As of right now, Phil Maton appears to be that guy. Maton is a rookie right-hander with only six games of major league experience so far, but he's seen significant late inning situations already. Before getting the call to the San Diego bullpen, he'd posted a solid 2.84 ERA with 11.01 K/9 in Triple-A El Paso. He's by no means a must-add in any format right now, but he's a guy to keep an eye on in deeper leagues.

Chicago White Sox

Similar to the Padres above, the White Sox currently have a closer, David Robertson, who is almost certain to be gone by the trade deadline. Nate Jones was thought of as the heir-apparent to Robertson in Chicago, but he's been injured this year and seems to have fallen behind Tommy Kahnle in the pecking order. Kahnle has been outstanding, posting a 1.23 ERA and a 15.34 K/9. He has the potential to be an elite closer once given the chance. He's already an asset in holds leagues and should absolutely be on everyone's watch list and is a must-add as soon as Robertson moves.

 

Roster Moves of the Week

Adds

Cam Bedrosian, Los Angeles Angels- Maybe he was on someone's DL, or maybe he was dropped and lived on the waiver wire for a bit. Take a look, because Bedrosian is back, and he's an excellent closer. He should be owned in all formats.

Phil Maton, San Diego Padres / Tommy Kahnle, Chicago White Sox- As mentioned above, these two guys could be closing games within the next month. They aren't must-adds just yet, but they are certainly must-watch or must-flag guys, with Kahnle perhaps being worth a roster spot in deeper leagues for his rate stats.

Drops

Bud Norris, Los Angeles Angels- Norris was a nice story and a surprising fantasy asset for a while, but it seems his wild ride is over. With Norris landing on the DL and Bedrosian and Street both back in the bullpen, it's unlikely Norris regains the ninth inning once he's healthy. It was a good run, Bud.

 

Best of the Week

Kelvin Herrera, Kansas City Royals- 3 2/3 IP, 4 SV, 1 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.55 WHIP

Royals closer Kelvin Herrera helped his trade value this week by picking up four saves in his four appearances. He only recorded one strikeout, but he also only allowed two runners to reach base. It was a solid week for Herrera, who may be closing elsewhere or setting up after the trade deadline.

Sean Doolittle, Oakland A's- 3 IP, 2 SV, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP

When he's on the mound, A's lefty Sean Doolittle is an excellent pitcher. His issue throughout his career has been staying healthy and staying on the mound. This week, he was on the mound three times and was excellent, saving two games and striking out six while allowing only one base hit.

Fernando Rodney, Arizona Diamondbacks- 2 IP, 2 SV, 4 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

He can't keep getting away with it! Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney had a perfect week, retiring all six batters he faced, four via strikeout, and recording two saves. Rodney has seemingly been on the hot seat since the season began, but has done just enough to keep his job. He has 20 saves despite an ERA that usually lives above five.

 

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

 

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