MLB Closers and Saves Report - Week 13

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Another rather busy week in bullpens this week, as the Angels stayed confusing, the Giants made a strange decision, and the Rays and Cardinals showed a possible changing of the guard.

While all of baseball takes a moment to spare a thought for Bartolo Colon, whose career might be over after nine teams and two families, games kept happening, saves kept being locked down or blown.

Let's take a look at what went on in the middle and late innings in week 13.

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Bullpen News for Week 13

San Francisco Giants

The Giants signed Mark Melancon before the season began and they thought he would help lock down the ninth inning and save the team from the awful bullpen issues they suffered through all of last season. Melancon has struggled when he's been on the mound, saving 11 games, but posting a 4.35 ERA after finishing three of the past four seasons with ERAs below 2.00 (and 2.23 in the other). He's spent plenty of time injured though, either on the disabled list or pitching through pain. He's appeared in 22 games and this week landed back on the 10-day disabled list with an elbow injury.

Knowing that Melancon will be out until at least after the All-Star Break, the team has decided to go with former Ranger Sam Dyson as their closer until Melancon returns. That's the same Sam Dyson with a 9.00 ERA and a 1-7 record. He'll be closing, so he's bound to have some fantasy value, but owners know better than to drop any currently useful players to make room for him.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels got Cam Bedrosian back. Cam Bedrosian got a save opportunity. Cam Bedrosian blew that save. While he should eventually earn the full time closer role back, he certainly didn't do great in his first chance to take the ninth and roll with it. Because of his blown save, the Angels will keep rolling with a committee of Bedrosian, David Hernandez, and Bud Norris (who is coming off the DL). Bedrosian is the best pitcher of the group in terms of strikeouts and rate stats, but Norris may end up picking up more saves in the short term. There is no must-own in this bullpen just yet.

St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh was simply amazing last season, but he's been a lot less impressive in 2017. So far, he blown three saves and converted 16, pitching to a 3.75 ERA. Metrics show he may actually be lucky to have an ERA below four, as his FIP sits at 4.53. On Wednesday night, Trevor Rosenthal picked up the save, although he did not make it easy on himself, allowing a run on a hit, two walks, and two wild pitches. He left the tying run on third base and just barely escaped with a win for the Cardinals. Before the game, manager Mike Matheny said he'd like to keep his options open in the ninth inning, and he did just that, inserting Rosenthal for the save, but getting Oh up in the pen as soon as Rosenthal began to struggle.

For now, it seems like the Cardinals ninth inning will be handled by a committee made up mostly of Oh and Rosenthal. Rosenthal has been the better pitcher this season, with a 4.25 ERA set to go down as shown by his 2.36 FIP. He also strikes out far more batters than Oh does. Owners of Oh may want to try to make a roster spot for Rosenthal on their roster just in case the switch becomes permanent. Any fantasy owners looking for saves and strikeouts should check the wire for "Rosey" right away.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays closer Alex Colome has also seen his numbers dip in 2017, as his four blown saves are already more than he had all of last season. His strikeouts are down (11.28 to 8.15 K/9) and his ERA is up (1.91 to 3.57). Still, his job seemed mostly safe until Tommy Hunter grabbed a save this week after another rough outing by Colome. Manager Kevin Cash said he won't be reading much into his closer's struggles, but with Brad Boxberger finally coming off the disabled list, Cash will have several options to call on for save opportunities. For now, Colome is still the guy in Tampa Bay, but that may not be the case for long if he continues to struggle.

 

Roster Moves of the Week

Adds

Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals- Seung Hwan Oh isn't officially out as closer in St. Louis, but Rosenthal has been the better pitcher all season and will now start getting save chances. He's a must-own for all Oh owners as excellent insurance, and he's worth a roster spot in most mixed leagues as well. While he's not the full time closer just yet, he's a high-upside guy who should be able to keep the role for himself if given the chance.

Sam Dyson, San Francisco Giants- That sound you heard was the dry heaving from Rangers and Giants fans all over. Sam Dyson has been named the closer for the Giants while Mark Melancon spends another few weeks on the disabled list. Dyson is by no means a must-own, but owners looking for saves who have an open spot or an easy drop on their roster could take a chance on Dyson and hope for the best.

Drops

There are no instant drops this week, but if Seung Hwan Oh is completely removed from the closer role, he can be let go in most formats. Same goes for everyone in the Angels bullpen except for the closer as soon as one is named. Keep an eye on both bullpens this week.

 

Best of the Week

A.J. Ramos, Miami Marlins- 3 1/3 IP, 3 SV, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP

Marlins closer A.J. Ramos finally got a few save chances this week and converted all three, striking out two and allowing just two hits in the process. He's been frustrating his owners all season with few save chances and poor performances in non-save appearances, but he's a solid closer with nice upside who should have a much better fantasy second half.

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers- 3 IP, 2 SV, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen continued his ridiculous season this week, saving both games he appeared in and tossing multiple innings in both. He only struck out two, but also only allowed one batter to reach base. That batter reached base on a walk- Jansen's first of the season to go with 52 strikeouts. That's a 0.28 BB/9 and a 14.33 K/9. That'll play.

Justin Wilson, Detroit Tigers- 2 1/3 IP, 2 SV, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

Tigers closer Justin Wilson recorded two saves this week along with five strikeouts. He did not allow a base runner in his 2 1/3 innings of work, and he continues to be an excellent fantasy closer. The only concern with Wilson is the possibility that he will be traded at the deadline and move to a team that uses him as a setup man.

 

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