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Week 2 of the young baseball season brought some more excitement: walkoffs, bench-clearing brawls, extra inning marathons, and more!

But what about the bullpens? After a tumultuous Week 1, what went on in the bullpens around Major League Baseball in Week 2?

Let's take a look at the news, the best performers, and any suggested moves for your fantasy team in this week's MLB Closers and Saves Report:

Editor's Note: Get a full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off today. Ten exclusive In-Season Lineup tools and over 200 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Bullpen News for Week 2

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels opened up the season with a committee situation in the ninth inning, made up of Cam Bedrosian, Blake Parker, and Keynan Middleton. Before the season began, most had them ranked Parker-Bedrosian-Middleton, but less than a month in, it seems Middleton is the one that is rising to the top. He picked up his second save in Wednesday night's game, and while he wasn't great, he got the job done and seems to be gaining manager Mike Scioscia's trust. There's no reason yet to believe that the Angels will stick with one guy as their closer, but Middleton seems like the arm to own for fantasy managers brave enough to mess with a committee situation.

Milwaukee Brewers

Another committee situation developed in Milwaukee after the Brewers lost top-tier closer Corey Knebel to a hamstring strain. Last week, Matt Albers was mentioned as the possible heir to the ninth inning throne in Milwaukee, but the situation has not developed that far just yet. On Wednesday night, Brewers manager Craig Counsell called on lefty Dan Jennings for five outs until the end of the seventh, then moved to Josh Hader for the eighth. After a scoreless eighth inning, Hader was back out there for the ninth, but he allowed a leadoff home run before recording a strikeout and being pulled for Albers. Albers didn't come in and slam the door, but he gently closed it at least and picked up the save. Any of Hader, Albers, Jennings, Jacob Barnes, and Jeremy Jeffress could pick up saves for the Brewers going forward. This seems like a true committee with no one pitcher separating himself just yet, and therefore seems like a bullpen to avoid for now in fantasy.

Chicago White Sox

Speaking of committees, it's looking like the Chicago White Sox may be employing one for their ninth inning leads as well. Nate Jones picked up a save on Wednesday, and had an excellent Cactus League season. He's the pitcher in the White Sox bullpen with the most upside, but at least for now he'll be sharing save opportunities with Danny Farquhar and Joakim Soria. Jones is a serious injury risk, but has enough upside and seems to have a decent enough chance to earn the job for himself to be worth picking up in deeper leagues. Snag him right away in any holds leagues, and keep an eye on him at least in standard leagues. Soria and Farquhar aren't great pitchers, but they're each good enough to be worth owning in mixed leagues if one of them ends up with the full-time role as well.

 

Roster Moves of the Week

Adds

Nate Jones, Chicago White Sox- Nate Jones is just part of a committee at this point, but he has the upside to be a top-15 (maybe even top-10) closer. He's an undeniably better option to close than Joakim Soria and Danny Farquhar, the other members of the White Sox ninth inning committee. Jones is a wait-and-see in shallower leagues, but players in deep mixed leagues or AL-only can go ahead and add Jones to their roster now. He's a potential top closer, and at worst will provide strong ratios in the meantime.

Drew Steckenrider, Miami Marlins- Marlins veteran closer Brad Ziegler has looked lost this season after never really finding himself last season either. He's sporting a 7.94 ERA and the arm behind him, Kyle Barraclough, is pitching with about 2-3 mph off his fastball. Barraclough is still the next man up in the Marlins bullpen (if a move is made, for now it's still Ziegler's job), but Steckenrider is quietly putting together a great start to the season. He's only an add in the deepest of leagues at this point, but he's mentioned here this week because he's someone fantasy owners need to start familiarizing themselves with.

Drops

Brad Ziegler, Miami Marlins- Brad Ziegler is still the closer for the Miami Marlins, but he makes this week's drop list based on the way he's started the season combined with the expectations for the Marlins and Ziegler himself. He's never been a strikeout pitcher, so he would really only be contributing saves, and the Marlins don't seem like they're going to win enough games to make a pitcher who only contributes saves worth owning in mixed leagues.

 

Best of the Week

There were a lot of terrible pitching performances this week, but there were also some great ones. Let's let the bad ones go (after we gawk at the box scores one last time) and celebrate the good ones here:

Jeurys Familia, New York Mets- 3 2/3 IP, 5 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.55 WHIP

Mets closer Jeurys Familia had another strong week, saving three games while striking out five and allowing just two hits in his three appearances. There was some concern that Familia would have to share his ninth inning with A.J. Ramos, but it looks like the Mets will keep him in the eighth inning and Familia will hold down the ninth.

Brad Brach, Baltimore Orioles- 4 IP, 4 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

Orioles closer Brad Brach saved three games this week as well, tossing four innings across four games, and striking out four batters. He allowed just one hit but walked three. Brach's role has an expiration date, as Zach Britton will reclaim the ninth inning once he returns, but Brach is worth owning in the meantime. Britton won't be back for a while.

Brad Hand, San Diego Padres- 3 2/3 IP, 7 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 1.64 WHIP

Padres closer Brad Hand had a rough start to the season, but he got it together this week and tossed a strong 3 2/3 innings in four games. Hand recorded seven strikeouts in his 11 total outs, giving up no runs but walking four and allowing two hits. It wasn't a perfect week for Hand, but it was definitely something that made his arrow point up after his first week saw it pointing down.

Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays- 3 1/3 IP, 1 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna became the youngest closer in baseball history to save 100 games. This week, he saved three games, tossing 3 1/3 innings across three games while allowing two hits and notching a strikeout. Osuna is just 23 years old and already one of the better closers in baseball. His career should be fun to follow.

 

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