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Now this is a story all about how bullpens got flipped turned upside down this week. Injuries and demotions made for a pretty wild week for closers and other relievers, certainly sending fantasy players scurrying to the waiver wire after making drops or DL moves.

Time to jump in and take a look at the Week 6 Closers and Saves Report.

Let's get to it.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Fantrax have even more fantasy baseball advice columns and videos to help improve your teams. Be sure to also check them out!


Bullpen News for Week 6

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles just got elite closer Zach Britton back from the disabled list only to see him go right back on. Brad Brach returned to his setup role for only a few days before sliding right back into the ninth inning. Brach may not have as strong a hold on the ninth this time around, though. Even before struggling and blowing a save on Wednesday, Brach was already looking at being a part of a committee, with manager Buck Showalter saying he'd use a mix of Brach, Darren O'Day, Mychal Givens, and Donnie Hart. Brach is still absolutely the guy to own in the Baltimore bullpen, but it's a cause for concern and severely limits his value, at least until things settle down. With Britton possibly out until the All-Star Break, there should be quite a few saves to go around in the Orioles bullpen, with Brach still figuring to get most of them.

Detroit Tigers

Anyone who saw Francisco Rodriguez pitch this season saw this coming: the artist formerly known as "K-Rod" was mercifully removed from the closer's role this week by manager Brad Ausmus. In his place went lefty Justin Wilson, who has all the makings of an elite fantasy closer. Wilson has a 1.23 ERA so far this season, backed up by a 1.59 FIP and 14.11 K/9. He throws left-handed, but actually fares better against righty batters in his career. He should be able to keep the job all season and into the future. Wilson will likely be one of the hottest pick ups in fantasy this week, so try to jump the gun and grab him before someone else does. Rodriguez's owners can safely drop him and cut their losses.

San Francisco Giants

Not a lot has gone right for the Giants so far this season, but at least their big free agent closer was pitching well. Mark Melancon has a 2.53 ERA with six saves and an 8.44 K/9 rate. But, as has been the case in 2017, Giants will Giant, and Melancon has ended up on the disabled list with an elbow injury (right pronator strain). He's not expected to miss much time, though, and manager Bruce Bochy has already said that he expects his closer back when he is first eligible, on May 16th. So Melancon's owners shouldn't have too much to worry about, but those looking for a few days of potential saves can look into Derek Law. Law picked up the save on Wednesday, but did allow two runs in the process. Hunter Strickland may get a shot, too. Law is still the favorite for the ninth inning until Melancon returns.

New York Mets

Mets closer Jeurys Familia blew a save on Wednesday, but his velocity was fine and he told reporters his arm felt good. There was the typical amount of Mets hyperbole, but really not too much concern, as it was being seen as "just a blown save." On Thursday, however, news came out that Familia had an arterial blood clot in his right shoulder. He was to be examined and the team said that surgery was a possibility. Either way, he will certainly miss time, and perhaps even an extended period. Addison Reed becomes the man to own in the Mets bullpen, and he should be able to put up solid closer numbers. He's worth adding in all formats.


Roster Moves of the Week


Brad Brach, Baltimore Orioles - Zach Britton came back, many people dropped Brad Brach. Zach Britton is gone again, many people are adding Brad Brach again. Try to be one of those people. Brach may not end up with the unquestioned closer role like he had before, but he's still almost certain to get the majority of the save chances in Baltimore.

Justin Wilson, Detroit Tigers - Stop reading this article right now and check your waiver wire for Justin Wilson. He may end up as a top-five closer in fantasy going forward. He has been an excellent setup man for years, and now finally gets the chance to close and pick up saves. He's worth an add in all formats.

Koda Glover and Shawn Kelley, Washington Nationals - The Nationals will be getting their two late-inning relievers back as soon as this weekend. Which one will end up actually closing is still a mystery, but we can be fairly certain it will be one of these two. Dusty Baker has been using Matt Albers and Enny Romero, but neither is a legitimate closer and Glover and Kelley are both better options. Pick your favorite of the two, and pick him up in NL-only leagues. For mixed leagues, keep a close eye on the ninth innings of Nationals games this weekend and early next week.

Addison Reed, New York Mets - Reed becomes the Mets closer again with Familia dealing with a blood clot in his shoulder. Reed began the season in the role while Familia served his suspension for domestic violence, so he is familiar with the ninth inning. Reed has great stuff and should return solid closer numbers for as long as Familia is on the shelf. Reed must be owned in all NL-only leagues and should at least be considered in mixed leagues.


Francisco Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers - "K-Rod" lost some velocity on his fastball last season. He's lost even more this season and manager Brad Ausmus needed to see a lot, but finally saw enough. Rodriguez was removed from the closer's role and likely won't make his way back. He can be dropped in all formats by all owners who were unlucky enough to have him.


Best of the Week

Greg Holland, Colorado Rockies - 3 IP, 6 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP

Rockies closer Greg Holland was amazing to start the season, then hit a tiny rough patch, and now looks amazing again. This week, he appeared in three games, saving all three while picking up six strikeouts. He allowed only one hit and struck out exactly two batters per outing.

Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays - 4 IP, 5 K, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna got a late start to the season due to injury then wasn't great upon his return. Seems like he's over that though, as he was great this week, pitching four scoreless innings while striking out five and picking up two saves and a win. He allowed just a walk and a hit for the week.

Santiago Casilla, Oakland Athletics - 4 IP, 4 K, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

In a "what year is it?" entry for the week, A's closer Santiago Casilla had a dominant last few days, pitching four scoreless innings with four strikeouts while recording two saves and a win. He gave up two hits and two walks. He's currently owned in just 41% of mixed leagues despite being the unquestioned closer, so have a look at your wire and see if he's available.


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