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MLB Closers and Saves Report - Week 13


Busy bullpen week this time, with big names going on the disabled list and of course committees taking shape, not to mention a big name switching teams early in the summer. Hunter Strickland punched his way out of the ninth inning in San Francisco, Brandon Morrow dressed his way out of the ninth in Chicago, and Kelvin Herrera made his way east to the nation's capital.

Lots of changes this week and lots of relevant fantasy information. How will the Nationals handle the back of their bullpen? What will the Giants do for saves? The Cubs? Who are the Royals going to turn to to close out their victories?

All that and more in this week's Closers and Saves Report, so let's dive into the news, the best performers, and any suggested moves for your fantasy team this week:

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Bullpen News for Week 13

Washington Nationals/Kansas City Royals

The Nationals lit the hot stove early this season, acquiring Royals closer Kelvin Herrera in exchange for three minor leaguers. With arguably the best closer in the league already in Sean Doolittle, the Nationals were able to bolster their late inning relief for a second season in a row. Herrera was excellent this season for the Royals, posting 14 saves with a 1.05 ERA and a 22:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 25 2/3 innings. He is likely to continue his success for his new team, although his fantasy value will plummet in standard leagues since he won't be earning saves anymore. In holds leagues, Herrera is still a valuable fantasy piece, but he can pretty much be dropped in standard leagues.

The Royals traded away their best reliever, but they still need someone to close games out for them on the rare occasion that they have a lead in the ninth inning. There's not much else going on in the Royals bullpen, but it's safe to assume they'll use some sort of committee until someone rises to the challenge. For now, it looks like Kevin McCarthy and Brandon Maurer will get the first shots, but with the Royals losing 14 of 15 games, who knows when a save chance will actually come up?

Chicago Cubs

Cubs closer Brandon Morrow landed on the disabled list this week after experiencing back spasms while taking off his pants. Yes, really. He was placed on the DL with lower back tightness, but isn't expected to miss much more than the required ten days. In the meantime, the Cubs will be able to mix and match with Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, and Justin Wilson. Cishek would seemingly have the edge, but trying to predict what Joe Maddon will do is almost always a mistake. With Morrow not expected to be gone long, none of the other Cubs relievers are must-adds in any formats, but anyone looking for a quick save or two could look into a temporary addition of Steve Cishek.

San Francisco Giants

Giants closer Hunter Strickland further proved that what everyone thought of him is accurate, breaking his hand while punching a door after blowing a save. Common angry pitcher knowledge is to punch things with your glove hand, but Strickland missed that company memo. He'll require surgery and will be out for 6-8 weeks. Surely, the door will be hit by a pitch once Strickland returns. Sam Dyson has taken over as closer for the Giants, but with guys like Will Smith, Mark Melancon, and Tony Watson behind him, Dyson won't have too long of a leash. Still, he's the one to own in that bullpen for now.

 

Roster Moves of the Week

Adds

Sam Dyson, San Francisco Giants- Dyson became the Giants closer this week after Hunter Strickland punched his way to the disabled list. Dyson hasn't been great this season, but he's still the closer of a team that should win enough games to give him fantasy value. He won't have too long of a leash, so it's a situation worth keeping an eye on, but for now his is the arm to own in San Francisco.

Steve Cishek, Chicago Cubs- In an early contender for injury of the year, Brandon Morrow ended up on the disabled list this week after he hurt his back while taking off his pants. He isn't expected to be out long, but someone will need to take over the ninth inning in the meantime. That someone seems to be Steve Cishek, who is worth a temporary add for those looking for a save or two in the next week.

Drops

Kelvin Herrera, Washington Nationals- With his move to the Nationals, Herrera picks up plenty of games in the standings, but loses his closer role. He should still be a very valuable member of the bullpen, but he won't be picking up any saves. He can be held onto in leagues that count holds, but owners in standard leagues can let him go.

Hunter Strickland, San Francisco Giants- Strickland will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken hand he suffered after punching a door. No word on how long the door will be out. Sam Dyson has taken over in San Francisco, and they have plenty of other options to close games out as well. Strickland will be out for two months and isn't all that likely to be handed his job back once he's ready anyway.

 

Best of the Week

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees- 4 IP, 6 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman had another strong week, saving three games while striking out six and only allowing a hit and a walk.

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

Threes across the board for Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen this week, who saved three games and struck out three batters in three innings of work. He only gave up one walk and didn't allow a hit.

Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers- 3 IP, 4 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP

Tigers closer Shane Greene picked up three saves in three innings this week, striking out four batters while allowing just two hits.

Keone Kela, Texas Rangers- 3 IP, 2 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP

Rangers closer Keone Kela has had an up-and-down season, but he certainly had an up week. He saved three games and struck out two batters in three innings, allowing just one walk but no hits.

 

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