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Last week was a whirlwind of bullpen news, exciting performances, and disappointing outings. This week was less whirlwind and more light breeze. There were still great performances, along with some terrible ones. There was a new committee formed. There was a solid closer who had to hear the three dreaded letters: UCL.

Even in a week where "not much happens" in bullpens across the league, a lot still happens. One of MLB Closer and Saves Report's favorite under-the-radar setup men, Drew Steckenrider, got lit up by the Braves. Another MLB Closer and Saves Report favorite, Cam Bedrosian, failed to take his chance to claim a full-time ninth inning role. The White Sox White Sox'd, the Braves Braves'd (which, now that they held the best record in the NL for a few days might start to mean something different), and the Dodgers Dodger'd. It was a week of mostly expected results, but that doesn't mean some things didn't go down.

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:

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Bullpen News for Week 8

Los Angeles Angels

On Sunday, Angels closer Keynan Middleton hurt his elbow. It seemed minor, perhaps nothing to really worry about. Then, reports came out with those three dreaded letters: UCL. Middleton underwent an MRI and it showed damage to his UCL. Middleton went for a second opinion, and it only confirmed what we all expected: Middleton needs to undergo Tommy John Surgery and will miss the standard 12-16 months. He's out for the season, and will miss at least part of next season as well. For now, the Angels will go with a committee similar to the one they used the first time Middleton was on the disabled list. Cam Bedrosian, Blake Parker, Justin Anderson, and Jim Johnson will all likely get save chances before manager Mike Scioscia finally decides on a closer. It seems like Johnson has a slight edge right now, but that could change quickly with a bad outing. For now, it's too hard to predict who will be worth owning out of the Los Angeles of Anaheim bullpen, but fantasy owners desperate for saves should keep a close eye on how things develop near Disneyland.

Atlanta Braves

The Baby Braves are off to an excellent start to the season. Manager Brian Snitker keeps hinting at a closer-by-committee situation, but then fairly consistently sticks with the very average Arodys Vizcaino whenever a save opportunity comes up. This week, Snitker again said that he has a few options for the ninth inning if he wants to keep everyone fresh. He's mentioned wanting to use A.J. Minter and Dan Winkler in save situations. While Vizcaino still seems to be the favorite for saves, Snitker's comments surely imply that Vizcaino is on a very short leash. At best, he seems like the head of the committee right now and not the bona fide closer. Fantasy owners should be looking to sell (somewhat) high on Vizcaino right now before he's officially removed from the role. It's a good time to pick up Minter in most formats, or perhaps to speculate on Winkler for those desperate for saves in deeper leagues.

Chicago White Sox

As mentioned in last week's report, the White Sox bullpen has been a complete mess this season. Joakim Soria got off to a poor start, which gave Nate Jones a chance to claim the closer job, but he did even worse. Now, it seems like Bruce Rondon is the the flavor of the week. While manager Rick Renteria wouldn't call Rondon his closer just yet, he's actually been a decent reliever this season, pitching to a 4.15 ERA, but backed up by a 2.53 FIP. He's striking out 11.08 batters per nine innings. Even if he's officially named to the closer's role, he won't earn too many saves simply because the White Sox won't win too many games, but he won't hurt in ratios either. He's a decent pick up in deeper leagues and AL-only.

 

Roster Moves of the Week

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Bruce Rondon, Chicago White Sox - The White Sox bullpen has been a disaster this season, but Bruce Rondon has emerged as the latest ninth inning option for manager Rick Renteria. While Renteria still hasn't officially given the job to Rondon, he's pitched fairly well and should make for a decent option in AL-only leagues. The White Sox won't likely give him enough save chances to make him a strong mixed league option, though.

Drops

Keynan Middleton, Los Angeles Angels - Middleton unfortunately has damage to his UCL, which is almost always a precursor to Tommy John Surgery. A second opinion confirmed that the reliever will need the procedure, so he's thrown his last pitch of 2018. He'll also miss at least some of the 2019 season, so we won't be seeing Middleton on a mound for a long time.

 

Best of the Week

Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds - 4 IP, 6 K, 4 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.25 WHIP

Reds closer Raisel Iglesias was able to work a rare four-save week. In the process, he allowed only one batter to reach base and struck out six. He's a strong reliever, but plays on a team that won't often provide him with four save opportunities in a week.

Alex Colome, Tampa Bay Rays - 4 IP, 4 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP

Rays closer Alex Colome hasn't been particularly good this season, but he was particularly good this week. He saved three games, striking out four batters in four innings and allowing just three hits.

Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals - 3 IP, 4 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

Rounding out our top performers this week is Nationals closer Sean Doolittle. He made it into three games this week, saving all three while striking out four and allowing just three hits.

 

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