The Closer Report: Week 3

We may just be a few weeks into the season, but the fluidity of bullpens is most certainly visible. Closer situations have begun to work themselves out, new closers have been introduced, and other roles in bullpens are beginning to solidify. In the seemingly endless chase, fantasy owners are always trying to keep up with, and even stay one step ahead of, managers’ bullpen decisions on a day-to-day basis.

No need to worry however, as it’s my job to take all of the closer and bullpen news from the past two weeks and give you a rundown of the action. There are still a handful of bullpens using the dreaded closer by committee approach (i.e. Athletics, Reds and to a less extent Phillies and Nationals), while others have opted to go with an entirely new closer like the Rangers.

Los Angeles Angels

There may be Angels in the outfield, but the Devil purchased real-estate in the bullpen. Cam Bedrosian joins Huston Street and Andrew Baily on the disabled list, leaving fantasy owners wondering who will close things out.

Bud Norris (yes he still pitches) got the first save chance on Saturday. Recently recalled Kirby Yates pitched the 8th innings, but expect to see Blake Parker there more often than not. If not for the presence of Mike Scioscia I might speculate on Parker or even Jose Ramirez getting a chance to close. Scioscia loves his veterans, and you don’t get much more veteran than Norris.

Keep in mind that Bedrosian only recorded three saves so it’s not like whoever takes the closer role will rack up the saves. Norris is the add for now, but I would probably avoid the entire bullpen.

Philadelphia Phillies

Hector Neris was able to pick up his first save of the season on Friday night. While Joaquin Benoit has not yet officially lost the closer role, manager Pete Mackanin opted to use the veteran in the eighth inning Friday rather than the ninth. Mackanin said after the game it is nice having two guys who can close, yet did not call the bullpen situation a closer by committee.

Although Neris is obviously the more talented of the two, Benoit figures to see save chances until he proves he can’t handle them. Neris should get some opportunity too, but the Phil’s hesitance in using him may have something to do with keeping his arbitration cost down for future seasons.

Houston Astros

While Ken Giles hasn’t struggled so far this season, he hasn’t been the most consistent either. This could be part of the reason why manager A.J. Hinch decided to use relief ace Chris Devenski through the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to earn a save on Friday night. This move wasn’t to begin ushering Giles out of the closer role, however, so owners shouldn’t fret too much.

Washington Nationals

Manager Dusty Baker summed up Blake Treinen’s closer stint fairly well  by saying “this ain’t working.” Shortly after, Baker announced that Washington will be using a closing tandem of Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover moving forward.  After picking up saves in consecutive chances on Thursday and Friday, Kelley appears to be the bullpen arm to own for the Nationals.

With that being said, it is important to note that Baker intends to keep an eye on Kelley’s workload as the pitcher has had two Tommy John Surgeries over the course of his career. Glover will most likely be used whenever Kelley is unavailable, but could also see chances over Kelley if the situation permits.

Texas Rangers

After a dreadful start to the season and a DL stint, Sam Dyson is out of the closer role in Texas. It didn’t take an expert to figure out it would happen eventually, but now Matt Bush figures to see the majority of chances in the ninth. As the best pitcher in the Rangers’ bullpen, Bush will take over closer duties with Jeremy Jeffress setting him up.

Although he has a lot to prove, Keone Kela has back-of-the-pen potential and has pitched well since being called up. He shouldn’t see any kind of chances in the near future, but if Bush or Jeffress struggle or get injured, he is certainly a name to keep an eye on.

The Closer LogoThe Closer Grid

The Closer Grid tells you who is getting saves, how secure they are, and who is next in line. This year we moved away from the overall rankings and have listed closers by division.
For security rankings: 1 = Rock Solid, 2 = Secure, 3= Shaky, 4 = In Danger

American League

Team Security Closer Set Up Lurker
Baltimore 2 Brad Brach Darren O’Day Mychal Givens
Boston 1 Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Joe Kelly
New York 1 Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard
Tampa Bay 2 Alex Colome Danny Farquhar Tommy Hunter
Toronto 1 Roberto Osuna Jason Grilli Joe Smith
Chicago 2 David Robertson Nate Jones Dan Jennings
Cleveland 2 Cody Allen Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
Detriot 2 Francisco Rodriguez Justin Wilson Alex Wilson
Kansas City 2 Kelvin Herrea Joakim Soria Matt Strahm
Minnesota 3 Brandon Kintzler Ryan Pressly Taylor Rogers
Houston 2 Ken Giles Luke Gregerson Chris Devenski
Los Angeles 4 Bud Norris
Blake Parker
Jose Alvarez
Oakland 4 Santiago Casilla Sean Doolittle Ryan Madson
Seattle 1 Edwin Diaz Dan Altavilla Nick Vincent
Texas  3 Matt Bush Jeremy Jeffress Jose Leclerc

National League

Team Security Closer Set Up Lurker
Atlanta 2 Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino Jose Ramirez
Miami 2 A.J. Ramos Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough
New York 1 Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Fernando Salas
Philadelphia 3 Joaquin Benoit
Hector Neris
Edubray Ramos
Washington 2 Shawn Kelley Koda Glover Blake Treinen
Chicago 1 Wade Davis Koji Uehara Hector Rondon
Cincinnati 4 Raisel Iglesias Drew Storen Michael Lorenzen
Milwaukee 3 Neftali Feliz Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes
Pittsburgh 2 Tony Watson Daniel Hudson
Felipe Rivero
St. Louis 2 Seung Hwan Oh Trevor Rosenthal Brett Cecil
Arizona 3 Fernando Rodney Jorge de la Rosa J.J. Hoover
Colorado 2 Greg Holland Adam Ottavino Mike Dunn
Los Angeles 1 Kenley Jansen Sergio Romo Grant Dayton
San Diego 3 Brandon Mauer Ryan Buchter Brad Hand
San Francisco 1 Mark Melancon Hunter Strickland Derek Law


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Neil Kenworthy

Written by 

Maryland born and raised. Currently studying at Towson University - Journalism & New Media. Thankful for all of those who are a part of my life and excited to meet others who are not yet. Lover of both fantasy baseball & football, but that goes without saying. Go Nats! Go Ravens!