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Closer Headaches in Los Angeles and Philadelphia

Closer Headaches in Los Angeles and Philadelphia
George Kurtz May 22, 2018 5:33PM EST

Latest Fantasy Baseball Closer News | Full Bullpen Depth Charts

Baltimore Orioles: In our weekly Zach Britton update, he will throw in two simulated games this week before going on a rehabilitation stint with Triple-A on May 30. How long he will need to stay on his rehab stint is unknown, but a good guess is 10-14 days or until he can pitch in back to back games. The goal for the Orioles will likely be to trade Britton before the trade deadline so he should be inserted back as the team’s closer as soon as the Orioles believe he is ready to pitch in high leverage situations. The better question will be whether or not he will close for the team he is eventually traded to.

Chicago White Sox: Joakim Soria has allowed at least one earned run in four of his last six appearances and is sporting a 5.28 ERA and 1.57 WHIP so far this season. These are not the numbers you want to see out of your closer, especially one you want to trade for prospect(s) by the trade deadline. It would seem likely that Nate Jones would be next in line to close out games for Chicago, but he’s not the long-term answer either, as the team may also elect to move him prior to the trade deadline as well.

Cleveland Indians: Whether or not Andrew Miller can pitch in the near future is unknown at this point, as he missed the series versus Houston over the weekend with a back injury. The Indians seem to want to wait to see if Miller can pitch through the injury before placing him back on the disabled list, but Fantasy owners are better off avoiding Miller this week and letting him prove himself healthy with an appearance or two before activating him.

Houston Astros: He likes to make it interesting, but Ken Giles has converted five straight save opportunities and is once again the closer for the Astros. How long this will last is anyone’s guess. His job status came into question when he blew a save versus the Yankees on May 1, a team he seems to struggle against. Well, the Astros will come to New York for a three-game series versus the Yankees starting May 28. Giles’ owners are hoping he can get through those games with his job intact.

Los Angeles Angels: What do we know for certain about the Angels’ closer situation? Well, we know that Kenyan Middleton is out for the season due to an elbow injury that will likely require Tommy John surgery. We know that trusting Mike Scioscia to stick with one of Blake Parker, Justin Anderson or Jim Johnson is probably asking too much. At this point, Anderson does look like the closer of the future, but that future may not be now. If I needed saves and both were on the waiver wire, I would grab Parker as he may be given the chance to re-claim the role, but I say this with no amount of confidence.

Milwaukee Brewers: Corey Knebel closed out the win in the Brewers win over the Diamondbacks on Monday and this likely signifies his return to the closing role. The Brewers were playing it safe with Knebel since he came off the DL. They were working him back slowly in high-leverage situations until they felt he was ready to return to the ninth inning. They seem to be satisfied that is the case now. Josh Hader will return to his multiple inning setup role.

Philadelphia Phillies: If you thought Mike Scioscia made life interesting for closers, I’ll raise you Gabe Kapler. Hector Neris, Edubray Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez all have at least one save since May 13. Neris would still seem to be the closer at this point in time but may also be the least talented of the trio. Dominguez has announced himself as a force to be reckoned with as he is coming out of the bullpen throwing straight heat, but Kapler may not be comfortable using a rookie as his team’s closer. The time seems to be ticking for Neris as I would bank on Dominguez getting more and more opportunities to close from this point forward.

St. Louis Cardinals: If you’re still holding onto Greg Holland and hoping the he will once again close for St. Louis, it’s probably time to move on from that dream. Holland gave up two runs in each of his last two appearances and just can’t seem to get untracked for any length of time this season. His ERA is 7.30 and is WHIP is just awful at 2.27. At this point you have to worry if he should still be pitching in anything other than a mop up role. Those owners who gambled on Bud Norris keeping the role look like they may have a nice payoff coming.

San Francisco Giants: Mark Melancon has finally begun his rehab assignment. That’s the good news, the bad news is that manager Bruce Bochy has stated that Melancon will not resume his closing role upon his return. It seems that Bochy has realized that Hunter Strickland shouldn’t be removed from closing, at least not until Melancon proves he’s the same pitcher they signed to a long-term contract, and that may not happen this season.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Jays have once again extended the administrative leave for Roberto Osuna, which once again means that he won’t be returning to the team until May 28 at the earliest, and even that is the best-case scenario. If you need a closer in the short term, Tyler Clippard would seem to be the reliever you want, but the Jays are hardly a good team and Clippard could lose the job at any moment.

TeamCloserNext in LineDeep PotentialDLTop Hold Reliever
ARIBrad BoxbergerArchie BradleyArchie Bradley
ATLArodys VizcainoA.J. MinterA.J. MinterJose RamirezA.J. Minter
BALBrad BrachBrad Brach/Miguel Castro/Mychal GivensMiguel CastroZach Britton/Darren O' DayMiguel Castro
BOSCraig KimbrelMatt Barnes/Joe KellyTyler ThornburgJoe Kelly
CHCBrandon MorrowCarl Edwards/Pedro Strop/Steve CishekCarl EdwardsJustin Wilson
CHWJoakim SoriaNate JonesJuan MinayaNate Jones
CINRaisel IglesiasDavid Hernandez/Wandy PeraltaDavid Hernandez
CLECody AllenAndrew MillerAndrew Miller
COLWade DavisAdam Ottavino/Jake McGeeAdam OttavinoBryan Shaw
DETShane GreeneJoe Jimenez/Alex WilsonJoe JimenezAlex Wilson
HOUKen GilesChris Devenski/Brad PeacockChris DevenskiChris Devenski
KCKelvin HerreraBrandon Maurer/Justin GrimmBrandon Maurer
LAAJustin AndersonCam Bedrosian/Blake Parker/Jim JohnsonJustin AndersonBlake Wood/Kenyan MiddletonCam Bedrosian
LADKenley JansenJosh FieldsJosh Fields
MIABrad ZieglerKyle Barraclough/Drew SteckenriderDrew SteckenriderKyle Barraclough
MILCorey KnebelMatt Albers/Jacob Barnes/Josh HaderJosh Hader
MINFernando RodneyAddison ReedAddison Reed
NYMJeurys FamiliaA.J RamosAnthony SwarzakA.J. Ramos
NYYAroldis ChapmanDavid Robertson/Dellin BetancesTommy KahnleDavid Robertson
OAKBlake TreinenRyan Butcher/Santiago CasillaRyan DullSantiago Casilla
PHIHector NerisEdubray RamosSeranthony DominguezPat NeshekEdubray Ramos
PITFelipe VazquezGeorge KontosGeorge Kontos
STLBud NorrisGreg Holland/Luke GregersonDominic LeoneGreg Holland
SDBrad HandKirby YatesKazuhisa MakitaKirby Yates
SFHunter StricklandSam Dyson/Tony Watson/Cory GearrinSam DysonMark MelanconSam Dyson
SEAEdwin DiazJuan NicasioJuan Nicasio
TBAlex ColomeSergio Romo/Dan JenningsSergio Romo
TEXKeone KelaAlex Claudio/Matt BushAlex Claudio
TORTyler ClippardRyan Tepera/Seung-Hwan Oh/John AxfordRoberto Osuna (susp)Ryan Tepera
WSHSean DoolittleRyan Madson/Brandon Kintzler/Shawn KelleyKoda GloverKoda GloverRyan Madson

Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.

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