2016 Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid
Howard Bender

After leaving Wednesday's game due to illness and not playing Thursday Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that catcher Ryan Hanigan is expected to play on Friday against the Blue Jays.

Hanigan is just dealing with a minor bug and it's not expected to keep him out of action very long. He will continue to see starts when Blake Swihart needs a day off.
1 hour ago

Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that Clay Buchholz's spot in the rotation is up for discussion with Eduardo Rodriquez nearing a return from the disabled list.

Buchholz has been brutal this season and now owns a 6.35 ERA after Thursday's shellacking at the hands of the Rockies. He is definitely the most expendable member of Boston's rotation and if he doesn't get straightened out soon, he is likely headed to the bullpen. It's certainly possible that Buchholz could be dealing with an undisclosed injury, but there has been no chatter of that within the Red Sox organization. Rodriguez is expected to return to the majors sometime next week.
1 hour ago

The Royals have signed infielder Steve Tolleson to a minor league contract.

Tolleson appeared in 19 games for the Blue Jays last season and was a jack-of-all-trades on the field. He played in eight games for Triple-A Norfolk this season before the Orioles released him. The Royals need depth after losing Mike Moustakas for the season due to a torn ACL, so expect Tolleson to reach the majors at some point.
1 hour ago

Jackie Bradley Jr. had his 29 game hitting streak come to an end on Thursday.

It was a great stretch for Bradley and one of the longer hitting streaks in recent memory. After struggling over his first three seasons, it is great to see Bradley finally breaking out. Given how solid Boston's lineup is from top to bottom, Bradley will likely continue to hit sixth or lower, but that won't take away from him being productive. He is batting .341 with eight home runs on the year.
2 hours ago

Roberto Osuna pitched a clean ninth inning while striking out two during Thursday’s game against the Yankees.

Osuna is the only reliable reliever the Blue Jays seemingly have these days as he continues to shine in the closers role. He notched his 10th save of the year in 11 chances on Thursday, as he didn’t allow a run in his 13th straight appearance. Not only has he not allowed any runs over that span, he hasn’t allowed a single hit in six games. Osuna is locked in and is one of the games most electric relievers in a league full of high-90 MPH throwers.
2 hours ago

J.A. Happ allowed one run on three hits while walking three and striking out five over seven innings during Thursday’s outing against the Yankees.

Happ continued his excellent 2016 campaign registering his ninth quality start in 10 outings. Outside of one poor start against the Rays, Happ’s been virtually lights out. He’s only pitched less than six innings once and is now 6-2 on the year. What limits Happ’s fantasy potential is the fact he’s not a strikeout pitcher. He isn’t overpowering and mixes his stuff, pitching to contact. His season-high for strikeouts is seven, which he’s only done once. Happ should be owned in all formats, but don’t rely on him in leagues where strikeouts are heavily relied upon.
2 hours ago

Edwin Encarnacion went 1-for-4 with two RBI during Thursday’s game against the Yankees.

Runs were at a premium on Thursday and Encarnacion gave the Jays the lead and ultimately the win with a two-run single off of CC Sabathia. Encarnacion’s average is .24 points below his career average but he’s done a fantastic job driving in runs this year. With his two RBI on Thursday he now has 35 on the year, which is good for third in the American League. He’s a fantasy mainstay year in, year out, and nothing’s changed in 2016.
2 hours ago

CC Sabathia allowed two runs (none earned) on two hits while walking one and striking out seven over seven innings during Thursday’s outing against the Blue Jays.

The revelation that is CC Sabathia has pitched wonderfully for the Yankees this season. He’s yet to have a start in which he’s allowed more than three runs and has three consecutive outings where he’s allowed one earned run or less. What’s been most impressive is the swing-and-miss stuff he has suddenly found. Just in his last three starts, Sabathia has 21 strikeouts in 20 innings. His newfound ability to pitch without velocity is refreshing to see. It’s the first time since he’s lost his mid-to-upper 90 MPH fastball where he’s consistently recording outs. If Sabathia can continue on this path, he’ll be an extremely valuable fantasy pitcher. The sustainability is what everyone is questioning.
2 hours ago

Starlin Castro went 1-for-4 with a home run (6), an RBI and one run scored during Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays.

Castro got the scoring off with a bang taking J.A. Happ deep to the opposite field in the first inning. That was all the damage Castro and the Yankees did all afternoon as they scattered just two more hits off of Happ. After his scorching hot April he’s come back to earth during May as he’s posted a wimpy .227 average. Castro is a free swinger and when he’s hot, there aren’t many pitchers that can shut him down. But as hot as he can get, his free swinging ways comes back to bite him when pitchers throw him nothing but junk and he continuously swings at bad pitches. He’s eligible at multiple infield positions in fantasy, which makes him worth owning in all formats.
2 hours ago
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