With Aroldis Chapman very slowly starting to emerge from his recent funk, this week we’ll turn some of our attention to that other team in New York. Their closer has been struggling recently, and that may provide some opportunities for a couple of Mets relief pitchers to save some games for “The Amazins.” We’ll also focus on trying to identify the relievers who could be in line for save opportunities once the dust clears and the MLB trade deadline is behind us. In addition, we have three relief pitchers who you can potentially stream in weekly leagues. Please enjoy this week’s Bullpen Report.
Weekly Save Leaders (Some of Whom Could Be On The Move)
Gregory Soto, Tigers, Three Saves
Soto picked up three saves for the red-hot Detroit Tigers last week. He enters Thursday’s action with a 2.77 ERA and a total of ten saves on the season. Soto has taken over as the Tigers’ closer for now but based on how well he’s been pitching lately he has developed into a valuable trade chip. José Cisnero (if he doesn’t get traded), Kyle Funkhouser and Michael Fulmer (currently on the IL) would likely be used in late inning high leverage situations should the Tigers deal Soto.
Trevor May, Mets, Two Saves
With Edwin Díaz blowing his last three save opportunities for the Mets (21.00 ERA in his last three appearances) Trevor May could be in line for some additional high leverage work while the Mets’ closer sorts things out. May has given up just two runs (1.32 ERA) and struck out 19 batters in his last 13.2 IP. If Diaz continues to struggle Seth Lugo could also be an option to close out games for the Mets.
In our last column we mentioned that Cubs relievers Andrew Chafin and Ryan Tepera might be good waiver wire targets as the next men up in the Cubs’ bullpen but be aware that their names have been mentioned in trade rumors as well. The last man standing could be the Cubs’ closer after the trade deadline.
Weekly Hold Leaders
Eleven pitchers (including the previously mentioned Noé Ramirez) held two games each last week, one of which is Pirates reliever David Bednar. With Kyle Crick being DFA’d Bednar would be the favorite to take over the Pirates’ closer role should Richard Rodríguez be traded as expected.
Jalin Garcia (Giants) and Jake Cousins (Brewers) both held two games last week and are pitchers that haven’t been mentioned in this column this season.
Garcia has struck out 10 and hasn’t given up a run in his last seven appearances. Cousins hasn’t given up a run this season, pitching 11.1 scoreless innings and striking out 18 during that time span.
Relief Pitcher Streaming Options
In recent columns, we’ve been featuring relief pitchers who typically work multiple innings per week who you can consider using in your weekly lineups in place of struggling starting pitchers who have tough matchups. The following three pitchers each posted a solid ERA and struck out at least six batters over the past week. We’ve listed each pitcher’s overall season stats, as well as their stats for the past week.
Jordan Holloway, Marlins
Two win, two losses, one save, five holds, 3.00 ERA, 1.133 WHIP
|July 15th – July 21st||5||1 W||6||0.00||0.400|
Jay Jackson, Giants
One win, zero losses, zero holds, 0.00 ERA, 0.300 WHIP
|July 15th – July 21st||3.1||1 W||5||0.00||0.300|
Bryan Shaw, Cleveland
Two wins, three losses, 14 holds, 2.83 ERA 1.31 WHIP
|July 15th – July 21st||3||2 H, 1 S||5||0.00||1.00|
If you've been a subscriber here at Fantasy Alarm, you've seen the Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid before. If you're new, it's very simple. We not only list who the closer is for each team, but we then go another two-deep into the bullpen to let you know who would be next in line to accrue saves should there be an injury or a change, as well as which relievers you may want to target if your league scores for holds. This isn't about how the teams' depth charts always reads, so keep that in mind. Sometimes the heir-apparent is an obvious one, but in many cases it is not. We look for things like skill set, contact rates, pitch-command, pitch-mix, how many lefties are in the bullpen, who has worked as a closer before and who has the experience in high-leverage situation among other things.
GREEN will be those with strong talent, abundant opportunities and a high-level of job security. The tier below will be in YELLOW followed by ORANGE and lastly RED to indicate who may have the job right now but could lose it with one bad hiccup.