As we head into the third full week of the 2023 fantasy baseball season familiar closers like Josh HaderJordan RomanoDavid Bednar and Clay Holmes are tied for the league lead in saves with four. As often happens, there are also a few relievers who we didn’t expect to get save opportunities who’ve been closing out games for their respective teams as well.  We’ll tell you who those pitchers are and feature some bullpens that we think you ought to know about in this week’s Fantasy Baseball Closer Report. 


Bullpen Updates

New York Mets

David Robertson leads the Mets with two saves and hasn’t given up a run in his six appearances. However, even though he’s been the team’s most reliable reliever, manager Buck Showalter has shown that he’s going to use him in high leverage situations whether it’s the ninth inning or not. Robertson came on in the seventh inning of Thursday's Mets win and stranded the two runners he inherited and got four very important outs while Adam Ottavino picked up his first save of the season. Unless the Mets trade for an established closer Robertson will lead the team in saves and be used in most, but not all, of the Mets’ save situations. 

Houston Astros

We’re barely two weeks into the 2023 fantasy baseball season but it’s still strange seeing a zero in the saves column for Ryan Pressly. Pressly gave up two runs in his season debut but followed that up with four straight scoreless appearances. He gave up two hits and a walk-off home run to Ji Hwan Bae in his last appearance on Tuesday. It’s been a strange start to the season for Pressly who was unavailable for two games due to a mystery illness, and the average velocity on his four seamer is down just under a tick. However, he suffered a similar drop in velocity early last season but eventually bounced back and went on to save 33 games. Rafael Montero and Hector Neris have the Astros’ only saves and Bryan Abreu has the team’s only two holds entering Thursday’s action.

Los Angeles Dodgers

If you drafted Evan Phillips this preseason, you got some good news this week as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested that he’d be used in the ninth inning more often than other Dodgers relievers. Phillips had four scoreless appearances to start the season but gave up two home runs and three earned runs in his Tuesday appearance. As this article is being written he leads the team with two saves. Phil Bickford has gotten off to a fast start and has one of the teams’ two holds (Yency Almonte has the other). Bickford has a 10/1 K/BB ratio in his first 5.1 IP on the season. 

Atlanta Braves

Expected closer Raisel Iglesias (IL, strained shoulder) has begun to get some long tossing in but there is no exact timetable for his return. A.J. Minter has been filling in for Iglesias and he has two saves and one win so far this season. Nick Andersonwho has nine career saves, picked up his first save of the season on Tuesday. He also has two holds, eight strikeouts and hasn’t walked a batter in his first 5.2 IP this season. Ageless Jesse Chavez earned four holds and saved a game so far this season and Dylan Lee has held three games. Both Chavez and Lee haven’t given up an earned run yet.

Los Angeles Angels

Prior to Opening Day Angels manager Phil Nevins wouldn’t specifically name Carlos Estevez as his primary closer but did say that he was “definitely going to get some big outs late in the game most of the year for us.” Estevez earned a save and recorded seven strikeouts in his first five IP of the season, but Jose Quijada leads the team with two saves heading into Thursday’s action. Quijada also has three holds, and he hasn’t given up a run in five IP on the season. It should be noted that Nevins had Quijada, Jimmy Herget, Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup save games for the Angels after they traded Raisel Iglesias away last season. Matt Moore and Herget, who had nine saves last season, each also have three holds this season. 

Middle Relievers Who Should Be On Your Radar

The following are a few middle relievers who occasionally make multiple inning appearances that might be worth streaming in place of mediocre starting pitchers:

Steven Wilson, San Diego Padres

Wilson has a 1.23 ERA and 0.955 WHIP in his first six appearances of the season. He has struck out 12 batters in 7.1 IP and has three holds on the season. 

Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs

Alzolay has struck out nine batters in eight IP across four appearances this season. He has a 2.25 ERA and he hasn’t walked a batter. Alzolay also has a win and a hold on the season.

Ron Marinaccio, New York Yankees

Marinaccio has struck out nine batters and walked just two in five IP across four appearances this season. He has a 1.80 ERA and has recorded two holds.



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