In the week since MLB’s Trade Deadline several relief pitchers have taken on new roles; some have become closers and are good resources for saves. Others have taken on setup roles and are more likely to help fantasy baseball managers in the holds category. There are a few teams that are still in the process of reconfiguring their bullpen hierarchy and it’s even more important for you to refer to our Closer Grid on a regular basis. It’s constantly being revised and is a great resource for identifying the latest updates to bullpen closers, handcuffs, and sleepers. 

(The statistics quoted in this article are accurate as of the morning of 8.9.2022)



Post Trade Deadline Save Activity


It may take some time before we can determine if the Angels will designate one relief pitcher as their closer moving forward. Since trading away Raisel Iglesias last Tuesday José QuijadaJimmy Herget, and Ryan Tepera have each saved one game for the Angels. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the way the Angels are utilizing their bullpen right now. For instance, Herget saved a game for the Angels on Friday and then was called upon to pitch the fifth inning on Sunday. Tepera is probably the safest Angel reliever to add off the waiver wire add right now but the Angels’ bullpen is definitely a work in progress. Iglesias, the former Angels closer, has settled in as Kenley Jansen’s handcuff. 


As we predicted last week it appears that Rowan Wick is the  Cubs’ new closer moving forward. He was used in two late inning high leverage situations last week. He picked up his fifth save of the season and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings. Wick is rostered in just 14% of yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues.


After the Phillies traded for David Robertson at the MLB Trade Deadline manager Rob Thompson told the media that Robertson would not be the team’s primary closer and that Seranthony Domínguez and Brad Hand would continue to get the majority of save chances. Ironically, Robertson converted the Phillies’ first save opportunity on the day following baseball’s trade deadline. The next save opportunity presented itself almost a week later and was converted by Dominguez on Tuesday night. We’ll keep Dominguez as the Phillies primary option for saves on our Closer Grid for now, but it might be safest to consider the Phillies’ late inning bullpen configuration as a committee and a work in progress.  


As expected, Félix Bautista has inherited the Orioles’ closer role vacated by Jorge LópezBautista made four appearances last week, striking out seven batters in  3.1 IP. He also picked up two saves. 


As for the previously mentioned Jorge López, he had his ups and downs in his first week as the Twins’ new closer. Lopez made three appearances and he saved one game and also blew a save. Jhoan Duran continued to be called upon to pitch the eighth inning for the Twins. 


Other bullpen situations to monitor


Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo recently announced that the Diamondbacks would be using a committee approach in managing their bullpen. Moving forward Mark Melancon will be sharing closer duties with Ian Kennedy and Joe Mantiply. Melancon has 15 saves and a 4.54 ERA on the season and his 2022 season can best be described as shaky. While he has two saves in his last four appearances, he’s also blown a save and given up six hits and four walks in four IP during that time frame. Ian Kennedy saved three games last week. He pitched four innings, striking out six batters and walking just one. Kennedy is rostered in just 19% of yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues and is worth adding if you need saves.


It’s been a while (August 4th) since a Texas Rangers pitcher has recorded a save, but Jonathan Hernández has picked up the teams’ last two. Brock Burke and Matt Moore are still in the mix for save opportunities, but Hernandez needs to be on your watch list as well.

Red Sox

The Red Sox just can’t catch a break when it comes to the closer position. After an almost season-long search Tanner Houck finally settled in as the Bosox’s closer, but he was placed on the 15-day IL due to lower back inflammation retroactive to August 6th. The earliest he can be reinstated is August 21st. While he’s unavailable Garrett Whitlock and John Schreiber will likely be called upon to pitch in late inning high leverage situations for the Red Sox. 




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