It was another tough week for closers and for fantasy owners. Similar to last week, we see two closers working their way towards losing their jobs, and just one pitcher doing enough to warrant a “who’s hot” spot. The struggles were league wide, with over half of the closers giving up at least one run this week (the highest mark this season).

Closers in flux

Brandon Maurer has been a mess all season, and it does not appear to be changing any time soon. Already making his fifth appearance here, he continues to hold onto the Padres closing gig, despite an ERA of 6.32, two blown saves, and a 0-4 record. Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter both would make for a better choice for save chances, and could start getting those chances soon. Maurer has shown no signs of a turn around, so it is a bit surprising to see Manager Andy Green not pulling the plug yet. A guy with no positive track record and who struggled as the teams closer in 2016, Maurer shouldn’t have the job much longer. Soon returning Carter Capps could also work his way into the saves mix upon returning.

Cam Bedrosian had a chance to take back the closer gig with Bud Norris currently on the DL, but he has done nothing of the sort. He failed to convert on his only save chance this week, and gave up runs in two of his last three appearances. With Norris on track to return from the DL this coming weekend it is likely Bedrosian will move back to a setup role with Norris reclaiming the closing job.

Blown Saves

*Top 10

*Note: I track blown saves that happened by guys who were brought into finish the game. Such as guys in the closer role, or other pitchers who were brought in late in the game. A guy who picks up a “blown save,” for example, in the 6th inning is very irrelevant in my opinion, when tracking fantasy assets.

PlayerBS YTD PlayerBS last 7 days
Tony Watson5 Seung-Hwan Oh1
Jim Johnson5 Matt Bush1
Francisco Rodriguez4 Jason Grilli1
Mark Melancon4 Alex Colome1
Alex Colome4 Dellin Betances1
Santiago Casilla 3 Edwin Diaz1
Seung-Hwan Oh3 Cam Bedrosian1
Hector Neris3   
Matt Bush3   
6 more tied with3   

Who’s Hot?

A.J. Ramos (82% owned) continued to turn his season around, with another strong week. He pitched three times this week and converted all three of his save chances. He had two strikeouts across 3.1 shutout innings. Ramos has a 1.64 June ERA to go along with a 0.91 June WHIP after a rough first two months of the season for the veteran closer. The biggest thing hurting Ramos’ value currently is pitching for the Marlins, but with multiple teams targeting him in trade, that could soon change. For now he ranks in the lower-half of the closing ranks. YTD stats: 28.1 innings, 13 saves, 37 K, 3.49 ERA.

Who’s Cold?

Seung-Hwan Oh (95% owned) is in a rut, and it only continued this week. Oh pitched three times and failed to convert on his lone save chance, his third blown save on the season. In total, Oh had two earned runs against and zero strikeouts across three innings of work. He has been far from the dominant reliever he was in 2016 and his ratios are worse across the board. The positive thing for Oh is the struggles of fellow reliever Trevor Rosenthal; this has kept Oh with his job. His grip on the closing gig is loosening after giving up runs in five of his last eight outings. He continues to slowly work his way down the closing ranks. YTD stats: 36 innings, 16 saves, 32 K, 3.75 ERA.

Alex Colome (92% owned) had a terrible week both for the Rays and for fantasy owners. He pitched just two times, and failed on his only save chance (his fourth blown save). He gave up five earned runs in two innings, and had just one strikeout. He allowed EIGHT runners to reach base against him. Colome has seen his ERA rise from 1.95 to 3.57 over the last 10 days with seven earned runs in his last three innings. He should get back on track soon, and remains a middle-tier closer. YTD stats: 35.1 innings, 20 saves, 32 K, 3.57 ERA.

Struggles worth mentioning: Edwin Diaz, Addison Reed, Cody Allen, Wade Davis

Who’s hot, Who’s Cold season Leader board

This table shows who has made the most appearances in these sections.

 Hot Total  Cold Total
Greg Holland4 Mark Melancon3
Craig Kimbrel4 Francisco Rodriguez2
Raisel Iglesias3 Roberto Osuna2
Kenley Jansen3 Kelvin Herrera2
Roberto Osuna2 A.J. Ramos 2
Brandon Kintzler 2 Brandon Kintzler 2
A.J. Ramos2 Addison Reed2
13 tied with 1 Seung-Hwan Oh2
   Matt Bush2
   9 tied with 1

Middle Relievers of note

Pat Neshek (26% owned) is having the best season of his long career to this point in the year. Opposing hitters have managed to do very little damage against him, as he is carrying a 0.59 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, and .192 BAA. Neshek has walked just four batters and allowed just one homerun thus far. He has operated in a setup role so far, but with the shakiness of Phillies closer Hector Neris, he could soon find himself getting some save chances. There is a strong chance Neshek could be traded, which would almost certainly help his value. Between his ratios and his upside for saves, Neshek is worth owning in all formats right now. YTD stats: 30.2 innings, 9 holds, 29 K, 0.59 ERA.

Jarlin Garcia (1% owned) has looked impressive this season and is just a rookie. His fastball sits in the mid 90’s which he pairs with a slider and a changeup, both of which generate a high number of swing and misses. Garcia has been extremely effective over the last 30 days with a 0.87 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and 6 holds across 10.1 innings. With the Marlins likely to be sellers at the deadline, Garcia could move into higher leverage situations. For now, he is just someone to keep an eye on. YTD stats: 25.1 innings, 9 holds, 24 K, 3.20 ERA.

Danny Barnes (1% owned) has quietly strung together a nice season for the Blue Jays. His ratios across the board are rock solid with a 2.14 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 10.43 K/9. Opposing hitters have managed just a .174 BAA against him so far, which is .101 points lower than last season for Barnes. He is working his way into higher leverage game situations with four of his five holds coming within the last 30 days. He isn’t going to challenge Roberto Osuna for the closing gig, but is worth monitoring for the time being. YTD stats: 33.2 innings, 5 holds, 39 K, 2.14 ERA.

The full 2016 breakdown for these 3 guys can be found in the chart below.

Pat NeshekHOU602018473316611433.060.940.1948.23
Jarlin Garcia---------------
Danny BarnesTOR1200113.214605143.951.390.2759.22


*Top 10

PlayerHLD YTD PlayerHLD last 7 days
Adam Ottavino18 Jose Ramirez3
Andrew Miller17 David Phelps3
Taylor Rogers17 Will Harris3
Will Harris17 C.J. Edwards2
Arodys Vizcaino15 Jose Leclerc2
Jacob Barnes14 Brad Hand2
David Phelps14 Jarlin Garcia2
Felipe Rivero14 Pat Neshek2
7 tied with13 Ryan Madson2
   11 more tied with2


*Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo