Another week of some movement around the bullpens in baseball, but things are calming down here as we hit late August from where they were in the beginning of the month. I was basically virtually ripping the closer’s grid into pieces on a daily basis and starting from scratch. We sure do have some news, 

Brandon Workman , Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies had clearly seen enough of Héctor Neris and his near TEN earned run average, and no that is not a typo. Obviously, it would be weird if I had a typo that was in all caps and only three letters. Workman comes over from Boston, and while he hasn’t exactly been lights out since arriving, this is his job. Workman had four saves but a 4.05 ERA in Boston, so he doesn’t all of a sudden become a stud, but he is the Phillies closer so I would feel comfortable setting Neris free if you can find yourself something on waivers. Workman had a clean inning on Wednesday to silence some of the chatter around the position. 

Matt Barnes , Boston Red Sox

That news brings us to Boston where the closer’s seat is now vacated. Barnes is the first one to sit in the chair, but I don’t think he will be the last. Barnes first save was clean, but blew the second one allowing two runs, and gave up a home run before securing his latest save chance. He has allowed eight earned runs in 12 innings this year, and that will not make you successful as a closer. I feel like Ryan Brasier might be the guy who can get the job when Barnes blows a couple more and Brasier can be more successful. 

Daniel Bard, Colorado Rockies

He made his last save chance incredibly difficult, but he still has racked up three saves this season, and two this week since taking over from Jairo Díaz . Bard has allowed seven runs in 14 innings this season, but he does have 17 strikeouts against just three walks which is a good thing. Jeff Hoffman got the save in a crazy game Wednesday night, but Bard had pitched back to back days and threw over 30 pitches the night before. It has been nearly a decade since Bard closed for the Red Sox, but he did have back to back 30 save campaigns. The Rockies have no one better which was highlighted Wednesday night when the Diamondbacks nearly stole the game, so I do think that Bard will hold this job for a while and possibly the rest of the season. He is a better than average add if he is available. 

Joe Jiménez , Detroit Tigers

One of the steadier closers of 2020 has gone seriously awry all of a sudden. A week ago, he gave up four runs in a non-save situation, and a few days later allowed three runs in another game without a save on the line. Wednesday, he came into the game in the sixth inning which is not a good sign and allowed another earned run. That was the first time he had pitched in three days, so I am not ready to say that he is definitely out of the closer’s spot yet, but it certainly could be a committee situation in Detroit for a bit. Gregory Soto is the name you need to know if you are chasing speculative saves. 


Emilio Pagán , San Diego Padres

In this case, Pagan isn’t the injured party, but he is the beneficiary of another injury in San Diego. Drew Pomeranz joins teammate Kirby Yates on the sidelines. And while Pomeranz isn’t dealing with a season ending injury, he is likely out a couple of weeks. Pagan has only allowed one baserunner in his two save chances since he was put in the ninth inning role, and right now it looks like the Padres can put anyone in the ninth and they will succeed. This is a short term add if you are chasing saves, but Pagan looks to be rock solid at the moment. 

Sean Doolittle , Washington Nationals

He has been activated from the Injured List after spending time there with inflammation in his knee. Now, we all know his name and that he saved games in the past, but Doolittle was also struggling with mechanics before going on the shelf. It could have been related to the injury, but the most important thing to remember is that Daniel Hudson is pitching like a star right now and Doolittle has no chance to regain the job. Keep him on the waiver wire. 

Keone Kela , Pittsburgh Pirates

Keone Kela was removed from a game Friday with forearm tightness which didn’t sound good, but manager Derek Shelton said he was available Tuesday night if he had been needed. On Wednesday the news came out that he hadn’t even picked up a ball since coming out of the Friday game. Clearly something still isn’t right, and Richard Rodríguez should close games if the Pirates ever win a game again. 

Nick Anderson , Tampa Bay Rays

Anderson has been on the Injured List with forearm inflammation and looks to return on Sunday. He does have three saves, but the question is does it really matter? The Rays have had TEN different pitchers save games for them this year after Diego Castillo saved the game Wednesday. Some of them aren’t even good pitchers. So, manager Kevin Cash clearly doesn’t care about fantasy baseball. Anderson could be the favorite for saves, but that has proven to not be worth much in 2020. 


San Francisco Giants

Tony Watson was supposed to be the closer coming into the year, but that never came to fruition, and when Trevor Gott was saving games, we thought we had it figured out. Well, Gott imploded on several occasions and it would be a surprise if he saw the ninth inning again any time soon. Tyler Rogers got off to a bad start but has righted the ship. The funny thing is Watson has had a fine season. If I had to guess, I would put my money on Rogers taking the ninth as he has the best stuff of the group. Whether the manager agrees with me or not remains to be seen. 

St. Louis Cardinals

Here is another situation that just doesn’t have a lot of clarity because there haven’t been many chances. After the Cardinals long Covid layoff Andrew Miller claimed the ninth inning and rattled off two quick saves. He pitched poorly the game after that and hasn’t seen a save chance since. Granted there has only been one, but it went to the guy we thought would close when the season started, Giovanny Gallegos . That was Saturday. Ryan Helsley , who also would appear to be in line for possible saves, is working his way back and has a second bullpen session on Thursday. He could be back early next week to make this situation more complicated. For now if you are looking for saves, Gallegos looks to be the guy. 

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs haven’t had many save chances lately, and to make matters worse there hasn’t been any consistency. Last Wednesday Craig Kimbrel saved a game, but it was also after Rowan Wick had pitched a couple days in a row. On Sunday, Kimbrel came in to start the eighth inning but didn’t pitch well and Jeremy Jeffress got a four out save. That is it. The rest of the games were non-save chances because the Cubs won big or lost. There is very little clarity on this situation, but I would still bet on Rowan Wick . He pitched in the sixth inning Wednesday night, but he also hadn’t pitched in four days so that could just be the manager ensuring he gets into the game. Kimbrel still is in the mix and if he can pitch well his next time out, but this whole situation is just a disaster right now.