It appeared as if the Mariners’ closer lost his job, but then it seemed that he found it again… but for how long? The Diamondbacks promoted a pitcher that some consider to be their potential future closer. A 13-year veteran starting pitcher came on in the 9th inning and recorded the first save of his career for the Dodgers. Welcome to the Bullpen Report for the third full week of the season!

Weekly Save Leaders

Liam Hendriks , White Sox, 2

Hendriks anchors one of the most stable bullpen situations in baseball. His 4.05 ERA isn’t pretty, and the two home runs he’s allowed are twice as many as he gave up all of last season. However, Hendriks’ xERA is 2.56, he’s saved three games, and he’s struck out nine and walked just one in his first 6.2 IP this season.

Ian Kennedy , Rangers, 2

Kennedy has converted all four of his save opportunities and he hasn’t walked a batter in his seven appearances this season. Joely Rodríguez , who is believed to have the potential to eventually take over as the Rangers’ closer, made his season debut on Saturday. He got roughed up in his first appearance but struck out two batters in one inning of work and recorded his first hold on Monday.

Brad Hand , Nationals, 2

After starting the season on the COVID-19 injured list as a close contact, Hand has locked down his position as the Nationals’ primary closer. He saved two games last week and has three on the season. Hand is yet to give up a run in his six appearances thus far.

Yimi García , Marlins, 2

Garcia saved two games last week and has been on fire since taking over the Marlins’ closers role. In six appearances as the Marlins’ closer spanning 6.2 IP, Garcia has a 7:1 K:BB and he’s recorded four saves. Since being removed as the Marlins’ closer Anthony Bass has pitched 4.1 scoreless innings as a set-up man.

César Valdez, Orioles, 2

Valdez proves that not all closers need to blow away opposing hitters in order to be effective. Valdez, who has saved four games in his first eight appearances, relies on his 78.4 MPH changeup to get opposing hitters out. According to Baseball Savant, it has 50.4 inches of drop, and even though he throws it 81.6% of the time and opposing batters know it’s coming, they can’t hit it (.188 BAA).  

Edwin Díaz , Mets, 2

Diaz continues to make his nightmarish 2019 season seem like an outlier. He’s only given up runs in one of his six 2021 appearances this season. Diaz recorded his first two saves of the season this past week.

Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland, 2

Clase seems to have a good grasp on the Cleveland closer’s job. Despite blowing a save this past Saturday, he came right back and recorded his fourth save of the season on Sunday. It was his second save of the week. Nick Wittgren worked the seventh inning and James Karinchak worked the eighth inning of Cleveland’s games on Thursday and Saturday and recorded two holds each.

Stefan Crichton , Diamondbacks, 2

See below.

An Additional Note Regarding Saves

David Price picked up the first save of his career last Thursday and Victor González picked up a save for the Dodgers on Saturday as well. As we mentioned last week, Kenley Jansen ’s job as the Dodgers’ closer is secure. It seems manager Dave Roberts just realizes that Jansen is most effective when he’s rested. He’s only used Jansen in back-to-back games once this season and Jansen blew the save in the second game.

Weekly Hold Leaders


The Giants’ bullpen leads the league with 19 holds distributed among eight pitchers. Caleb Baragar is probably a pitcher not many are familiar with, but he hasn’t given up a run yet this season and has two wins and three holds in his last five appearances. Coincidentally the Giants’ bullpen also leads the league with a total of nine saves.


As the team with the most wins in baseball, Dodgers relief pitchers are going to get plenty of hold opportunities. Their bullpen has recorded 17 holds, the second most in baseball. The previously mentioned Victor González may not be a household name yet, but he had two holds and also recorded a save last week. He’s made eight relief appearances this season and he’s only been scored upon in one of them.


With their reputation for not allowing their starting pitchers to work deep into games, the Rays have kept their relief pitchers pretty busy over the years. It’s not surprising the Rays starting pitchers are only averaging 4.7 innings per start (third-lowest average in baseball) this season. With 13 holds, they’ve recorded the third-most thus far this season. Cody Reed and Pete Fairbanks lead the Rays with three holds each, but both are on the IL. Ryan Thompson had two holds last week and should be in line for more opportunities with Reed and Fairbanks sidelined.

More Bullpen News


With Rafael Montero blowing three saves already this season and Kendall Graveman recording two saves leading up to last weekend’s waiver wire, a lot of FAAB was thrown Kendall Graveman ’s way. If he wasn’t available, fantasy baseball managers made bids for Keynan Middleton ’s services. Middleton recorded a save in game two of the Mariners’ double-header against the Orioles last Thursday. However, once the dust cleared on Monday, Montero was back pitching the ninth inning of a 4-3 game against the Dodgers. While he didn’t make it easy on himself by hitting and walking a batter, he recorded his third save of the season. Graveman pitched parts of the seventh and eighth innings for a hold in that game. At least for now, this is looking like it could be a closer-by-committee. We’re going to leave Montero as the primary closer on our grid for this week but it’s a situation that should be monitored.


As the last man standing Stefan Crichton has settled into the Diamondbacks’ closer role. He pitched three scoreless innings this past week, and also saved two games. However, some believe that J.B. Bukauskas, whom the Diamondbacks added to their big league roster this past Sunday, has the potential to take over the closer’s role at some point this season. He earned his first win on Wednesday, retiring the only batter he’s ever faced in the big leagues. Bukauskas had a phenomenal spring, as he used his blazing fastball and hard slider to strikeout 14 batters in 7.2 IP without allowing a run. We’re not going to add him to our closer grid just yet, but we may before long.

Blue Jays

Jordan Romano , who unexpectedly hit the IL due to ulnar neuritis on his right elbow, is expected to be activated once he’s eligible to be reinstated on Sunday. That’s great news for fantasy managers who currently roster him, but while he’ll likely pitch in high leverage situations, there’s no guarantee that Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo will use him as him as his primary closer. It seems that Montoyo will mix and match his relievers depending on the situation. On Wednesday he used Rafael Dolis in the eighth inning to protect a two-run lead, against the Red Sox’s best hitters, and then used Tim Mayza in the ninth inning and just to keep things interesting he brought in Anthony Castro for the final out and his first big league save.

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. 

UPDATED: 4.22.2021