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Fantasy Baseball: Closer Report (8/9)

Written by George Kurtz
August 9, 2019

In theory, we shouldn’t have any more changes at the closer position or at least not as many. The teams in contention made moves by the Major League trade deadline to strengthen themselves, and those teams that are out of it, well they never really mattered much anyway. Injuries, however, are always going to happen and they always seem to happen at just the worst time. In my home league, I traded for Craig Kimbrel last week. Yeah, that’s not working out so well as he is hurt. In another league, I traded for Brad Hand. That trade takes effect Friday, unfortunately, that’s after the handful of saves that Hand had this week. Those had better not be the last saves he accumulated in the near future. We all have sob stories like this, the trick is to move past them

National League

Chicago Cubs: As hinted at above, the Cubs placed Kimbrel on the injured list with inflammation in his right knee. At present time the injury isn’t expected to keep him out of the lineup for much more than the minimum 10 days he must spend on the IL. Until Kimbrel returns, Pedro Strop who himself has just returned from the IL with a neck injury is expected to handle any save opportunities that arise. Keep in mind though, if you’re planning on bidding for Strop this weekend, Kimbrel could be back by the end of next week.

Colorado Rockies: The Rockies finally made the move that we have been waiting for. They have removed Wade Davis from the role and given the job to Scott Oberg. Davis owners really can’t complain and had to see this coming. Davis has an ERA of 6.61 and a WHIP of 1.71. It really doesn’t matter that he has only blown two saves this season. Those numbers are just horrendous. Oberg is a pickup if you need a closer. I know that Davis is the player with the bloated contract, but I have to believe that Oberg keeps this job the rest of the season.

American League

Boston Red Sox: When Nathan Eovaldi was activated off of the IL, we were told that he would close for the Sox. Well, maybe they lied, or maybe circumstances changed, but Eovaldi has been used as a multiple inning reliever and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. The Sox need a bridge that can get them from the starter to the closer as their bullpen has been awful. They will try Eovaldi as that bridge. This isn’t good news for fantasy owners as it all but eliminates the fantasy value of Eovaldi. It does, however, make Brandon Workman a solid pickup for saves this weekend.

Texas Rangers: Shawn Kelley has returned from the injured list but won’t go back to being the closer for the Rangers. The team has given the job back to Jose Leclerc. It’s not that Leclerc deserves to get the job back, but with the Rangers out of playoff contention, they have nothing to lose and want to get their high priced reliever back to being the reliever he used to be.

Toronto Blue Jays: Apparently Ken Giles is good to close again, but not on back to back days. The Jays are easing him back into the role. Giles didn’t look good Wednesday in picking up the save versus the Rays as he gave up two earned runs and three hits in one inning. That’s the bad news. The good news is that he’s back as the closer. How healthy he actually is, remains to be seen.

Team Closer Next in Line IL
ARI Archie Bradley Yoshihisa Hirano/Yoan Lopez  
ATL Shane Greene Luke Jackson/Chris Martin  
BAL Mychal Givens Paul Fry/Miguel Castro/Richard Bleier  
BOS Brandon Workman Matt Barnes/Nathan Eovaldi  
CHC Pedro Strop Steve Cishek/Pedro Strop Brandon Morrow/Craig Kimbrel
CHW Alex Colome Aaron Bummer/Jace Fry Kelvin Herrera
CIN Raisel Iglesias Jared Hughes/Michael Lorenzen  
CLE Brad Hand Adam Cimber/Nick Wittgren  
COL Scott Oberg Wade Davis Seung Hwan Oh
DET Joe Jimenez Buck Farmer  
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly/Chris Devenski  
KC Ian Kennedy Brad Boxberger/Wily Peralta/Tim Hill  
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey/Cam Bedrosian  
LAD Kenley Jansen Joe Kelly/Pedro Baez  
MIA Jose Quijada Adam Conley/Tayron Guerrero/Jarlin Garcia Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Alex Wilson/Jeremy Jeffress/Junior Guerra Corey Knebel
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May/Sergio Romo Sam Dyson
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo/Jeurys Familia  
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zach Britton/Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendricks Lou Trivino/Joakim Soria/Blake Treinen  
PHI Hector Neris Seranthony Dominguez/Pat Neshek David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Keone Kela/Kyle Crick  
STL Carlos Martinez Andrew Miller/John Gant Jordan Hicks
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen  
SF Will Smith Reyes Moronta/Tony Watson  
SEA Anthony Bass Cory Gearrin Arodys Vizcaino
TB Emilio Pagan Chaz Roe/Diego Castillo Jose Alvarado
TEX Jose Leclerc Jesse Chavez/Shawn Kelley  
TOR Ken Giles Justin Shafer Ryan Tepera
WSH Sean Doolittle Justin Miller/Kyle Barraclough/Daniel Hudson Hunter Strickland

George Kurtz

George Kurtz was born in Queens, NY and currently lives on Long Island. He started playing fantasy football in 1988 with baseball and hockey coming soon after. George got his start in the fantasy industry by luck when a friend started his own site (Fantasy Sports Forum) in 2006 and asked George to write for him. One thing led to another and George started working for RotoWire in 2007 and is still with them today. George has also written for FFReport, Leatherheads, Seamheads, Going9, Gotham baseball, and FantasyPros911. George started with RotoExperts in 2012 and is an analyst on the Fantasy Sports Radio Network. You can listen to George on weekends when he is the host/analyst of The Weekend Fantasy Update and RotoExperts in the Morning.