April 18, 2017
Welcome to Week Three of the Closer Report, and while there hasn’t been too much baseball played this year there already is plenty of news to cover. Before we do, though, allow me to direct you back to my Closer Grid, where I update any and all changes as soon as possible. With that out of the way, let’s get right to the news.
Zach Britton hits the disabled list
Some bad news out of Baltimore, as one of the elite closers in the game is on the shelf with some soreness in his forearm. That kind of injury is always worrisome, but the good news is Buck Showalter is hoping that Britton will be back within 10 days. In the meantime, Brad Brach should be picked up by anyone looking for short-term saves. The Orioles are playing well and figure to have plenty of save chances ahead of them in the near future. Britton deservedly gets a ton of attention for his performance over the past couple of years, but Brach has quietly been outstanding since 2015 as well. His control isn’t as fine-tuned as Britton, but he strikes out over 10 batters per nine innings and has posted a DRA- below 60 each of the past two years. He’s someone who can get you ratios if Britton is indeed back in the minimum 10 days, and he’s nice insurance in case the forearm issue ends up being worse than it seems at this moment. Darren O’Day moves into the backup slot in Baltimore for the time being.
Sam Dyson injured too
Dyson was awful again Sunday, and it seems like the Rangers don’t have a choice besides moving on from the righty in the ninth inning. Of course, it looked like that was their only option before, and Jeff Banister has continued going back to him. This time, he won’t have a choice, with Dyson being placed on the disabled list. While Jeremy Jeffress does have a chance at getting save chances, I’m buying all of the Matt Bush stock I can. He was someone I targeted quite a bit late in drafts this spring, and he hasn’t done much to make me any less confident in his abilities. Although he has allowed runs in two of his four outings, and has missed some time with a minor injury, he has eight strikeouts to just one walk in 4 2/3 innings. Bush has ideal closer stuff, coming back Sunday and striking out the side before Dyson blew the save. Perhaps the Rangers won’t want to pin him to the ninth inning, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest that yet. If you can, add Bush. Meanwhile, Keone Kela came back up and he is one of my favorite non-top-two relievers in all of baseball.
A little bit of clarity in Oakland