Welcome to the first post-trade deadline Closer Report. This one is a bit of a let down after the last few, as there were no deals made involving ninth inning arms. Don’t you worry, though, as there was still news. Unsurprisingly, some of that news even came hours after the last edition of this post was published. Who could’ve seen that coming? Anyway, let’s get right into it, and all wonder what will happen in the next six hours that is relevant to fantasy owners. As always, keep up with everything with the closer grid.
Huston Street Hits the Disabled List
Here is news item number one that happened last Tuesday. Huston Street, who has been the Angels’ closer all season when healthy, hit the disabled list for the second time this season. This time, it is knee inflammation that is ailing the right-hander. With Joe Smith being sent to Chicago at the deadline, the new next-man-up is Cam Bedrosian despite Mike Scioscia saying he’ll use a committee. Bedrosian had two opportunities in his first week in the gig, striking out the side in the first one and blowing the save in the second. Going by the numbers, he is a solid own in fantasy, as he strikes out more than 11 batters an inning and does everything else well enough to succeed. As of this writing, the righty has a 1.12 ERA, a 74 cFIP, and a 2.74 DRA. It’s unclear how long Street will be out, but with the Angels out of it they have every reason to take it easy with the veteran. That could mean Bedrosian could get saves into the end of the fantasy season. If you’re looking for other possible save-getters if they do opt for a committee, Deolis Guerra and Fernando Salas are the main candidates. However, the former also blew a save last week. I wouldn’t opt for either of them except in desperate circumstances.
Ken Giles Is A Closer Again
Here is the other bit of news that happened last Tuesday. If you remember, Giles was one of the hottest draft targets in the spring, then got off to a horrendous start that kicked him out of the ninth inning for basically the entire season. He’s recovered nicely from that stretch, and has been one of the better set-up men in the league over the last few months. With Will Harris struggling recently and Luke Gregerson hitting the disabled list, Giles had his opening back into a closer job. Of course, he’s already owned in basically every league, so I hope you had an opportunity to lock him up at some point. He should be a top-ten closer for the rest of the season, and is one of the elite relievers to own in dynasty leagues.
Is Not Charlie Sheen Losing Leash In Colorado?
Carlos Estevez was never supposed to hold this closer job for as long as he has, but he’s been mostly solid for much of the season. Obviously, things will always go wrong at times for any pitcher in Colorado, but you have to be consistent when you have the Rockies’ depth behind you. Estevez had another rough outing last week, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks while recording just one out on Friday. The hard-throwing righty hasn’t lost his job yet,
and a couple strong outings in a row could solidify his job for the rest of the year. Thus, I wouldn’t go dropping him just yet. He just blew another save as I was typing this, and Adam Ottavino has been great since coming back from Tommy John. If you’re looking for speculative saves, he could be the best bet at this moment. In fact, he could be named the closer between the time I submit this and the time it’s published.
Edwin Diaz is Finally a Closer
Oh, hey, it’s another news item that dropped immediately after this was published last week. Diaz has taken the league by storm in a small sample since coming up from the minors, striking out a whopping 56 batters in 29 innings of work. He’s also walking under three batters per nine innings and is inducing ground balls at a 50 percent rate. That is pretty good, in my opinion. Like Giles, he is already owned, could be a top-ten closer down the stretch and is a top own in dynasty leagues. If he remains a reliever, he has the stuff to be a consistent one, although the 29-inning sample is always something to be wary of. Still, this is an exciting time in Seattle and for and fantasy owners who were able to pick up Diaz and reap the benefits of his exploits.
It may be time to pick up Fernando Rodney again if he’s available in your league. Nothing has been announced with A.J. Ramos, but he could be hurt and there’s always a chance for him to hit the DL. He did blow a save last week, but I wouldn’t anticipate Rodney taking this job unless Ramos is hurt. Keep an eye on this situation.
Also keep an eye on the happenings in Texas. As of now, Sam Dyson is still the man to own, but he and Jeremy Jeffress both struggled last week. They are both low-strikeout pitchers who rely on soft contact, which can backfire in high-leverage spots. Keone Kela or Matt Bush could very well take this job over for the stretch run.
None of us were entirely sure how Andrew Miller would be used in Cleveland, and now it’s clear he won’t be used exclusively as a closer. I still think he’ll get something close the 75 percent of the chances, but he’s already been used in early-inning spots. This means Cody Allen could have some value even beyond his ratios.
The Diamondbacks might be the new saddest situation in the league since Tony Cingrani has been weirdly acceptable for a while now. Jake Barrett has struggled since becoming the closer, and Enrique Burgos doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence as his backup. Avoid this situation if possible.