Welcome back to another edition of the Closer Report. It was another relatively quiet week in the land of relievers, and with it comes a shorter post than you might be used to, one which leans more on quick hits than longer profiles. Before we get into that, however, just a reminder that the Closer Grid is available to keep up with any changes in real time. Now, let’s get into the news.
Cam Bedrosian is back in L.A.—is he going to close again, too?
The Angels have had some bad luck with the back of their bullpen—in addition to the Mike Trout injury, of course—with Huston Street, Cam Bedrosian and Andrew Bailey all hitting the disabled list at the same time. It seemed like their closer situation would take a huge hit with the insertion of Bud Norris into the ninth inning, but he’s actually done a really nice job. With almost 12 K/9 and only one blown save since taking the job in late April, Norris has been a formidable reliever. Now, things get a little more complicated with Bedrosian set to rejoin the team Tuesday. He is the most talented reliever on the roster, even if Street was the favorite to be the nominal closer this year due to his track record. Bedrosian was outstanding in his first six outings. While I believe he should be rostered, I’m not convinced he’ll get the closer role back right away. Norris hasn’t done anything to lose the job, and it would make sense to ease Bedrosian back into the ninth. I suspect he’ll get the job back sooner rather than later, but for now I would be holding on for Norris until the team announces a change in the ninth inning.
The Padres Keep Zigging When I’m Zagging
For the past two weeks, I’ve written about the closer situation in San Diego and, for the past two weeks, I’ve been wrong in what I’ve written about the closer situation in San Diego. This is a fun gig, I swear. Two weeks ago, Brandon Maurer was struggling but I opined that fantasy owners should stay the course as better days would be ahead. Then, the Padres started leaning more heavily on Brad Hand in the ninth inning. So, last week I expected that they’d go with more of a shift, which obviously wasn’t good for fantasy owners. After that, of course, the Padres went to Maurer in each of their save chances, and he converted all three of them without a hitch. At this point, I’d still advise owning them both, but I don’t know that Hand will receive any but the rare save chance. Despite that, there’s always a chance they reverse course again and he’ll start getting more chances. Even if he doesn’t, he’s talented enough to help in non-save categories. The Padres are not a fun bullpen for fantasy owners right now.
• Sean Doolittle is coming back to the A’s soon as he’s finished with his rehab assignment. If you’ve been reading along all year, you know he’s my favorite arm in the Oakland bullpen. I wouldn’t be jumping to the waiver wire to grab him just yet unless you’re desperate for another reliever, but this certainly is a situation to watch. Santiago Casilla hasn’t been great of late and there could be change on the horizon.
• Joaquin Benoit was placed on the disabled list this week in Philadelphia. This doesn’t change too much, as Hector Neris had all but run away with the job for the Phillies, but it does move Pat Neshek into the eighth-inning role and makes him an interesting target in deeper NL-Only leagues.
• Koda Glover has a firm grip on the Nationals closer role, but he had a rough outing Sunday. It took Shawn Kelley coming in to finish for the save, although he allowed a grand slam involving runners he inherited from Glover. There isn’t a change coming in Washington right now, but it still seems likely they’ll be in the market for a new closer when trade season really gets going.
• Wade Davis has been placed on paternity leave, so don’t be surprised when he doesn’t get any saves for a few days.