Closer Update – June
The closer market is always evolving, and even if you didn’t draft any you can still catch up with the rest of your league. We know that some of the closers we think will dominate the entire season, will lose their grip on the job and less known players will take a step forward. The reason is of course partly because we tend to put to much weight into small sample sizes.
The situation in Baltimore is something to closely monitor. Cesar Valdez has been the go-to guy in the 9th inning for the Orioles, but the 36-year-old Valdez will face some competition from Paul Fry and maybe Hunter Harvey (if he can stay healthy). Harvey has pitched well during his rehab assignment and is eligible to return from the IL list on June 1. Fry has been excellent this season and carries a career best 13.95 K9 and a xFIP 1.82.
Add: Paul Fry (ESPN Rostered 3.6 %)
Tampa Bay Rays always seem to surprise us and we ask ourselves if it is a committee our they will go with one closer option. Since the Willy Adames trade to the Milwaukee Brewers J.P. Feyereisen has pitched in several save opportunities. It is still too early to call him the true number one, as Diego Castillo still has pitched in high-pressure situations. Feyereisen has had some trouble with walks, as he carries a 4.26 BB9, and a xFIP of 4.11 compared to a ERA of 2.84 suggests he has maybe been a bit lucky. But remember it is a small sample size, and you do not always add closers for the rest of the season. Add the hot arm and get your saves.
Add: J.P. Feyereisen (ESPN Rostered 11.4 %)
Kansas City Royals have Josh Staumont on the IL and they seem to use a closer committee with Greg Holland, Kyle Zimmer and Scott Barlow it is tough to predict who will get the next save situation.
One team that has not preformed well is the Minnesota Twins, and Alex Colome lost his closer job earlier this season. Since then, Hansel Robles and Taylor Rogers have both been given 9th inning work. It is more or less a committee until one of the two can establish themselves.
In Cleveland James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase have both had some struggles lately, but the logical situation is that they will both see save opportunities going forward. Clase has decent 9.13 K9 and 4.56 BB9 compared to Karinchak’s 16.35 K9 (!!) and 4.56 BB9. The higher ceiling is likely Karinchak and in a situation where you can only add one we would recommend Karinchak.
Add: James Karinchak (ESPN Rostered 93.3 %)
Seattle Mariners have Kendall Graveman on the IL and both Keynan Middleton and Rafael Montero have both seen save opportunities. It is however clear that Graveman is the best reliever among the three and he should be back soon.
Add: Kendall Graveman (ESPN Rostered 33.8 %)
The situation in Cincinnati Reds is not completely clear even if Lucas Sims has seen some 9th inning work lately. It is clear that Tejay Antone is the best option, but why not use him against the toughest outs? Which is the way the Reds have used him. The situation for fantasy is not ideal.