Fantasy Baseball Closer Report (May 31): Kimbrel Shines; These Teams Have Uncertain Ninth-Inning Roles
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Craig Kimbrel.
Fantasy baseball players are always on the hunt for saves, so every other week during the Major League Baseball season, we’ll be checking in on the backends of those bullpens.
Whose job is steady? Whose is uncertain? Who is waiting in the wings and ready to poach some saves?
We’ll break it all down below in different categories, ranging from those who have their job locked down to speculative adds worth keeping your eye on.
Liam Hendriks – Chicago White Sox
Three saves in 24 hours May 29-30 is why Hendriks got a big payday in the offseason.
Ryan Pressly – Houston Astros
Raisel Iglesias – Los Angeles Angels
Aroldis Chapman – New York Yankees
Ian Kennedy – Texas Rangers
Will Smith – Atlanta Braves
Craig Kimbrel – Chicago Cubs
It was less than one year ago that Kimbrel appeared washed up. Now, he leads one of the better bullpens in baseball.
Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers
Josh Hader – Milwaukee Brewers
Edwin Diaz – New York Mets
Hector Neris – Philadelphia Phillies
Matt Barnes – Boston Red Sox
Brad Hand – Washington Nationals
Mark Melancon – San Diego Padres
Boring and effective. My kind of closer.
Yimi Garcia – Miami Marlins
Richard Rodriguez – Pittsburgh Pirates
On Sunday, Rodriguez blew his first save since Aug. 29, 2020. Not too much has gone right for the Pirates, but Rodriguez is a notch in the ‘good’ column.
Alex Reyes – St. Louis Cardinals
Getting Save Opportunities, But No Lock
Daniel Bard – Colorado Rockies
Gregory Soto – Detroit Tigers
Michael Fulmer is knocking on the door and has been nails in inning-plus outings.
Joakim Soria – Arizona Diamondbacks
Cesar Valdez – Baltimore Orioles
Zero surprise if Valdez does not see another save opportunity for a few weeks. He has allowed six earned runs in his last two-thirds of an innings pitched.
Keynan Middleton and Rafael Montero – Seattle Mariners
Jordan Romano and Rafael Dolis – Toronto Blue Jays
Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone – Cincinnati Reds
Hansel Robles and Taylor Rogers – Minnesota Twins
Tyler Roger and Jake McGee – San Francisco Giants
The duo takes turns disappointing. One needs to step up before the Giants remove both by adding from outside the organization as the National League West race intensifies.
Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman – Oakland Athletics
Diego Castillo and J.P. Feyereisen – Tampa Bay Rays
Did not think Feyereisen would take opportunities from Castillo this quickly, but it is Tampa Bay we’re talking about.
Greg Holland, Scott Barlow, and Kyle Zimmer – Kansas City Royals
James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase – Cleveland Indians
Karinchak has been the do-it-all reliever in Cleveland. Clase continues to have control issues. Both have lights-out stuff.
Another clean sheet. The streak continues.
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Daniel Hudson (WSH)
Paul Fry (BAL)
Cole Sulser (BAL)
Fry and Sulser are in line for saves if Baltimore can ever win.
Michael Fulmer (DET)
Tyler Chatwood (TOR)
Michael Kopech (CHW)
Kopech has the best stuff in Chicago’s bullpen. Hendriks is locked in but injuries still happen.
Peter Fairbanks (TB)
Ryne Stanek (HOU)
Kyle Crick (PIT)
If Rodriguez can bring a decent return in a trade, Crick would get first crack. He is a long-play addition.
Taylor Clarke (ARI)