We are barely one week into the season and we already have our first big closer injury to report, with Ryan Pressly placed on the IL with right knee inflammation. While the Astros hope it will be a short term thing, we should keep in mind that this knee has given him issues in the past, leading to Pressly getting surgery back in 2019, so there may be some long-term concerns here if the knee keeps acting up. In the meantime, Héctor Neris should be considered the favorite to take over as the Astros closer, and he was the one to get the ball in the ninth yesterday (albeit up five runs). I’ve always been a Neris fan, and even if Pressly returns in the next week or two, it may be worth holding onto Neris for a while just until we see how Pressly’s knee holds up after he returns as it sounds like it could be a lingering issue.
- With Josh Staumont getting a save over Scott Barlow this past weekend, it appears we may be headed towards some sort of closer committee in KC. I don’t see this as the time to rush out and add Staumont, who has just been OK to begin this season (and much of last year). If there is some sort of timeshare here, I’d still expect Barlow to see around 70% of the saves, at least, but with Mike Matheny, these things could chance quickly for no apparent reason.
- Tanner Rainey appears to be the sole closer in Washington for now, with Kyle Finnegan imploding over the weekend only helping to strengthen Rainey’s grip on the role. Rainey hasn’t pitched in a week now as the Nationals have struggled to win games, but it was good to see his velocity back up closer to what we’ve seen in the past during his last outing. I think if anyone is a threat to Rainey at this point, it’s likely Sean Doolittle, who has started off the year hot and obviously has closer experience from his previous tenure in Washington.
- The Giants continue to be a mystery when it comes to their bullpen, but Camilo Doval seems to be gaining momentum in taking over (back?) the closer role. His last couple of outings have gone better than his debut, and he leads the team in saves with two. Jake McGee and others still linger, and Gabe Kapler isn’t afraid to make a quick switch should Doval have a bad outing.
- The Cincinnati Reds closer situation remains fluid, but again, that could and should change once Lucas Sims returns this weekend. There aren’t a lot of options for the team to turn to, so it’s worth stashing Sims and Art Warren until we get some more clarity.
- The Red Sox closer carousel continues as Hansel Robles is the latest to record a save for the team. He probably makes the most sense in the short term for the team, with Jake Diekman mixing in as well, but I’m sure the they are still holding out hope Matt Barnes gets right soon.
- With Lou Trivino landing on the COVID IL, look for Dany Jiménez to fill in as the teams closer for the next week or so. Jiménez has gotten off to a nice start this season, but isn’t worth the add in most leagues right now.
|1.||Lucas Sims||CIN||No set closer here yet and Sims returns this weekend.|
|2.||Jake McGee||SF||Who knows with this bullpen, but a timeshare seems possible/likely.|
|3.||Emilio Pagán||MIN||Twins pitchers have yet to earn a save yet, Pagán may be favorite.|
|4.||Diego Castillo||SEA||Steckenrider may see more save chances early, but Castillo’s upside >>>|
|5.||Josh Staumont||KC||May split with Barlow, but probably the short side of a committee.|
|6.||Mychal Givens||CHC||Still slightly prefer Givens to Robertson over the long term.|
|7.||Jake Diekman||BOS||Boston closer situation is still anyone’s guess for the time being.|
|8.||Dylan Floro||MIA||Bender’s job for now; what happens when Floro returns from the IL?|
|9.||Michael Fulmer||DET||Still not fully confident in Soto remaining in the role for an entire season.|
|10.||Clay Holmes||NYY||Has been the Yankees best reliever so far, same SV total as Chapman.|
Photo by All-Pro Reels (https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeglo/) | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)