Liam Hendriks early-season issues continue as he let up a loud walk-off homer to Byron Buxton this past weekend, in which we found out he’s been dealing with a back injury. The injury isn’t considered serious and it doesn’t look like it will land him on the IL but it’s worth monitoring as you may want to add Kendall Graveman in deeper leagues just in case. Hendriks has notoriously struggled in the first month of the season (5.50 ERA over 91.2 IP in March/April over his career) so as long as he is healthy moving forward, there’s no reason to be concerned with his slow start.
- The latest on injured closer Ryan Pressly seems promising, and he should be in line to return at some point this week and throwing a successful bullpen this past weekend. His velo was reportedly up during the bullpen which is great to see as well. That said, I may still hold on to Héctor Neris in leagues where saves are hard to come by, just in case Pressly’s knee issues flare up again being that it’s been a problem for him for 3 years now. EDIT: Neris is back on the list following Pressly’s recent setback.
- David Robertson and Daniel Bard are a combined 73 years old (soon to be 74) but so far the veteran relievers have been mostly effective in their roles as closers. Robertson especially who has locked up the Cubs’ closer job rather easily. Bard is dealing with a back injury, but it is reportedly minor as well and he should be good to go for the team’s next save appearance.
- It took us a while but we finally were able to land on Emilio Pagán as the Twins’ de facto closer, which was the expectation at the start of the season before Jhoan Duran made things interesting. I still don’t fully trust Pagán in the role (maybe the splitter will be a difference-maker?) so don’t go dropping Duran just yet in deeper leagues, but it feels like Pagán’s role to lose at the moment.
- Lucas Sims returned this past weekend and already has a save to his name as he closed out the Cardinals on Sunday. Art Warren worked the 8th and this 8th/9th combo feels like the most logical one moving forward for the Reds. Sims velo looks to be a tick down but it’s still early goings for him, and his slider-heavy approach is worth noting.
- The committee closers in Scott Barlow, Paul Sewald (currently on Covid-IL), and Andrew Kittredge move down the list this week but that’s not to say they shouldn’t be rostered in your leagues. In 12-team, non-points leagues, everyone on this list should probably be rostered anyway (plus the top 5-6 on the watch list). In SV+HLD leagues, these three don’t take a hit at all but it doesn’t look like they will be seeing consistent save chances.
- Matt Barnes may be back in the closer role for the Red Sox and I feel like it may be a bit rushed/forced, and a panic move with Garrett Whitlock entering the rotation. Barnes velo is still way down and contrary to whatever Alex Cora may say, he’s not close to being himself again. I still may consider Barnes if he was dropped in your league, but keep an eye on Hansel Robles still.
- Dany Jiménez has filled in admirably for Lou Trivino, but with Trivino likely back this weekend he’ll probably move back into a setup role. Jiménez’s slider has been great and he was pretty good with the Buffalo last year but the fastball is below average so I feel like it may just be a matter of time before hitters catch on (remember César Valdez?).
- Dylan Floro’s rehab has started so expect him to return to the Marlins bullpen this weekend perhaps. It’s great timing for himself and the team as they’ve had issues closing out games this season, whether it be Anthony Bender or Tanner Scott. I doubt the team originally had planned for Floro to slide right back into the closer role, but they may not have much of a choice anymore. EDIT: Bender got the save Tuesday night so adding him back for now, but it remains a situation to monitor over the next week.
|1.||Josh Staumont||KC||Likely in a near 50/50 split with Barlow.|
|2.||Jake McGee||SF||Not completely counting him out yet despite Doval getting most chances.|
|3.||Diego Castillo/Andrés Muñoz||SEA||Full-blown committee after Sewald returns?|
|4.||Jhoan Duran||MIN||Pagán is the closer for now, but shaky recent track record makes Duran a stash.|
|5.||Dany Jiménez||OAK||Has filled in nicely for Trivino but not a lot to really get excited about here.|
|6.||Hansel Robles||BOS||Barnes may be back in the role, but not sure I trust it to last quite yet.|
|7.||Kendall Graveman||CWS||Hendriks back issues are reportedly mild, but maybe worth a spec add?|
|8.||Héctor Neris||HOU||Pressly should be back this week, but could that knee injury flare up again?|
|9.||Chris Stratton||PIT||Had one more save than Bednar this week, but still a risky player to roster.|
|10.||Matt Bush||TEX||Had a save this week and might be part of a committee moving forward?|
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)