Andrés Muñoz is not technically a closer, but it does feel weird having him on this list as he doesn’t really fit in as a “holds” guy. His velocity is down across the board to start the season, but it’s not something to be overly concerned about yet, as Muñoz did get a slow start to the season. There’s also the fact that he’s throwing more of a 2-seamer now, which I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I love changing his fastball, but it has resulted in more vertical and horizontal break so far while only losing 1 MPH. If the change sticks, we probably will see less strikeouts this season from Muñoz and an increase in ground ball rate. That’s not what fantasy managers want to hear, but perhaps it will work out better for the Mariners, as Muñoz did allow 5 HR’s last year.
- It appears that Aroldis Chapman, at age 35, has regained 2.5 MPH of velocity, and is back to consistently touching 100+ MPH for the first time since 2017. It’s resulted in 4 K’s over his first 2 innings of work while he’s allowed just 1 walk so far. We don’t know if this will be able to last an entire season yet, but for now, we should probably be treating Chapman as someone who needs to be rostered in most 12-teamers.
- Matt Moore should work his way into a viable setup role for the Angels this season, as I think he’s a better bet than José Quijada over the long run. Quijada certainly has late inning stuff and he was called on for the save yesterday, but he definitely got away with some pitches in that one, as his command just isn’t quite there yet.
- Carl Edwards Jr. (and Hunter Harvey) should continue to see more high-leverage work in this Nationals bullpen with one potentially taking over closer duties sooner rather than later, as Kyle Finnegan has allowed a whopping 7 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out no one over his first 2.1 IP to start the season. Edwards Jr. right now has more swing and miss ability than Harvey, who is still trying to find that secondary pitch, but either way, both should see increased late inning usage whenever (key word, “whenever”) the Nationals are up late in games.
- Will Smith is being thrown right into the late inning mix in Texas, as he earned the save on Sunday and picked up a hold yesterday after working a scoreless 7th inning. José Leclerc’s velocity is still down (was down 2.1 MPH yesterday from last year) and we know Bruce Bochy trusts Smith, so this is a situation to monitor in saves only leagues as well.
- Arizona still hasn’t figured out its closer role, and I’m not sure if Scott McGough is the answer the team had hoped for there. Enter Miguel Castro, who has gotten off to a nice start for his new team, and I think is someone who could form a nice saves committee with one of the two high leverage lefties there, Andrew Chafin or Joe Mantiply.
- Colin Holderman is the Pirates’ top setup option at the moment, and is now someone I’d have on my radar in save-only leagues as well in case David Bednar is dealt this season. Holderman has upped his sinker/cutter velocity this season and turned his slider into more of a sweeper, and the results have been great so far. Only 1 K to begin the year, but with his pitch mix those numbers should rise.
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There it is. Thanks.
Where does Graterol stand? He was supposed to be paired with Phillips for Dodger’s saves, but hasn’t had the best start. Is he not a target?