Some changes in the top few tiers this week, as Adam Ottavino and Sean Doolittle made their returns from the DL. Felipe Rivero also graduated to closer status, which was bound to happen sooner rather than later. The next reliever on this list to earn save opportunities is very much up in the air. If I had to guess, I’d say Tommy Kahnle, as the David Robertson to Nationals rumors have refused to die down. He should be owned in most standard leagues by now anyway.
TIER 1: Good Vibrations
- Finally, Andrew Miller has shown that he is indeed human. After allowing a HR to Cody Bellinger on Tuesday, Miller uncannily imploded last night, allowing 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning. Anyway, the struggles against the Dodgers are still nothing to be worried about. Miller should have some company in this tier next week, as Dellin Betances should be back to set-up duties with Aroldis Chapmans return from the DL imminent.
TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You
4. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
9. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)
15. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)
- Although it looks like Adam Ottavino will continue to pitch the 8th inning, just as he was prior to winding up on the DL, I think the team may need to reconsider with how well Jake McGee has been pitching. Ottavino hasn’t exactly been sharp this season (1.46 WHIP), while McGee has been close to flawless over the past month, allowing just 7 baserunners in 13 innings while striking out 16.
- Shane Green has been one of the most dominant set up options in baseball this year, and continues to make a case for himself to be first in line for save opportunities if Justin Wilson struggles or gets injured. Like McGee, Greene continues to see the most of his work in the 7th inning, but Greene’s numbers are certainly more appealing than Alex Wilson’s.
TIER 3: Torn
22. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)
24. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
30. Jose Leclerc (Texas Rangers)
- Sean Doolittle has finally returned from the DL, but his exact role is still a bit murky. He has also become a big time durability concern, but he has been very effective this season when healthy. He should see both hold and saves opportunities going forward, as I imagine the A’s would like to go back to playing matchups in the 8th and 9th innings with the trio of Doolittle, Santiago Casilla and Ryan Madson.
- Hunter Strickland is firmly back into the primary set up role, taking over for Derek Law who has been up and down since his short-lived stint as the Giants closer. Neither guy is a highly recommended option at this point, but Strickland would be the one to own right now.
TIER 4: You Get What You Give
40. Alex Wilson (Detroit Tigers)
45. Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)
- Randall Delgado pitched fairly well in 4 starts filing in for Tajuan Walker, allowing 7 runs over 20 innings and striking out 20. He now returns the bullpen, where it seems like he could be used in a Chris Devenski-esque role. with Archie Bradley moving into more of a strict set-up role. That would obviously give him considerable value still, and I think he is worth a hold in deeper leagues, especially those that use holds. He has a chance to move up these rankings quickly.
- In what has been a very trying season for the Mets, Jerry Blevins continues to be a dominant shut down reliever. There are only 2 options in that bullpen that Terry Collins should feel confident about right now, with Blevins being one and Addison Reed the other. Blevins SwStr% is at an all-time high of 15.1% and while he is still only effective against lefties, he should continue to find a solid amount of hold chances.
TIER 5: There She Goes
52. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves)
55. Joaquin Benoit (Philadelphia Phillies)
- I mentioned Enny Romero a little yesterday in Closing Time, speculating he may be next in line for saves in Washington. With everyone else in that bullpen holding ERA’s over 4.85 right now except Romero and Matt Albers, I think it could be worth a shot to give Romero a look in the 9th inning. His fastball sits at 98, which is certainly a plus trait for a closer and he also does an OK job limiting walks. He’s definitely an option to monitor in deep leagues.
Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues
13. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)
16. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
18. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)
25. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)
33. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)
37. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)
38. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)
45. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)
50. Jose Leclerc (Texas Rangers)