Bullpen Report 6.16.17 June 16, 2017  |  Justin Klein

Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to make a rehab appearance with a Yankees minor league affiliate on Friday evening and as long as he is able to do so he will come off of the disabled list on Sunday in Oakland. As long as Chapman is totally healthy there is no reason for him to be held back, so he will almost certainly slide back into the closing role for New York. This would of course push Dellin Betances back into a setup role. It’s a hard pill for Betances and his owners to swallow, as he’s been magnificent, but they knew his role on the team coming into the season. If for some reason Betances is dropped in any leagues it would be wise to pick him up regardless of format. Currently ranked 91st in standard 5×5 leagues Dellin will continue to post elite ratios and K’s with a handful of wins and saves regardless of his role on the team. If you are able to pick him up because someone drops him I advise you to do so.

Last week I touted Felipe Rivero as the next big thing and then had to update it because the Pirates were thinking of adding Juan Nicasio into the mix for saves. Luckily for Rivero and his owners in the fake game they have since come to their senses or at least that’s how it appears anyway. Currently the 72nd ranked player in the fake game in standard 5×5 mixed leagues Felipe has come in and notched the save twice in the past week and is now 2-2 in save chances on the season as a result. In his last outing on the thirteenth Rivero gave up an earned run on a hit and a walk, but he was working with a four run lead and the Pirates came away with the win. In the process Rivero’s ERA went from 0.53 to 0.78, his WHIP rose from 0.68 to 0.73 and his batting average against soared from .144 to .148. I am of course joking and his numbers are stellar. If I had more certainty that the Pirates wouldn’t do something stupid and shoot themselves in the foot I would have moved Felipe even further up the closer chart. While there’s certainly the chance that they could move Rivero back to the eighth inning to keep his upcoming arbitration costs down there’s also the chance that the Pirates could move him to a much better team where his value would rise.  Imagine Rivero closing out games for the Nationals. If something like that were to happen Felipe would only get more save chances and more opportunities to notch wins and would no doubt be a more valuable fantasy commodity in the process. As far as Juan Nicasio goes he’s still a nice source of ratios and K’s and will certainly snag some wins and saves along the way. If Rivero were to be traded he’d likely be the guy that would step into the closer’s role. If you play in a standard 5×5 mixed leagues it’s okay to drop Nicaso if needed, but I would hold onto him if at all possible because of the aforementioned reasons.

Hector Neris lost the Phillies closing gig to Pat Neshek and then apparently got it back as he closed out a win against the Red Sox on Thursday June 15th. After allowing a two out walk Hector struck out Pablo Sandoval to secure the save and possibly reclaim his role as closer. To be fair we’re still not sure who has what role, but Neris is the favorite for saves now and going forward. While Neshek has been extremely good this season he has never put up numbers like he has this season before in his career and is now 36 years old. And it’s not like the Phillies letting him close out games drastically changes his value on the trade market either. It’s likely that he’ll get traded anyway and it’s only a matter of time before that happens. Meanwhile Neris is 28 years old and Philadelphia still has four years of team control over the player. One year on the cheap and then three years of arbitration. This means that he’s a trade chip, but that he’ll likely stay put.

Corey Knebel has slowly but surely made his way up the closer chart because of his dominance and is now the 66th most valuable player in standard 5×5 leagues. In case you’re wondering some of the names below him on that list include Wade Davis, Felipe Rivero,  Raisel Iglesias, Andrew Miller, Chris Devenski and Alex Colome. Still just 25 years old and under team control on the cheap for five more seasons Knebel won’t be going anywhere unless the Brewers get an absolute haul. Not only do I expect him to stay in Milwaukee, but I think he can become a top tier closer for the next several years. There’s no way he’ll keep leaving men on base at the clip he has been, but even some regression suggests that an ERA in the low to mid two’s is coming and that will pair nicely with a K/9 over 15. As long as he continues to keep the ball in the yard as he’s done this season with a 0.53 HR/9 he should be able to get away with his BB/9 of 4.28. It could lead to trouble down the road, but I think he gets it straightened out enough to successfully work around it.

In Anaheim both Cam Bedrosian and Huston Street are nearing returns from the disabled list. While this bodes well for the Angels bullpen it’s not clear how the closing situation will shake out and for now it appears that both men will likely come back to some sort of set up role for Bud Norris. At some point the Halos will possibly come to their senses and realize that Bedrosian is their best reliever, but to his credit Norris has been solid this season. Thus far Bud has notched a 2.59 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP with one win, eleven saves and 40 K’s in 31 and 1/3 innings pitched. Those numbers are good enough to make Bud the 138th best player in the fake game so far this season. If you’re in one of the 27% of Yahoo leagues where Norris is still available you should immediately pick him up. If you’re still holding onto Bedrosian I would advise to continue holding, but would understand dropping him if needed, especially in shallower formats.

In Washington the closing situation seems to be cursed this season as Koda Glover is now injured and out after falling in the shower and hurting his back. It’s unclear how long he’ll be sidelined, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Nationals make a trade for a relief pitcher or three. Matt Albers is currently the best bet for saves and is available in 71% of Yahoo leagues. This would be more valuable information if Albers hadn’t been shelled recently as the Braves took him out back to the woodshed. On June 12th Atlanta tagged Matt for three earned runs on a hit (it was a HR) and two walks while he notched just two outs in a loss. That outing raised his ERA over a run, but it still sits at a pretty 2.10 on the season. Even though Albers gave up a run in two separate outings in late May it just goes to show you how well he pitched early on this season. If you need saves Albers is a good add in any format for the immediate future. There’s certainly risk there as he could wreck your ratios, but such is life in the chase for saves.

Without further ado, I give you the almighty closer chart; kneel before thee:

LA Dodgers Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez
& Grant Dayton
Boston Red Sox Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes
& Heath Hembree
Tyler Thornburg
& Carson Smith
Colorado Rockies Greg Holland Mike Dunn Adam Ottavino
New York Yankees Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard & Adam Warren Aroldis Chapman
Chicago Cubs Wade Davis Koji Uehara
& Carl Edwards Jr
Toronto Blue Jays Roberto Osuna Jason Grilli
& Joe Biagini
Tampa Bay Rays Alex Colome Ryan Stanek
& Chase Whitely
Cincinnati Reds Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen
& Drew Storen
Cleveland Indians Cody Allen Andrew Miller
& Bryan Shaw
Pittsburgh Pirates Felipe Rivero Juan Nicasio & Daniel Hudson Tony Watson
Milwaukee Brewers Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes & Carlos Torres Neftali Feliz
Chicago White Sox David Robertson Nate Jones
& Dan Jennings
Houston Astros Ken Giles Will Harris
& Chris Devenski
SF Giants Mark Melancon Hunter Strickland
& Derek Law
Texas Rangers Matt Bush Jeremy Jeffress
& Keone Kela
Seattle Mariners Edwin Diaz James Pazos & Steve Cishek
St Louis Cardinals Seung hwan Oh Trevor Rosenthal
& Jonathan Broxton
KC Royals Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria
& Matt Strahm
New York Mets Addison Reed Hansel Robles & Fernando Salas Jeurys Familia
Atlanta Braves Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino
& Jose Ramirez
Baltimore Orioles Brad Brach Darren O’Day Zach Britton
LA Angels of Anaheim Bud Norris Blake Parker Huston Street,
Cam Bedrosian,
Andrew Bailey
Detroit Tigers Justin Wilson Alex Wilson
& Shane Green
Francisco Rodriguez
Miami Marlins AJ Ramos Brad Ziegler & Kyle Barraclough
Oakland Athletics Santiago Casilla Ryan Madson
& Ryan Dull
Sean Doolittle
Philadelphia Phillies Hector Neris Pat Neshek & Joaquin Benoit
San Diego Padres Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter
& Brad Hand
Arizona Diamondbacks Fernando Rodney Randall Delgado
& Tom Wilhelmsen
Minnesota Twins Brandon Kintzler Ryan Pressley
& Matt Belisle
Glen Perkins
Washington Nationals Matt Albers Shawn Kelley & Enny Romero  Koda Glover
updated: 6/16/17


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