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Closer Report for Week 3

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Ray offers up his closer rankings for Week 3 of the MLB season, along with who is first and second in line behind the current closer for each team. And there are some sleepers too!

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Going forward, I will publish the Closer Report on Monday mornings in addition to the Roto Roundup, but the Closer Report will be my first priority.

There were a few injuries among the closers and middle relievers last week, along with a few bullpen situations that appear to be up for grabs at the moment leaving fantasy owners to wonder what to do with the closers they drafted. Let's take a look at some of the situations that are unsettled.

Rockies

Jake McGee is the clear cut closer in Colorado as he has converted all three of his save chances to date, including yesterday vs the Cubs. The change in the pecking order behind McGee has changed though as Miguel Castro, who I highlighted in last week's Closer Report has taken over the set up role for the Rockies. Castro currently owns an 8-2 strikeout to walk rate in his six innings of work thus far. I drafted him in a few of my NL only leagues, including one of my keeper  leagues as I think he is a future closer. And apparently, Rockes beat writer Patrick Saunders agrees:

Athletics

A's manager Bob Melvin has been using Sean Doolittle in the eighth inning in recent games, with Ryan Madson earning the save opportunities, including two over the weekend vs the Royals. Melvin used Dollittle twice over the weekend, once in the ninth inning with the A's down by two, and once in the eighth inning to get the last out vs Alex Gordon, with Madson pitching the ninth. After the game yesterday, Melvin stated that he will use both Madson and Doolittle in save opportunities going forward, so this situation bears watching for fantasy owners. I would own Madson right now though.

Marlins

A.J. Ramos is set in the closer role at the moment, but last week the Marlins moved David Phelps into the  set up role. Phelps has shown to pitch better in a reliever role than as a starter, striking out more than a batter per inning. On Sunday, the Marlins called up relief prospect Kyle Barraclough, and he struck out the side in the seventh inning vs the Braves, so he is one to watch in the Marlins pen going forward.

Braves

The Braves are apparently keeping a watchful eye on closer Arodys Vizcaino right now, as Jason Grilli took on two save opportunities over the weekend, converting one and blowing the second on Sunday afternoon. Vizcaino threw 35 pitches to get four outs on Friday night, so manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to play it safe with Grilli getting the opportunities on Saturday and Sunday. This could also be a way to improve Grilli's trade value for later in the season, but it appears Vizcaino is the closer going forward, so no need to panic.

Twins

Closer Glen Perkins landed on the disabled list last week with a shoulder injury. Initially, the news sounded like Perkins would be out for an extended period of time, but we heard later in the week that he should be back soon after his disabled list stint expires. Until then, Kevin Jepsen has assumed the closer role and converted two save opportunities. Perkins should take back the role once he returns, and assuming he is healthy.

Reds

The Reds closer situation is as bad as it gets as both the closer and the set up man, J.J. Hoover and Jumbo Diaz, struggled in high leverage situations last week. Hoover blew up in a game vs the Cubs last Thursday, giving up 5 runs, 4 earned on 3 hits and 3 walks. He converted a save opportunity vs the Cardinals on Saturday but still gave up two runs in the process. Lucky for him that Jumbo Diaz has also struggled of late, giving up runs in two of his last three outings. One of the Reds beat writers wrote over the weekend that Michael Lorenzen could help the back end of the Reds bullpen once he returns from the disabled list, so I listed him as a sleeper going forward.

Week 3 Closer Rankings

Rank

Tm

League

Name

Second Option

Third Option

Sleeper

1

LAD

NL

Kenley Jansen

Chris Hatcher

Pedro Baez

2

BOS

AL

Craig Kimbrel

Koji Uehara

Carson Smith

3

NYY

AL

Andrew Miller

Dellin Betances

Aroldis Chapman (DL)

4

BAL

AL

Zach Britton

Darren O'Day

Mychal Givens

5

KCR

AL

Wade Davis

Joakim Soria

Kelvin Herrera

6

NYM

NL

Jeurys Familia

Addison Reed

Hansel Robles

7

STL

NL

Trevor Rosenthal

Kevin Siegrist

Seung Oh

8

PIT

NL

Mark Melancon

Tony Watson

Neftali Feliz

Arquimides Caminero

9

CHW

AL

David Robertson

Nate Jones

Jacob Petricka

10

CLE

AL

Cody Allen

Bryan Shaw

Zach McAllister

11

CHC

NL

Hector Rondon

Pedro Strop

Justin Grimm

12

WAS

NL

Jonathan Papelbon

Blake Treinen

Shawn Kelley

13

SFG

NL

Santiago Casilla

Hunter Strickland

Josh Osich

Sergio Romo (DL)

14

OAK

AL

Ryan Madson

Sean Doolittle

John Axford

15

HOU

AL

Luke Gregerson

Ken Giles

Pat Neshek

16

LAA

AL

Huston Street

Joe Smith

Fernando Salas

17

TEX

AL

Shawn Tolleson

Sam Dyson

Keone Kela

18

TOR

AL

Roberto Osuna

Drew Storen

Brett Cecil

19

DET

AL

Francisco Rodriguez

Mark Lowe

Justin Wilson

20

MIA

NL

A.J. Ramos

David Phelps

Bryan Morris

Kyle Barraclough

21

MIL

NL

Jeremy Jeffress

Michael Blazek

Will Smith (DL)

22

ATL

NL

Arodys Vizcaino

Jason Grilli

Jim Johnson

23

COL

NL

Jake McGee

Miguel Castro

Chad Qualls

Jason Motte (DL)

24

ARI

NL

Brad Ziegler

Tyler Clippard

Daniel Hudson

Silvino Bracho

25

MIN

AL

Kevin Jepsen

Trevor May

Ryan Presley

Glen Perkins (DL)

26

TBR

AL

Alex Colome

Danny Farquhar

Brad Boxberger (DL)

27

SDP

NL

Fernando Rodney

Brandon Maurer

Kevin Quackenbush

28

SEA

AL

Steve Cishek

Joaquin Benoit

Tony Zych

29

PHI

NL

Jeanmar Gomez

David Hernandez

Dalier Hinojosa

Andrew Bailey

30

CIN

NL

J.J. Hoover

Jumbo Diaz

Tony Cingrani

Michael Lorenzen (DL)

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