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Coffee and Closers

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Heath lets you sip your coffee and stare at closer depth charts until your eyes bleed. It’s only fair, that’s what his are doing after researching this information.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Yours truly is sitting atop the League 10 leaderboard in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a good bit of that success is due to a man named Fernando Rodney. You see, I generally ignore closers on draft day. It is a double-edged sword of awesomeness and weakness. At times it works to my advantage, and at times I hate all relief pitcher “values” and continue to ignore, ignore, ignore...until the draft is over and I am left with Blake Treinen and some false hope in Tim Lincecum.

Anyway, the recent trade of Rodney to Oakland has torpedoed his fantasy value. And I am now stuck mining for more saves help. That, or I’ll need to rely on Blake Parker as my only complement to Blake Treinen...and we all know the answer to that. No, I wasn’t asking a question. One cannot rely on Parker as one’s second closer. So dig we must.

As a result of my search, I present you with this fancy closer chart. I even looked up box scores last night (Saturday) to see who the eighth inning man was for most of these squads. In some cases we already know who that primary backup is, but I looked anyway. Maybe this helps someone, somewhere (there’s probably no helping me with TGFBI waivers all dried up). If there are any questions on the order for any team, hit me up. I gave it the ole’ college try, but I am certainly not infallible. I mean, I did peg Stanton for 74 home runs this year. I do miss, every now and again.

Lastly, our former colleague Rob Parker once had an installment entitled “Coffee’s for Closers” here at Fake Teams. I tweaked his title a bit, as I am currently drinking my coffee and researching closers. It is the best title I can come up with (I am not creative). I almost hope that he isn’t okay with me using this variation—because that would mean he is coming back to us in the future! More on that saga next week. For now, enjoy the chart. And drink your coffee. Black, I hope.

Closer Carousel

TEAM CLOSER NEXT MAN NOTES
TEAM CLOSER NEXT MAN NOTES
Arizona Diamondbacks Brad Boxberger Archie Bradley, Yoshi Hirano I said Boxberger would nab 40 saves while you guys were drafting Bradley as if he was the closer. He's at 26 and counting.
Atlanta Braves A.J. Minter Jessie Biddle Brad Brach got the seventh inning on Saturday, in case you were worried about him. Give me Minter.
Baltimore Orioles Mychal Givens Paul Fry Givens looks like the preferred option for ninth inning duties, though I can't imagine anyone would be actively using the closer for the worst team in baseball.
Boston Red Sox Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Kimbrel's struggles continued on Saturday. He allowed a two-out, solo home run to Trey Mancini. He did strike out three hitters and collect the save, though. Sure, it's bumpy right now, but what are you doing to do? Drop Kimbrel? I think not.
Chicago White Sox Jeanmar Gomez, Thyago Vieira, LHP Luis Avilan, LHP Hector Santiago Juan Minaya, LHP Jace Fry I don't know (or care) what to do here. Oh, I know--stay away!
Chicago Cubs Pedro Strop Carl Edwards Jr. Closer Brandon Morrow (right biceps tendinitis) played long toss on Friday. Strop is the man for what sounds like a considerable length of time, given that Morrow isn't throwing from a mound yet.
Cincinnati Reds Raisel Iglesias Jared Hughes, LHP Amir Garrett Igesias retained value by not being traded at the deadline. He notched his 23rd save on Saturday.
Cleveland Indians Cody Allen LHP Brad Hand, LHP Andrew Miller Allen blew one on Wednesday but converted on Saturday. Brad Hand still lurks in the eighth. Allen's seat has to be feeling warm...
Colorado Rockies Wade Davis Adam Ottavino, Bryan Shaw, Seung hwan Oh For what it's worth, it was Oh in the eighth and Shaw in the ninth on Saturday. Would it have been Davis or Ottavino for the save? Who knows?
Detroit Tigers Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Clear pecking order here. Greene the ninth and Jimenez the next man up.
Houston Astros Hector Rondon Roberto Osuna Osuna got the eighth inning Saturday and Rondon pitched the ninth with the Astros down a run to Seattle. It appears Rondon is safe for now.
Kansas City Royals Wily Peralta LHP Tim Hill, Brandon Maurer Use Peralta if you're mining for saves. But don't look further into this bullpen.
Los Angeles Angels Blake Parker Justin Anderson Parker nabbed a save on Friday. This still looks like a committee with Anderson. I'm just putting Blake up first because I have him in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. "Will it to me, Riggs!"
Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Scott Alexander, Kenta Maeda Dylan Floro, J.T. Chargois Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) is probably looking at a month off. Until his return the Dodgers will use multiple guys, but Alexander and Maeda look like the best options. Chargois blew a chance on Saturday.
Miami Marlins Drew Steckenrider LHP Adam Conley, Tayron Guerrero On Saturday, Guerrero got the seventh, Conley the eighth, and Steckenrider the ninth. Still, this looks like a full-blown committee (of which Barraclough is no longer a member).
Milwaukee Brewers Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress Corey Knebel, Joakim Soria Counsell says he prefers Knebel as the closer, but he allowed Hader to log the two-out save on Saturday. For now it's Hader and Jeffress in this bullpen. Good luck guessing, though.
Minnesota Twins Trevor Hildenberger Trevor May, Addison Reed Hildenberger nailed down his first save on Saturday while May got the eighth inning. Reed blew a chance two days ago.
New York Mets Robert Gsellman Seth Lugo With Familia traded and Swarzak shelved due to shoulder inflammation, Gsellman is the closer by default.
New York Yankees LHP Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances, LHP Zach Britton, David Robertson On Saturday, Robertson got the sixth and Britton pitched 2/3 of the seventh before walking in a run. Betances then allowed a run on a balk. Aroldis eventually struck out Jurickson Profar on a 98mph heater, tallying his 30th save. Aroldis is still the guy.
Oakland Athletics Blake Treinen Jeurys Familia, Lou Trivino It's crazy that Fernando Rodney fell from closer to middle reliever. This relieving corps is stacked. If Rodney sniffs save opportunities I'll be shocked.
Philadelphia Phillies Seranthony Dominguez Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter Gabe Kapler is un-fun for fantasy baseball. "Sir Anthony" is the best bet here, and he got the ninth inning in a non-save situation on Saturday. Tommy Hunter had the eighth.
Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Felipe Vazquez Keone Kela Kela closed out 24 of 25 games during his time with the Rangers, but he is only an understudy in Pittsburgh.
San Diego Padres Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Luckily, we finally had a save chance on Friday night. Yates nailed it down and Stammen was the eighth inning man.
San Francisco Giants LHP Will Smith LHP Tony Watson Smith is the guy, but Hunter Strickland should return when first eligible on August 18th to muck up this picture.
Seattle Mariners Edwin Diaz Alex Colome Colome listed as the next guy is a formality. Diaz and his 45 saves are undisputed.
St. Louis Cardinals Bud Norris Jordan Hicks "Triple-Digit Hicks" got the save on Saturday. Hmm.
Tampa Bay Rays Sergio Romo LHP Jose Alvarado Romo notched his 15th save of the season on Saturday against the Blue Jays.
Texas Rangers Jose Leclerc Alex Claudio With Kela and Diekman traded, Leclerc is the clear ninth inning man in Texas. Claudio got the eighth inning on Saturday.
Toronto Blue Jays Ken Giles Ryan Tepera, Tyler Clippard Hopefully you aren't even using Giles, much less Tepera or Clippard.
Washington Nationals Ryan Madson Justin Miller Madson is the fill-in closer while Kelvin Herrera and Sean Doolittle are shelved. Herrera (rotator cuff impingement) threw on Saturday for the first time and Doolittle is close to throwing...I'd ride Madson for now if you must. Doolittle is still a hold.