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Fantasy Baseball Closer Report: Down goes Kirby Yates

Your weekly update on saves. Who to pick up and who to cut.

Getty Images/USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Let’s jump right onto the closer carousel...

The Hurt Ones

  • Kirby Yates
  • Ken Giles

The news of the week is Padres closer Kirby Yates is done for the season. The MLB saves leader of 2019 has bone chips in his throwing elbow and will likely require season-ending surgery. Drew Pomeranz (77% owned) figures to take the ninth inning role but Emilio Pagan (28% owned) is a solid option as well. Pomeranz has already recorded four saves on the year. In 10 appearances he has a flawless 0.00 ERA.

The Safe Ones

  • Josh Hader
  • Kenley Jansen
  • Liam Hendricks
  • Aroldis Chapman
  • Archie Bradley
  • Alex Colome
  • Joe Jimenez
  • Raisel Iglesias
  • Mark Melancon

Aroldis Chapman returned on Monday, pitching an inning against the Red Sox. He allowed one run on two hits while striking out two. His stuff looked like what we've come to expect from the 11-year veteran. He should get the saves for the Yankees going forward.

Melancon has given the Braves little reason to look elsewhere in the ninth inning. He has converted all four save chances and has yet to allow a run in seven appearances.

The Mostly Safe

  • Brad Hand
  • Nick Anderson
  • Rafael Montero
  • Drew Pomeranz
  • Brandon Workman
  • Daniel Hudson
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Anthony Bass
  • Andrew Miller
  • Ty Buttrey
  • Keone Kela

Drew Pomeranz has been stellar this season and now finds himself as the likely closer for the Padres. He becomes a must-start in all fantasy leagues. He has top five closer upside the remainder of the year.

Did I say Giovanny Gallegos was the Cardinals closer? Well, the Cardinals have opted to give those duties to Andrew Miller instead. Miller notched two saves over the past week. He has always been an amazing reliever and he should be considered must-start as long as he remains the closer in St. Louis.

Buttrey has yet to falter since becoming the Angels closer. Add him if he's available.

Keone Kela is back with the Pirates. He has made just two appearances, neither in save situations. Regardless, the Pirates have said Kela would be the primary closer going forward.

The Committee Members

  • Taylor Rogers
  • Sergio Romo
  • Rowan Wick
  • Jeremy Jeffress
  • Edwin Diaz
  • Seth Lugo
  • Jairo Diaz
  • Daniel Bard
  • Carlos Estevez

Rogers and Romo have been used pretty equally for saves this season. Rogers is still the reliever to own, but Romo is a great option in deeper roto leagues for ratios and the occasional save.

Neither Lugo or Diaz has recorded a save over the past week. Lugo is still the closer but Diaz could find his way back into save opportunities if the Mets can't quit him.

The Cubs look likely to use both Wick and Jeffress as closers. Jeffress benefits from being the righty of the duo. Wick is still the higher upside play.

The Rockies closer situation is about as clear as mud. Jario Diaz has been a mess. Carlos Estevez looked like a potential replacement but is now dealing with a hand injury. Daniel Bard has been solid. The next save chance could go to any of these three.

The Risky Business

  • Hector Neris
  • Cole Sulser
  • Taylor Williams
  • Ryan Pressly
  • Trevor Rosenthal
  • Trevor Gott

Susler has been shaky but Baltimore has yet to turn elsewhere for saves.

Ryan Pressly looks much better recently. He has huge upside as the Astros closer but has been inconsistent thus far in 2020.

Trevor Gott imploded over the past week. RIP to his fantasy owners’ ERA and WHIP. Over his last three appearances, Gott has pitched 1.1 innings, giving up 11 runs on seven hits with two walks. Two of those three appearances were blown saves as well. Gott had surprised prior to this stretch by converting four straight saves. He now is likely to fall into a committee with Tyler Rogers and Tony Watson. I'm avoiding the Giants bullpen if I can help it.

The Next In Line

  • James Karinchak
  • Will Smith
  • Mychal Givens
  • Will Harris
  • Tyler Rogers
  • Tony Watson

Daniel Hudson of the Nationals blew a save on Monday. He still has the ninth inning role but Will Harris is a name to remember should Hudson continue to struggle.