Each weekend, we discuss the saves situations for each and every one of the 30 teams in the league, with special emphasis on who is trending up and who is slipping.
This week, Paul Fry appears to be the man to own in Baltimore’s bullpen now that Brandon Hyde has moved on from Cesar Valdez, while Scott Barlow could rack up saves in Kansas City until Josh Staumont returns from injury.
Paul Fry, Baltimore Orioles
It’s official: Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde has removed Cesar Valdez from the closer role, as he has been struggling for a while. It’s not set in stone yet, but the skipper has talked up left-hander Paul Fry as an option for the ninth inning, and he delivered with his second save of the season on Friday.
Fry also got the final five outs in a close game (it was 6-2 when he entered) on Wednesday. It’s clear he is the most trusted pitcher in the O’s bullpen, and you should scoop him up while you still can.
For the season, Fry has a 1.99 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP with 33 punchouts in 22.2 frames.
Scott Barlow, Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals have made it clear they won’t commit to a single name during Josh Staumont’s absence, but if there is an arm to own in this bullpen, it’s Scott Barlow.
Barlow nailed an impressive two-inning save in a one-run game on Thursday, striking out two. The right-hander hasn’t allowed any runs since May 11, a span of nine games and 10 frames in which he has walked five hitters and struck out 18 (!).
Staumont seems to be progressing well from his left knee sprain and may be back within a couple of weeks, but in the meantime you can roster Barlow for his ratios, extraordinary strikeout ability, and a save or two.
Daniel Bard, Colorado Rockies
One of the shakiest closers to begin the year, Bard has righted the ship in the last few weeks. After allowing four earned runs in 0.1 innings on May 2, his ERA rose to 9.00, and he was in danger of losing his closer job.
After that meltdown, the 35-year-old right-hander has conceded only one earned run in his last 11 games, covering 13 frames. Saves won’t be plentiful on a bad Rockies team, but we can go back to trusting Bard as a second or third closer in fantasy leagues.
Jake McGee, San Francisco Giants
Jake McGee started the season as the Giants’ closer, but now Tyler Rogers has entered the ninth inning mix and the two are sharing save opportunities. Consider, however, that the former is a lefty, and the latter is right-handed and seems to be getting most of the chances.
Since May 14, McGee has two saves, and Rogers has five to his name. If that will be the split going forward, fantasy owners depending on McGee to rack up saves may have to look for additional help.
Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers
A couple of weeks ago, it looked like Fulmer was running away with the Tigers’ closer job. However, he hasn’t saved a game since May 21, has allowed seven hits in his last four appearances, and is dealing with arm fatigue.
Fulmer wasn’t available for Saturday’s game (which ended up being a save opportunity, converted by Jose Cisnero) and may be headed to the injured list.
Situations to monitor
Hansel Robles saved Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals, and he also secured the ‘SV’ on Monday. The 2021 Twins aren’t very good, but it appears Robles will get the majority of chances over Taylor Rogers.
Lucas Sims nailed down another save on Saturday, his fifth of the year, and is officially the closer in Cincinnati.
- New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman (secure)
- Baltimore Orioles: Paul Fry (first option), Cole Sulser, Tanner Scott
- Tampa Bay Rays: Diego Castillo (first option), JP Feyereisen, Pete Fairbanks, Jeffrey Springs
- Toronto Blue Jays: Jordan Romano (first option), Rafael Dolis
- Boston Red Sox: Matt Barnes (secure)
- Chicago White Sox: Liam Hendriks (secure)
- Minnesota Twins: Committee between Hansel Robles and Taylor Rogers
- Cleveland: Emmanuel Clase (secure)
- Detroit Tigers: Committee; top options right now are Gregory Soto and Jose Cisnero
- Kansas City Royals: Josh Staumont (injured). First option: Scott Barlow
- Houston Astros: Ryan Pressly (secure)
- Oakland Athletics: Committee between Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman
- Los Angeles Angels: Raisel Iglesias (secure)
- Seattle Mariners: Kendall Graveman (injured). First option: Rafael Montero
- Texas Rangers: Ian Kennedy (secure)
- Atlanta Braves: Will Smith (secure), Chris Martin
- New York Mets: Edwin Diaz (secure)
- Philadelphia Phillies: Hector Neris (secure, on paternity list), first option: Connor Brogdon
- Washington Nationals: Brad Hand (secure)
- Miami Marlins: Yimi Garcia (first option), Anthony Bass
- Cincinnati Reds: Lucas Sims (secure)
- St. Louis Cardinals: Alex Reyes (secure)
- Milwaukee Brewers: Josh Hader (secure)
- Chicago Cubs: Craig Kimbrel (secure)
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Richard Rodriguez (secure)
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Kenley Jansen (secure)
- San Diego Padres: Mark Melancon (secure)
- Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard (secure)
- San Francisco Giants: Committee between Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers
- Arizona Diamondbacks: Stefan Crichton (first option for now), Joakim Soria