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Fantasy Baseball Closer Report: It’s Fry time in Baltimore!

Paul Fry and Scott Barlow could be cheap sources of saves for your fantasy team.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Arrow up

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.

Arrow down

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

Minnesota Twins

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.

Cincinnati Reds

Lucas Sims nailed down another save on Saturday, his fifth of the year, and is officially the closer in Cincinnati.

Closer chart