Each weekend, we discuss the saves situations for all 30 teams in the league, with a special emphasis on who is trending up and who is slipping.
This week, we take a look at two resurging veterans and Miami’s Anthony Bender as a candidate to earn more saves going forward.
Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
Jansen’s days as a top closer may be over, and the Dodgers should have upgraded the back of their bullpen at the deadline. However, and despite his ugly struggles in late July, his full-season numbers are respectable at a 2.91 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over 46 1/3 innings with 56 strikeouts.
More importantly, he seems to have turned a corner recently. He hasn’t allowed any earned runs in his last four outings after conceding eight in a span of two innings from July 18 to July 22.
In total, the Dodgers’ longtime closer has given up just two earned runs in his last eight innings, and continues to trend up even though Corey Knebel got an easy one-out save on Saturday.
Anthony Bender, Miami Marlins
While Dylan Floro should get most of the save chances going forward, Anthony Bender is slowly but surely gaining some ground. The former allowed a couple of runs in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game, and the latter pitched a clean ninth with two strikeouts two earn his second save this month.
Bender has looked like the better pitcher of the two and could see a bump in his save chances going forward. Even if he is not the clear-cut closer in Miami, his ratios and punchouts make him worth rostering: he has a 2.29 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP and 56 whiffs in 43.1 frames.
Daniel Bard, Colorado Rockies
We all thought he would be traded before the deadline, but Rockies are gonna Rockies. He ended up staying in Colorado and has improved his performance recently, as he’s currently working on a four-game scoreless streak with no walks and five strikeouts.
The 2021 season has been a roller-coaster for Bard owners. They have gotten 19 (likely) cheap saves, but at the expense of a mediocre 4.05 ERA and a bad 1.50 WHIP. As long as he’s healthy though, he should get most of the looks in the ninth inning.
Spencer Patton, Texas Rangers
After the trade deadline saw Ian Kennedy go to Philadelphia, it looked like Spencer Patton could be the guy to own in the Rangers’ bullpen. He only has one save, though, and has conceded five earned runs in his last six appearances.
His full-season numbers are decent (3.57 ERA, 1.28 WHIP with 31 strikeouts in 22.2 frames), but he worked the eighth in Friday’s 8-6 Rangers’ victory against the Oakland A’s, with Joe Barlow finishing things up with a clean ninth. The situation appears to be fluid, and Patton is no longer the top candidate to run away with the job.
Jake McGee, San Francisco Giants
Over the course of the season, Jake McGee has been gold for his fantasy owners, racking up 24 saves as the ‘1A’ closer in San Francisco to Tyler Rogers’ ‘1B’. He has been mostly good, with a 2.77 ERA, but has been scuffling a little bit in the last few days.
McGee has allowed five runs (four earned) in his last three outings, including a home run on Friday. He remains an elite reliever (2.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP) but he has recently shown he is human and may be starting to feel fatigue.
Situations to monitor
Zack Britton, who has been struggling recently, removed himself from high-leverage innings this week, so most of the save chances should go to Jonathan Loaisiga and Chad Green while Aroldis Chapman (elbow) is out.
Mark Melancon is up to 34 saves while not being the best or even second-best reliever on the team.
- New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman (injured), Jonathan Loaisiga (first option), Chad Green
- Baltimore Orioles: Cole Sulser (first option), Paul Fry
- Tampa Bay Rays: All top options injured (Pete Fairbanks, JP Feyereisen, Nick Anderson); top options in the meantime: Matt Wisler, Ryan Sheriff.
- Toronto Blue Jays: Jordan Romano (first option), Brad Hand, Joakim Soria
- Boston Red Sox: Matt Barnes (first option), Adam Ottavino, Hansel Robles
- Chicago White Sox: Liam Hendriks (secure), Craig Kimbrel
- Minnesota Twins: Alex Colome (first option), Tyler Duffey
- Cleveland: Committee between Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak
- Detroit Tigers: Gregory Soto (secure)
- Kansas City Royals: Committee between Greg Holland, Scott Barlow, Jake Brentz, and Wade Davis
- Houston Astros: Ryan Pressly (secure), Kendall Graveman
- Oakland Athletics: Committee between Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman
- Los Angeles Angels: Raisel Iglesias (secure)
- Seattle Mariners: Diego Castillo (first option), Paul Sewald
- Texas Rangers: Joe Barlow (first option), Spencer Patton
- Atlanta Braves: Will Smith (secure), Richard Rodriguez
- New York Mets: Edwin Diaz (secure)
- Philadelphia Phillies: Ian Kennedy (secure)
- Washington Nationals: Kyle Finnegan (first option), Tanner Rainey
- Miami Marlins: Committee. Options: Anthony Bender, Dylan Floro, Anthony Bass
- Cincinnati Reds: Committee. Options: Heath Hembree, Michael Lorenzen, Mychal Givens
- St. Louis Cardinals: Alex Reyes (secure), Giovanny Gallegos
- Milwaukee Brewers: Josh Hader
- Chicago Cubs: Codi Heuer (first option), Manuel Rodriguez
- Pittsburgh Pirates: David Bednar (first option)
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Kenley Jansen (first option)
- San Diego Padres: Mark Melancon (secure), Daniel Hudson
- Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard (secure)
- San Francisco Giants: Committee between Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers
- Arizona Diamondbacks: Tyler Clippard (first option)