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, Alex Colome is delivering saves while Matt Barnes and James Karinchak are struggling badly.
Alex Colome, Minnesota Twins
Alex Colome was monumentally horrible in the early days of the season for the Twins, but after the team traded Hansel Robles and Taylor Rogers got injured, he has the closer role to himself and is really pitching well as of late.
He accumulated saves on Friday and Saturday, and is already up to nine on the year. He is prone to being rocked every once in a while and isn’t a strikeout machine, but if you need cheap saves, he could be available on your wire depending on the depth of your league.
Sergio Romo, Oakland Athletics
When the A’s had to secure a win, when they absolutely had to get to those tough three outs in the ninth on Saturday in a three-run game against a team with 13 wins in a row, they didn’t use Lou Trivino, who has been the closer all year: they used Sergio Romo.
Romo’s save wasn’t smooth, as he allowed a two-run shot to Aaron Judge, but it was a save anyway. The 38-year-old veteran has been good, as usual, with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP, but it isn’t clear if he will take over for the struggling Trivino (six earned runs allowed in his last 2.1 innings).
Chances are Trivino reclaims his role eventually, but in the case he doesn’t, grab Romo if you have an extra spot available.
Scott Barlow, Kansas City
Barlow continues to gain separation from the pack in what used to be a tough bullpen to rad. Since August 18, the right-hander has four saves, two of which came this week. He is now the preferred option for the ninth inning in Kansas City.
If you were able to secure Barlow in your FAAB run, congratulation! He should be a solid closer going forward, as his 2.56 ERA, 77 strikeouts, and 1.22 WHIP suggest.
Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox
It’s safe to say Matt Barnes has had a rough August. The veteran righty has a 14.21 ERA for the month and his last save came on August 4. Adam Ottavino nailed a save on Saturday against Cleveland and should continue to handle the ninth inning until Barnes gets right.
Once Barnes straightens what’s ailing him, he will presumably take back his role as the closer in Boston. On Thursday, he turned in his first scoreless outing since August 20 in a non-save situation.
James Karinchak, Cleveland Indians
After MLB’s crackdown of foreign substances on the ball, James Karinchak hasn’t been the same pitcher. After showing a ghastly 8.40 ERA, 1.80 WHIP and 9/10 K/BB ratio across 15 innings since the All-Star break, Cleveland had enough and sent him to Triple-A Columbus to get himself right.
He could return eventually and reclaim at least a share of the closer role, but for now, Emmanuel Clase looks like a very strong play for the rest of the season.
Situations to monitor:
Ian Kennedy blew a save and allowed a couple of runs on Friday after a string of five scoreless appearances.
Daniel Bard continues to alternate good spells with terrible ones. He was bypassed in favor of Carlos Estevez on Friday, and lost the game on Saturday. His season ERA is up to 5.61. Picking up Esteves is a great idea.
Mychal Givens looks like the favorite for saves, but Michael Lorenzen is lurking around.
- New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman (first option), Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green
- Baltimore Orioles: Committee: Cole Sulser, Tyler Wells, and others
- Tampa Bay Rays: Multi-reliever committee: Andrew Kittredge, JT Chargois, Matt Wisler, and others.
- Toronto Blue Jays: Jordan Romano (first option), Brad Hand, Joakim Soria
- Boston Red Sox: Adam Ottavino (first option), Matt Barnes, Hansel Robles
- Chicago White Sox: Liam Hendriks (secure), Craig Kimbrel
- Minnesota Twins: Alex Colome (first option), Tyler Duffey
- Cleveland: Emmanuel Clase (secure)
- Detroit Tigers: Gregory Soto (secure)
- Kansas City Royals: Scott Barlow (first option)
- Houston Astros: Ryan Pressly (secure), Kendall Graveman
- Oakland Athletics: Lou Trivino (first option), Sergio Romo, Jake Diekman
- Los Angeles Angels: Raisel Iglesias (secure)
- Seattle Mariners: Diego Castillo (injured), 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. Top options: Mychal Givens, Michael Lorenzen.
- St. Louis Cardinals: Alex Reyes (secure), Giovanny Gallegos
- Milwaukee Brewers: Josh Hader (secure)
- Chicago Cubs: Codi Heuer (first option), Manuel Rodriguez
- Pittsburgh Pirates: David Bednar (first option)
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Kenley Jansen (secure)
- San Diego Padres: Mark Melancon (secure), Daniel Hudson
- Colorado Rockies: Potential committee with Carlos Estevez and Daniel Bard
- San Francisco Giants: Committee between Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers
- Arizona Diamondbacks: Tyler Clippard (first option)