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Fantasy Baseball Closer Report for Week 23: The pickup of the Wick

Rowan Wick is running away with the closer’s role in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

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, Rowan Wick and Carlos Estevez have apparently taken over closer duties in Chicago and Colorado, respectively.

Arrow Up:

Rowan Wick, Chicago Cubs

For weeks, we thought Codi Heuer or Manuel Rodriguez would run away with the ninth-inning gig in a depleted Chicago bullpen. And they did earn some saves. However, someone else looks positioned to get the bulk of the opportunities moving forward.

Right-hander Rowan Wick received opportunities on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday—converting two of them without much trouble, and blowing one.

It won’t always be a smooth ride, but the 28-year-old reliever is talented enough to finish out the season as the closer and have moderate success in the role. In 10 games in 2021, he has a 3.72 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Carlos Estevez, Colorado Rockies

It looks like Daniel Bard has lost his closer role for good after a highly inconsistent season. Right-hander Carlos Estevez has taken over and has three saves in the last 10 days: one on August 27, and two on the weekend: Friday and Saturday.

Estevez hadn’t allowed any earned runs in his previous six outings prior to Saturday, when he allowed a solo homer but got the save anyway. The Rockies’ right-hander is not the second coming of Mariano Rivera (he has a 3.93 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP this year) but he is way, way better than Bard and should get the job done most nights.

Diego Castillo, Seattle Mariners

With a save on Wednesday and one on August 23, Paul Sewald was Seattle’s preferred ninth-inning option while righty Diego Castillo was on the injured list. The latter is already back, though, and as evidenced by his Saturday save, will earn most of the chances going forward.

Between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Seattle Mariners, Castillo has 16 saves, a 2.89 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP in 48 games.

Arrow Down:

Adam Ottavino, Boston Red Sox

With Matt Barnes struggling and later going to the COVID-19 list, the Red Sox trusted Ottavino to be the closer in the meantime. He had been pitching well until Saturday, when he collapsed in spectacular fashion, with three runs allowed.

We are not going to condemn Ottavino for just one blown save, but it appears the Red Sox are also willing to let matchups dictate how saves go from now on, involving pitchers like Garrett Richard and Garrett Whitlock.

Don’t drop Ottavino if you can give him a roster spot, but he won’t get all of the chances in Boston.

Lou Trivino/Sergio Romo, Oakland A’s

Trivino has been stuck on 21 saves since August 21. A few collapses and some back spasms got in the way, but on Friday, in his first appearance back, he couldn’t complete an inning and allowed four runs. He then proceeded to concede three more on Saturday.

Dating back to his last five games, he has let in 13 runs in 3 2/3 frames, which is horrendous. Sergio Romo, who has been seeing some opportunities with Trivino out of the role, blew a save on Saturday in the A’s epic loss to the Blue Jays.

There isn’t much clarity in the back of the A’s bullpen right now, but Romo should be the favorite for saves going forward.

Situations to monitor

Miami Marlins

Dylan Floro has three saves since August 26 and is running away with the role in Miami.

Cincinnati Reds

Mychal Givens saved Saturday’s game and looks like the favorite for the closer gig going forward.

Closer Chart: