Searching For Saves

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Only a few weeks into the season one trend that has seemed to carry over is more and more teams using multiple players in their closing role, or for lack of a better term, going “closer by committee”.  Now if you are like me and choose to wait on a closer in your draft, I imagine you are beginning to see it will not be as easy to find a closer on the wire that you can just plug in for the rest of the year.  In this article I will point out a few relievers to monitor who could potentially work their way into their team’s main closer role. 

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Jeremy Jeffress (Milwaukee Brewers)

With Corey Knebel set for Tommy John surgery, the closing job in Milwaukee was up for grabs as the season opened.  Once it was announced Jeffress would also start 2019 on the IL the job was obviously handed to Josh Hader.  Hader hasn’t missed a beat, carrying the same dominance he showed last season over to this year.  Hopefully for these reasons Jeremy Jeffress can be acquired relatively cheap.  Brewers Manager Craig Counsell has hinted at using Hader in high leverage situations throughout the game.  Many of those appearances for Hader will come before the ninth inning, leaving those valuable saves up for grabs.  When Jeffress returns from the IL it is likely he will step into that late inning role to fill the void.
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A.J. Minter (Atlanta Braves)

Another reliever who started the season hurt, A. J. Minter is someone who should be low owned but very much worth keeping an eye on.  The southpaw fared well in 2018 basically splitting the Brave’s closer role with Arodys Vizcaino.  Minter finished the year with 15 saves, while also showing some good swing and miss stuff with 69 punchouts in 62 innings pitched.  For now it seems like the save chances will be split between Minter and Vizcaino, but I could see Minter eventually forcing his way into a more consistent closer role.

Ryan Brasier (Boston Red Sox)

Ryan Brasier established himself as one of Boston’s most trustworthy bullpen arms last season during their 2018 World Series run.  Heading into 2019 the closer job was up for grabs after Craig Kimbrel decided to test the free agent market this past offseason.  The two names that were floated out there as candidates to close out games were Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes.  It’s still too early to tell who or even if anyone has the ninth inning locked up yet, but as of right now we sit three saves to one in favor of Brasier.  Alex Cora has also shown a willingness to use Barnes in a multi inning role before the final frame leaving those coveted save chances for Brasier.

I’m not one to compare sports too much, but in terms of fantasy it seems the closer is going the way of the running back.  We are seeing less and less guys with an established role getting the lion’s share of save opportunities.


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Searching For Saves
Searching For Saves
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