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Closer Updates: A’s, Brewers, Mets, Nats, Padres, Red Sox, Royals, Tigers, Twins

As we creep further into the fantasy playoffs, it’s time to check on the closer situations once again. Fortunately for those fantasy managers desperate for saves, there are a number of potential pick-ups that could steal you the saves category. As always, stay tuned for some insightful updates below and good luck down the final stretch.

Boston Red Sox – Unsurprisingly, Koji Uehara (26 saves, 2.64 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) has been removed from the closer role and Edward Mujica (4 saves, 4.00 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) has inherited the ninth inning. If Mujica cannot handle the gig, which is unlikely (he has 45 career saves), Junichi Tazawa (3.09 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) would be the first alternative.

Detroit TigersJoakim Soria is back in the majors after dealing with a left oblique strain. Although Joe Nathan (30 saves, 4.85 ERA 1.52 WHIP) is still the closer (and just earned his 30th save), Soria could still have some value down the stretch run. With the Tigers neck-and-neck with the Royals, look for the pressure on Nathan to grow even more over the next couple weeks.

Houston Astros – With Chad Qualls (17 saves, 3.59 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) day-to-day with an injury, interim manager Tom Lawless recently chose Josh Fields (4 saves, 4.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) as a temporary fill-in. Although Fields isn’t the greatest reliever/closer, he may provide a little value if Qualls remains injured. Another option is Tony Sipp (4 saves, 3.43 ERA, 0.87 WHIP), who earned the save over Fields and Jose Veras (1 save, 4.42 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) on Wednesday night.

Kansas City Royals – After working through an injury, Greg Holland (42 saves, 1.60 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) seemed ready to return to the ninth inning for KC and, as they push toward the playoffs, the Royals were hoping that he could continue his stretch of dominance. However, Holland is still not ready to return and some sources report that he’s scheduled for another MRI today. His replacement? Stud reliever Wade Davis (3 saves, 0.71 ERA, 0.82 WHIP), who may still be a strong non-closing reliever to own if you’re looking for some RP help down the stretch even if Holland returns soon.

Milwaukee Brewers – Despite an unbelievable start, Francisco Rodriguez has begun to show some signs of wearing down (1 save, 12.00 ERA, 2.67 WHIP in the past two weeks). With the Brew Crew in the midst of a Wild Card chase, look for manager Ron Roenicke to go with whomever he feels most comfortable with in the ninth. If K-Rod is looking good, there will be no issues. If he stumbles, recently-acquired Jonathan Broxton (7 saves, 1.72 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) is a possible candidate for a stolen save (or two).

Minnesota TwinsGlen Perkins (33 saves, 2.88 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) has been dealing with a shoulder/neck injury and could be passed over for some save opportunities in the short term. If that happens, Jared Burton (2 saves, 4.63 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) is the first reliever to benefit, followed closely by Casey Fien (1 save, 3.79 ERA, 1.16 WHIP). Burton has 9 career saves and should be a dependable replacement for Perkins until he returns to full health.

New York Mets – Over the past week, Jenrry Mejia (2 saves, 7.71 ERA, 3.86 WHIP) has been underwhelming for the Mets. If these struggles continue, Jeurys Familia should take a few save opportunities. Familia has been outstanding this season (5 saves, 2.06 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) and Mejia’s recent performance might give him just the chance to close.

Oakland Athletics – With Sean Doolittle still injured, the A’s have been going with a closer-by-committee approach. Although the pecking order has shifted a bit, it still seems that the relievers to own are Eric O’Flaherty (1 save, 2.08 ERA, 0.92 WHIP), Luke Gregerson (3 saves, 2.25 ERA, 0.98 WHIP), and Ryan Cook (1 save, 3.64 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) – in that order.

San Diego Padres – With Joaquin Benoit (9 saves, 1.58 ERA, 0.82 WHIP) still fighting through a shoulder injury, Kevin Quackenbush (2 saves, 2.61 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) remains the reliever to own in San Diego. If Benoit doesn’t bounce back to form shortly, Quackenbush will remain a valuable commodity in fantasy leagues.

Washington Nationals – Another transition in the past week has been the Washington Nats bullpen, which has pulled Rafael Soriano (2 saves, 9.64 ERA, 2.57 WHIP in the past two weeks) from the closer role and switched to a closer-by-committee approach. The first candidate for saves is Drew Storen (1.29 ERA, 0.96 WHIP), who already has 3 saves in the past week. Another potential replacement is Tyler Clippard (1 save, 2.13 ERA, 1.04 WHIP), but Storen should the first choice in DC.

If you’re chasing saves in your fantasy league, there’s only one place to check out… For the latest news on closers to grab, stash, start, or bench, be sure to follow @CloserNews on Twitter.




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