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Closer Updates: A’s, Cards, Nats, Phillies, Rays, Royals, Red Sox, White Sox

If you’re still checking for fantasy updates at this point in the season, you are either dedicated to winning the consolation bracket or ready to take home a fantasy championship. Either way, sit back and get comfortable. It’s time for some closer updates…

Boston Red Sox – After pitching sparsely over the past month, Koji Uehara is back in action for the BoSox (26 saves, 2.56 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 11.2 K/9). Because he’s a little rusty, expect Edward Mujica (6 saves, 4.03 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 6.4 K/9) to continue to get save opportunities in the near future. That being said, do not be surprised if Koji sneaks in and snags a couple of saves while Boston starts to play for next season.

Chicago White Sox – Earlier this week, Jake Petricka (13 saves, 2.83 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) blew a save and further endangered his grip on the closer’s role. After Zach Putnam (2.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) earned his fifth save on Tuesday, it still remains unclear who exactly has the gig. Look for this to be fluid over the next two weeks, with Petricka barely ahead of Putnam.

Kansas City RoyalsGreg Holland (42 saves, 1.57 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) has returned to the mound for KC and will be good to go moving forward. Assuming that he remains healthy, Holland should be back to form and can be a solid closer the rest of the way. However, Wade Davis should remain a strong RP to own given his season numbers (3 saves, 0.82 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 13.2 K/9) and position as Holland’s handcuff.

Oakland Athletics – In the past week, Sean Doolittle (21 saves, 2.20 ERA, 0.68 WHIP) has returned to the fold and reclaimed his closer role. Manager Bob Melvin reiterated as such, so look for him to be the man to own in Oakland for the rest of the season. Sorry for those hoping that Eric O’Flaherty, Luke Gregerson, or Dan Otero were going to emerge from the A’s former closer committee.

Philadelphia Phillies – After Jonathan Papelbon was suspended for seven games because of a Michael Jackson impression, look for the Phillies to turn elsewhere for saves while he serves his time. The first option? Ken Giles. He’s been a force this season (1.08 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 13.0 K/9) and might be able to keep the gig after Papelbon returns to action.

St. Louis Cardinals – With manager Mike Matheny stating that he’d prefer not to use closer Trevor Rosenthal (44 saves, 3.31 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) on back-to-back days, Pat Neshek (6 saves, 1.41 ERA, 0.68 WHIP) has just become a much more valuable commodity. If Matheny sticks to his word, look for Neshek to have a couple of save opportunities over the Cards’ final stretch run.

Tampa Bay Rays – After struggling recently, Joel Peralta (16.88 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in the past fortnight) might be on the hot seat in Tampa. If these struggles continue, look for Brad Boxberger (2 saves, 2.29 ERA, 0.83 WHIP) and Grant Balfour (12 saves, 5.34 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) to steal a few save opportunities.

Washington Nationals – The Nats have continued to roll, despite some uncertainty at the back end of their bullpen. Rafael Soriano has been inconsistent (6.10 ERA and 1.74 WHIP over the past month), to say the least, and Drew Storen (7 saves, 1.23 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) seems to have a lead on the job right now. Don’t forget Tyler Clippard (1 save, 2.06 ERA, 1.01 WHIP), who remains in the mix too. Either way, keep in mind that this situation remains a dynamic one and change can happen at any point.

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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