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Closer Report: David Robertson, Liam Hendricks, Jorge Lopez (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

Apr 15, 2022
Liam Hendricks

What an opening week of the MLB season! It is so great to have baseball back. Here is an updated look at the closer situations for every team as of April 14.

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AL East

Lopez has notched the lone save for Baltimore as of the games completed through April 14. Both he and Dillon Tate (RP – Bal) have pitched in three games this season with Tate looking like he would be next in line for save opportunities. In Boston, there were reportedly concerns over Matt Barnes (RP – BOS) velocity in Spring Training and that has seemingly carried over into the regular season as he has yet to record a save. Diekman and Hansel Robles (RP – BOS) have recorded the two saves for the Red Sox. Chapman recorded his first save easily in the Yankees bullpen earlier this season, but Thursday night was a different story when he loaded the bases with three straight walks. He was taken out for Michael King (RP – NYY) who recorded a strikeout and double play to help the Yankees secure the 3-0 victory over Toronto. In Chapman’s first three appearances, he didn’t record a single walk so while this might be worth monitoring, Chapman should still have at least a decent grip on the closer role in the Yankees bullpen. It is always a confusing situation in the Rays bullpen under manager Kevin Cash. Kittredge and Brooks Raley (RP – TB) each have one save on the season. Cash has always liked to go closer by committee, so while Kittredge is seemingly the lead closer on paper, it isn’t necessarily an extremely reliable situation. Romano has enjoyed a very nice start to the season out of the Blue Jays bullpen, recording a save in all four of his appearances. He has yet to walk a batter while allowing three hits and striking out four over four scoreless innings.

AL Central

It has not been the most ideal start to the season for Hendricks, allowing runs in all three of his appearances to open the season. In total, he has allowed four runs (three earned) in his three innings of work. Hendricks has recorded two saves in the process with Aaron Bummer (RP – CWS) also recording a save as the likely next man up. Clase has made three appearances out of the Guardians bullpen, allowing three runs (two earned) over two innings of work. He hasn’t been put in many save situations with the Guardians scoring so many runs to open the season. After blowing the save in his first opportunity of the season, Soto has bounced back with three straight scoreless innings and two saves along the way. He still appears to have a stronghold on the Tigers’ closer role. The Royals have yet to have a save opportunity for Barlow. The closest came on a 3-1 win against Cleveland when Barlow pitched the final two innings, but he earned the win instead of the save with Kansas City breaking a 1-1 tie in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Barlow still appears to lead the way for save opportunities in the Royals bullpen. Duffey has allowed two runs over two innings to open the season out of the Twins bullpen. This appears to be another potential committee situation when it comes to save opportunities. Jhoan Duran (RP – MIN) is a reliever to watch in Minnesota as someone who can potentially take over the closer role at some point this season.

AL West

Pressly has recorded three saves so far this season out of the Astros bullpen. He did take the loss and blew the save in his last appearance against the Diamondbacks, but he still appears to have a clear hold on the closer role in Houston. Iglesias has recorded the only save in the Angels bullpen so far this season. He has made three appearances in total, allowing one run over three innings. Aaron Loup (RP – LAA) has recorded two holds and is likely next in line behind Iglesias. Trivino has recorded one save so far this year and Dany Jimenez (RP – OAK) has recorded the other save out of the Athletics bullpen. Trivino still appears to be the Athletics closer for now, but Oakland has options that also includes Domingo Acevedo (RP – OAK) who has recorded two holds on the season. The Mariners bullpen is a clear closer by committee. Drew Steckenrider (RP – SEA) and Diego Castillo (RP – SEA) have each recorded a save with Sewald pitching in a non-save opportunity in the ninth inning on Thursday. We are also seeing the rise of Andres Munoz (RP – SEA) who has struck out eight straight hitters across his last three appearances and could be used in save opportunities if needed. Barlow has allowed one run over two innings across two appearances so far this season out of the Rangers bullpen. Matt Bush (RP – TEX) and Greg Holland (RP – TEX) could also be in the mix, but Barlow appears to still be the Rangers closer for now.

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NL East

In his first appearance of the season, Jansen came into the game in a non-save opportunity with the Braves up four runs against the Reds and gave up three runs to hold onto the win. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in another non-save opportunity in his next appearance five days later. Will Smith (RP – ATL) has recorded one save over three appearances and should be the next man up behind Jansen. Bender has recorded the two saves in the Marlins bullpen. Cole Sulser (RP – MIA) and Anthony Bass (RP – MIA) have each made four appearances so far this year and would likely be next in line for save opportunities behind Bender. Diaz has recorded the lone save in the Mets bullpen. He has made three appearances, allowing one run over three innings. Drew Smith (RP – NYM) has recorded two holds, tossing 3.2 shutout innings, and could be next in line behind Diaz as the Mets’ closer. Knebel and Brad Hand (RP – PHI) have each recorded one save in the Phillies bullpen. Knebel should still be the go-to reliever in save opportunities for the Phillies, but Hand isn’t far behind him. Rainey has recorded the two saves in the Nationals bullpen. He has tossed three shutout innings over three appearances and appears to have a clear hold on the closer in the Nationals bullpen.

NL Central

The Cubs’ bullpen was expected to be somewhat of a committee for the closer role entering this season and that is what we have seen for the most part with Robertson recording two saves and Mychal Givens (RP – CHC) recording one save. Warren and Tony Santillan (RP – CIN) have each recorded one save in the Reds bullpen. Warren has only made two appearances so far this season, but should still be considered the closer for the Reds for now. Hader has recorded all three of his save opportunities, allowing just one hit over three shutout innings. He remains one of the best closers in the league. Wil Crowe (RP – PIT) has recorded the lone save for the Pirates so far this season, tossing the final three shutout innings on Wednesday against the Cubs. Nonetheless, Stratton and David Bednar (RP – PIT) are still more likely to appear in ninth-inning save situations. Gallegos has recorded the lone save in the Cardinals’ bullpen, tossing two shutout innings overall.

NL West

Melancon has yet to receive a save opportunity, but he still remains the clear closer in the Diamondbacks bullpen despite some struggles to open the season. Bard has led the Rockies with two saves to open the season. He did also blow one save opportunity, but remains the Rockies’ clear closer with Ashton Goudeau (RP – COL) right behind him having recorded one save this season. Kimbrel recorded the save in his lone opportunity this season, which has also been his only appearance so far this year. After acquiring him just before the season started, Rogers has notched three saves out of the Padres bullpen and appears to have that role locked down right now. After allowing three runs and blowing the save in his first appearance of the season, Doval has rebounded with three straight scoreless appearances and a save. Dominic Leone (RP – SF) has also recorded a save out of the Giants’ bullpen.

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Ari Koslow is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Ari, check out his archive.

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