One of the most stressful aspects of managing any fantasy baseball lineup is hunting saves. Relievers are a volatile bunch by default, and it seems like one disastrous outing can totally reshuffle a team’s bullpen. Luckily, our relief pitcher rankings and depth chart are here to help you sort through the chaos and find names to target for saves this season. First, here are some notes from the past week.
Relief pitcher notes for Week 2
- It appears we could be on the verge of a bullpen shake-up in Philly. Seranthony Dominguez melted down in the ninth inning of the Philadelphia Phillies’ loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, allowing three runs en route to a blown save — his second disastrous outing already this season. Craig Kimbrel also gave up a run, while Gregory Soto is so far in manager Rob Thomson’s doghouse that he pitched the sixth inning Sunday. That leaves Jose Alvarado, who’s done nothing but strike batters out so far this year and could establish himself as the new ninth-inning man any day now.
- Amid a nightmare start to the year for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it seems like Evan Phillips is locked in to the closer’s role:
#Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wouldn’t say Evan Phillips is the team’s closer. But he’s closer-ish. Roberts said Phillips will get a lot of the ninth inning opportunities.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) April 7, 2023
Phillips is two-for-two in save opportunities thus far after a sensational 2022 season, while Daniel Hudson remains slow to recover from his knee injury.
- Michael Fulmer appears to be the name to know on the North Side after Chicago Cubs manager David Ross turned to him — not Brad Boxberger — for a two-inning save on Friday against the Texas Rangers.
- The Seattle Mariners just put fireballer Andres Munoz on the injured list with shoulder discomfort, making Paul Sewald the undisputed guy for saves in that bullpen. Scott Servais does love to mix and match, though, so Matt Brash could be a speculative add — especially in holds leagues.
- Don’t look now, but we could be witnessing the Aroldis Chapman resurrection in Kansas City. With Scott Barlow unavailable for the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, Chapman nailed down a win over the San Francisco Giants in impressive fashion. Given Barlow’s penchant for blow-ups — and the Royals’ desire to flip Chapman for future value at the trade deadline — the lefty could get the gig sooner rather than later.
- Drey Jameson has been moved into the Arizona Diamondbacks’ rotation with the recent injury to Zach Davies, opening up an in-flux closer’s role. Right now, Andrew Chafin and Miguel Castro seem like the best bets due to Mark Melancon’s injury and Scott McGough’s struggles, but your guess is as good as mine.
- Carl Edwards Jr. got the call in the ninth for the Washington Nationals at Coors Field on Saturday, not Kyle Finnegan, and while Edwards made it interesting, he appears to be the preferred choice for saves in D.C. at the moment due to Finnegan’s rough start.
- The New York Yankees put Jonathan Loaisiga on the injured list due to swelling in his elbow. Clay Holmes is the guy in the Bronx, but Loaisiga’s injury does make Michael King the preferred eighth-inning option — and he could be worth an add in holds leagues as well as owners looking to streaming saves when Holmes isn’t available.
Closer depth chart for Week 2