Teams around the league continue to shuffle their bullpens. Leaving an impact with such a short amount of time left in the season will be difficult but picking up a couple of saves to close out these final three weeks could be the difference. Here are some relievers I would pick up for the upcoming week.
Hector Neris (32% rostered)
Neris lost his closer job earlier in the season and went into the all-star break with a 4.72 ERA. Since then Neris has a 1.42 ERA and 2.70 xFIP. Philadelphia’s current closer, Ian Kennedy, blew the save on Thursday after giving up two home runs. Kennedy’s home run issues have led to an ERA over six as a member of the Phillies, and Neris appears to be the obvious alternative if a move is made. Neris pitched the eighth inning of their Thursday loss, has pitched incredibly well for multiple weeks, and already has been a credible closer in the past. There isn’t any confirmed move on the way, but Neris is a good speculative pick-up for saves in the final few weeks.
Tyler Wells (1% rostered)
The Orioles have struggled through multiple veteran options to close out games. Cesar Valdez, Cole Sulser, Tanner Scott, and Paul Fry have all tried and failed at points during the season to lock down a closer role in Baltimore, but Tyler Wells may finally be emerging in that role in the final month of the season. The Rule 5 pick has steadily improved as the season has gone on. He’s yet to allow a run in the second half of the season and has run a 26.5% K-BB% for the season. He has shown a propensity to give up home runs early in his career, but his strikeout to walk ratio is tremendous and should keep him from self-imposed blowups. The Orioles’ status as a bottom feeder limits Wells’ upside tremendously, but his ascension to the top of Baltimore’s lineup and his solid skills should make him a useful pick-up for the last couple of weeks.
Jhoulys Chacin (2% rostered)
Carlos Estevez eventually locked down the save on Thursday, but he hardly looked dominant in the outing. he allowed two hits and another run after crumbling in his last appearance against the Giants on Wednesday. the back-to-back poor performances leave Estevez with a 4.70 ERA for the season, and it could open the door for another close change. Jhoulys Chacin has been quite good despite the lack of strikeouts. While his xFIP and SIERA sit above 4.5, his xERA is at a more palatable 3.93. He’s been able to avoid dangerous contact and has a 2.29 since the all-star break. It isn’t clear that Estevez is on the hot seat, but Chacin has been locked into a setup role and would make sense as a potential replacement. Chacin maintains value in holds leagues regardless, but he could be a speculative closer addition late in the season.