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Stray Saves

Wil Crowe picked up his second save on Wednesday with David Bednar unavailable. David Bednar has been spectacular this season so Wil Crowe isn’t likely to factor into saves too often, especially with Chris Stratton remaining a late-inning option.

Nick Wittgren came out for a one-out save Wednesday after Kodi Whitley struggled to close out their victory over the Padres. Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos had gone through heavy workloads early in the week and likely weren’t available, so Wittgren is not a serious saves candidate going forward.

Ross Stripling also earned a one-out save last Saturday after Jordan Romano ran into trouble attempting to close out their victory over the Angels. Now with Huyn-Jin Ryu is set to miss some time with a forearm issue, Stripling is likely to pick up his spot in the rotation and won’t be a factor in the late innings.

Dennis Santana and David Phelps picked up a save this past week with their incumbent closers unavailable. Neither is likely to see save opportunities consistently going forward.

Wandy Peralta entered a 6-1 game in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and got the final four outs, earning his first save of the season.

Committee Considerations

Ryan Helsley came in for a two-out save last Friday to pick up his third save of the season. He and Giovanny Gallegos have seemingly gone back and forth between who is the closer for most of the season, but Gallegos has been used before the ninth inning in four of his last five appearances. Helsley has entered in the ninth inning in five of his last six appearances. Both must be rostered while we are still looking for clarity, but Helsley might be moving into the closer role in the near future.

Matt Wisler, Ryan Thompson, J.P. Feyerisien, and Colin Poche all earned one save in the past week. Wisler’s save was an extra-innings appearance, but each of the other three pitched a clean ninth inning. The Rays carousel of closers remains frustrating, especially with Andrew Kittredge out, but Feyerisien is likely the most attractive option at the moment.

After struggling to close out a save last Friday, Cole Sulser blew a seventh-inning lead on Monday and came back to blow an extra innings save on Wednesday after the final victim of Brendan Rodgers’ three-homer game. Tanner Scott came up with the save on Thursday, but it’s worth noting two of the batters due up were left-handed and Anthony Bass picked up eight outs the prior day. Bass has been the best performer as of late in the Marlins’ bullpen, posting a 2.18 ERA and 3.20 SIERA for the full season. With most of their other options struggling as badly as they have, Bass should see an opportunity to earn the closer role in the near future and is the arm to add in Miami.

Art Warren picked up the save last Friday but struggled on Sunday. He gave up a home run and four runs while taking the loss. With his questionable performances, Tony Santillan has seen the Reds’ last two saves and has been relatively effective as of late, posting a 2.53 ERA in the month of May. The Reds currently aren’t giving Alexis Diaz shots as saves, but he’s still a solid deep sleeper for the long haul.

The Twins have been short on regular save opportunities the past few days, but Emilio Pagan contributed to that by blowing their 2-1 lead in the eighth inning on Thursday. Jhoan Duran had already pitched the sixth and seventh inning of the game, so it’s possible the Twins were trying to stretch two innings out of Pagan to close out the game. Regardless, Minnesota’s closer situation doesn’t seem any more clear now than it has before, and both Pagan and Duran should be rostered in deeper leagues while they share save opportunities.

Struggling Closers

Despite his 4.50 ERA, Kimbrel had a solid 2.76 xERA and 2.61 SIERA entering play on Thursday while posting a career-best 59% ground ball rate and suffering from an inflated .359 BABIP. His clean save on Thursday against the Mets should help build back confidence. Daniel Hudson picked up his third save last Saturday with Craig Kimbrel unavailable and figures to be the lead option if Kimbrel were to be removed from his role.

Corey Knebel gave up home runs in back-to-back appearances on Sunday and Monday. One came during a blown save and the other broke a 2-2 tie in the ninth inning, with the Phillies eventually losing both games. His overall season numbers are still fine but if Knebel can’t improve his 21.7% strikeout rate he likely will continue to struggle to get consistent results. Seranthony Dominguez is healthy and pitching well, so he would be the pickup if you’re attempting to speculate on Knebel’s backup.

Taylor Rogers had been one of the most prolific late-inning arms in baseball prior to the past couple of appearances. Rogers let up a three-run home run to Ke’Bryan Hayes last Saturday to blow his second save. He then took the loss on Tuesday after allowing the ghost runner to score in St. Louis. Then in Milwaukee on Thursday he was tagged for four earned runs, another blown save, and another loss. His ERA has gone from 0.44 to 3.27 in these three outings. Given his track record, he should be able to rebound and be good going forward.

Camilo Doval wasn’t sharp in the second half of May and that has continued into his first outing of June. He entered in the sixth inning trailing 1-0, likely the highest leverage moment of the game. He gave up an RBI double to Jesus Aguilar and then let Aguilar come home on a single by Miguel Rojas, practically taking the game out of reach. It’s worth noting his blown save on Tuesday came on a single that hit the second base bag and scored the ghost runner. Still, Doval’s volatile command and the Giants’ awful defense make him one of the less stable closers at the moment.

Emerging Relievers

Eli Morgan as a prospect was known for his command and his tremendous changeup. Now in a relief role, his velocity has ticked up by one mile per hour and has been much more effective. Paired with his changeup and ability to locate, Morgan has been a great bridge reliever in the middle of Cleveland’s bullpen, posting a 36.1% strikeout rate and 2.35 ERA. He likely won’t be used in a fantasy-friendly role in the short-term, but he’s worth keeping an eye on if he makes a move into the rotation or if your league rewards holds.

Colin Holderman’s introduction to the major leagues has been very impressive. He’s struck out 32.5% of the 40 batters he’s faced with a 0.84 ERA. Despite primarily being a sinker pitcher, he has posted an swstr% over 15% while sitting around 95 MPH with the fastball. The Mets’ bullpen has been mostly good, but Holderman should force his way into higher leverage spots if he continues to pitch well.

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