The days of set bullpen roles are beginning to fade as a growing list of teams begin to establish a committee approach. That doesn’t bode well for traditional fantasy baseball leagues that deploy multiple closer spots and only rely on saves. Evolving leagues that have Save+Holds as a category, it is a bit easier to navigate around these changes. Let’s dive into some of these committees to see who is usable and droppable after the first few weeks. Of course, injuries and manager changes will cause these to change over the season.
Arizona doesn’t have a particularly great bullpen, and the committee is not going to be friendly for fantasy baseball. None of the three names to look at have recorded a save, but Stefan Crichton does have three holds to open the season. Kevin Ginkel has pitched well, not allowing a run over three innings. Taylor Clarke has gotten quite a bit of work early on. Ginkel and Crichton will get the save opportunities for now, but there will be no rhyme or reason to when they are used.
Kansas City Royals
This was once a strong bullpen with the same names of Greg Holland and Wade Davis. Both have ventured around over the last few years and have returned to KC. However, they are not the same stable names they once were. Holland’s last full-time job was in Arizona, where he had a 4.54 ERA. He looked better last year in limited innings with KC, but early on, he hasn’t looked good. Arm injuries have plagued Davis of late, and his last season, he had an 8.64 ERA. The numbers have been trending down for both arms of late. Both will get the occasional save, but they are likely to do more harm than good. Josh Staumont and Scott Barlow look to be the better arms.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have a pair of flame throwers with Julian Merryweather and Jordan Romero. Merryweather is the guy to own right now, as is Romano. Merryweather posted two saves already this season and looked like a legit candidate to hold this position. Romano is going to have his chances, but I’d bank on him more for holds. Rafael Dolls is also in the mix but ranks behind the other two names. Both deserve a look in deeper rosters and likely are already picked up in deeper leagues.
With Trevor Rosenthal set to miss the season, this leaves names like Lou Trivino, Jake Diekman, and Sergio Romo in line for saves. Trivino has the more electric stuff, and I would prioritize him over the others for the rest of the season. Oakland hasn’t had chances for saves, so we will see when the time comes. Trivino and Diekman could split depending on the order, given Diekman is a lefty. However, if we are looking at talent, Trivino is the best bet.
Miami has been rolling out quite a few names in crucial situations. This one is really a true committee with Yimi Garcia, Dylan Floro, Anthony Bass, and Richard Bleier. Garcia did pick up a save and then have a hold. Floro has looked great and is trending upwards to start the tea. Both he and Garcia could see a bulk of the chances. Bleier looks to be more in the lefty role where he will be used in later innings against lefty-heavy lineups.