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Welcome to the SCFE Week 4 Bullpen Briefs. This will be a reoccurring article focusing on all the happenings in bullpens around the league. While we all know there are some studs that may not lose their respective roles. There are plenty more that will be ripe for the taking.

And this won’t just be for the coveted closer roles. This will focus on setup men shifting. As well as letting people know who the next guy is that could get a lot of holds for them. Keeping an eye here can also help you know who to make that speculative add to your roster before the change is made.

Bullpens all over the MLB have not been consistent over the first two and a half weeks of the season. A couple closer situations have changed this week with the incumbent going on the disabled list. And there has been a shake-up in the nation’s capital.

If you want to see who to start at pitching or hitting this week, we got you covered. Scott Guthrie handles our Pitching Planner. And as far as hitting goes, Aaron Hinckley writes our Hitting Planner.

So as we look to the last week of April, who are some of the guys you need to be looking at? Let’s dive in!

Week 4 Bullpen Briefs

**Updated April 20


Who’s Out?

Zach Britton, RP, Baltimore Orioles


Many did not think Zach Britton looked like his old self in the early going. Even though he kept getting the saves, something wasn’t quite right. He just wasn’t sharp in his outings. Turns out he was pitching with a forearm strain. Forearm strains are never a good thing for a pitcher, but Britton said he was feeling better with rest. Regardless, the Orioles put him on the 10-day disabled list and are having an MRI done on their All-Star closer.

While the Orioles organization is confident he could return on time, or close to it, from his DL stint on April 25, they are being cautious. For now, Brad Brach looks to be the main guy, with Darren O’Day a possibility for saves as well.

Sam Dyson, RP, Texas Rangers

Not too surprising here. Sam Dyson was replaced in the closer role, by way of going on the disabled list. Is he really hurt? Maybe. But either way he needed to be removed. I wrote about this situation last week. You can find it here. For now, the Rangers are giving Matt Bush the first crack at the ninth, but said Jeremy Jeffress could also be in the mix.

Blake Treinen, RP, Washington Nationals


Well it didn’t take long. Blake Treinen’s role as the Nationals closer came to a close on Wednesday. He will settle into the set-up role he had so much success at last season. It just wasn’t working out for Treinen. He was just allowing too much hard contact to be successful. In his eight appearances this year, his ERA is 7.11 in 6.1 innings pitched. What’s worse is he has given up five earned runs on 10 hits, six walks and only struck out seven batters.

Dive into another number, Treinen’s Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is a whopping 5.59. Maybe getting him back into the set-up role will get him settled down and back to the guy with a 2.28 ERA and 22 Holds in 73 appearances. Until they deem it necessary to go out and get a top closer for their playoff run, the Nationals will turn to Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover moving forward.


Who’s In?

Brad Brach, RP, Baltimore Orioles

On Wednesday, Brad Brach earned his first save with Britton on the DL. So far this year, Brach has an unsustainable 0.00 ERA and 0.57 WHIP. He can, however, keep the numbers low and pay off big for Fantasy owners as long as Britton is sidelined.

Check the MRI report for Britton on Friday to see if his forearm strain is more serious than first thought. Until then, ride the hot hand on a team that has come out of the gate hot.

Matt Bush, RP, Texas Rangers


With Dyson hitting the disabled list, the Rangers turn to Matt Bush as next in line. While he hasn’t gotten the chance to save a game yet, the team went 1-2 in Oakland to begin the week. They now head home for a four game set against the Royals.

Keep an eye on the situation; Bush is just coming back from a shoulder issue so the Rangers will make sure not to overwork him.

Shawn Kelley, RP, Washington Nationals

In two of the past three games, Shawn Kelley has come in and saved Blake Treinen by getting a win and a save for the team. While he is going to split time with Koda Glover, in the end I believe his stuff will rule out. This year Kelley has a 6.00 ERA with five hits, nine strikeouts and two walks in six innings pitched. Not great numbers but he got some results, which is more than Treinen can say.

Either way, Kelley will not be the long term solution, and I expect them to be looking for a closer at the deadline. Whether that be David Robertson from the White Sox, or Kelvin Herrera if the Royals fall out of the race. Look for them to be in the market for a top closer.

Koda Glover, RP, Washington Nationals


While I think the Nationals will be looking for a closer come the trade deadline, Koda Glover could make them change their mind. His stuff is far ahead of the other options in Washington. His 3.18 ERA isn’t a great indicator of who he could become. Compare his FIP of 2.08 to Kelley’s 7.41, which is even worse than Treinen’s and you can see how much better he could be.

He’s only been able convert three Holds this year and has gave up some leads. But if they can put their trust in him and let him grow into the role, they could feasibly save some prospects by not having to trade for a closer come July.



Holds Candidates

These guys will be getting Holds and the occasional save opportunity for your team. Some will even luck into a few Wins.

  • Adam Ottavino, COL: 7 Holds, 1.23 ERA, 12 K, 3 BB, 0 SV
  • Brad Brach, BAL: 5 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 11 K, 3 BB, 1 SV
  • Mike Dunn, COL: 5 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 10 K, 2 BB, 0 SV, 2 W
  • Heath Hembree, BOS: 5 Holds, 2.25 ERA, 8 K, 3 BB, 0 SV
  • Corey Knebel, MIL: 5 Holds, 1.08 ERA, 12 K, 4 BB, 0 SV
  • Filipe Rivero, PIT: 5 Holds, 1.00 ERA, 9 K, 1 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
  • Jacob Barnes, MIL: 4 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 11 K, 3 BB, 0 SV
  • Matt Bowman, STL: 4 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 7 K, 1 BB, 0 SV
  • Danny Farquhar, TB: 4 Holds, 4.32 ERA, 7 K, 5 BB, 0 SV
  • Luke Gregerson, HOU: 4 Holds, 7.36 ERA, 6 K, 3 BB, 0 SV
  • Daniel Hudson, PIT: 4 Holds, 3.86 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB, 0 SV
  • Pedro Strop, CHC: 4 Holds, 6.75 ERA, 7 K, 5 BB, 0 SV
  • Carlos Torres, MIL: 4 Holds, 4.35 ERA, 7 K, 8 BB, 0 SV
  • Justin Wilson, DET: 4 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 11 K, 3 BB, 1 SV, 1 W
  • Luis Avilan, LAD: 3 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB, 0 SV
  • Matt Barnes, BOS: 3 Holds, 3.12 ERA, 10 K, 6 BB, 0 SV, 2 W
  • Kyle Barraclough, MIA: 3 Holds, 1.13 ERA, 11 K, 3 BB, 0 SV
  • Dellin Betances, NYY: 3 Holds, 1.69 ERA, 9 K, 4 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
  • Joe Biagini, TOR: 3 Holds, 0.75 ERA, 6 K, 3 BB, 0 SV
  • Tyler Clippard, NYY: 3 Holds, 3.00 ERA, 9 K, 1 BB, 1 SV


Keep an eye on…

Trevor Rosenthal, RP, St. Louis Cardinals


Look who might be back in the mix in St. Louis. Trevor Rosenthal notched his first save since June last year. While Mike Matheny may not make the change right now, Rosenthal makes for a good speculative stash for people looking for possible saves. So far this year, Seung Hwan Oh is sporting an 8.10 ERA, 12 hits, three strikeouts, one walk and two hit-by-pitches in 6.2 innings pitched.

Not going as good as it did last year, where he had a 1.92 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 79.2 innings pitched. Rosenthal, after returning from his early season lat problem has been pretty good. He’s got a 2.70 ERA, seven strikeouts and zero walks in 3.1 innings pitched.

Maybe he is regaining the form that let him save 45 and 48 games respectively in 2014 and 2015. Given how Oh has started the season, Matheny may opt to use Rosenthal a little more often. And if Oh keeps struggling there could be cause for a ninth inning switch. Keep an eye on their upcoming series against the free swinging Brewers. Rosenthal may get the call sooner rather than later.


So there are your Week 4 Bullpen Briefs, and the pitchers to keep an eye on moving forward. Be sure and check back to get the low down on the next batch of relievers to snag.

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Derek Harvey

Derek is an avid fantasy player, playing keeper and dynasty formats for two decades. This is his first year writing about fantasy sports. Have any questions about dynasty football, baseball or basketball? Ask me on twitter @derek_harvey.

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