Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Closer craziness and more good signs for Austin Riley, Gavin Lux


Between Corey Kluber’s no-hitter, Shohei Ohtani’s diminished velocity, and Lucas Giolito’s, Joe Musgrove’s and Charlie Morton’s return to form, the biggest developments Wednesday involved players far too rostered to mention here in Waiver Wire.

So instead, we’ll direct our attention to the widespread closer tumult that’s suddenly broken out, necessitating sort of a midweek Bullpen Report, if you’ll allow.

Don’t worry. I’ll get to some hitters later.

You thought Emmanuel Clase was the Indians closer, what with his seven saves and 0.95 ERA? Ah, well you shouldn’t taken your eyes off the looming threat that is James Karinchak, whose numbers are somehow even better.

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Karinchak worked the ninth inning for a save Tuesday even though Clase was well rested. Was Clase unavailable for some other reason? It would appear not because he came in for the eighth inning Wednesday, setting Karinchak up for yet another save.

Clase has had some control issues recently. Is it possible manager Terry Francona just decided to skip the part where Clase blows a game and instead go ahead with the change he was already itching to make? Or will the two split saves going forward? Hard to say at this point, but given that Karinchak has the potential to be the best closer in Fantasy, he needs to be picked up everywhere he’s still available, which is nearly a quarter of CBS Sports leagues.

Elsewhere …

Jake McGee came back with a save Tuesday after Tyler Rogers recorded the previous two, putting the Giants closer role back in doubt, but Rogers had at that point worked four of the previous five days. His submarine delivery may give him a rubber arm, but he still needs the occasional day off. With a four-run lead Wednesday, McGee was back to working the eighth inning and Rogers the ninth, so Rogers (40 percent rostered) still looks like the reliever to have there.

In his second appearance back from the IL Wednesday, Diego Castillo worked a scoreless eighth inning, providing Peter Fairbanks with a save chance in the ninth. Castillo was used like a traditional closer before straining his groin, so it’s frustrating to see the Rays mixing it up now that he’s back. It’s worth noting Fairbanks was shaky in the ninth, allowing three baserunners and one run, so the role may quickly go back to Castillo. Fairbanks is rostered in only 17 percent of leagues, though, if you need to dig deeper for potential saves sources.

Josh Staumont recorded his second save in as many days for the Royals, though he didn’t make it look easy, allowing an unearned run on one hit and one walk. Still, he’s been their most effective reliever and has been handled more or less like a typical closer since late April, just with few save chances along the way. He’s rostered in only 42 percent of leagues.

Michael Fulmer, who recorded each of the Tigers‘ past two saves, worked the eighth inning Wednesday to set up a save chance for Gregory Soto. The Tigers added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, which eliminated that save chance for Soto. Still, it shows manager A.J. Hinch isn’t ready to settle on Fulmer as his closer, and given how few save chances the Tigers will have, the right-hander may not be the best investment anyway.

Stefan Crichton was used in the seventh inning Wednesday, making it back-to-back appearances that he wasn’t reserved for the ninth. I don’t know who the Diamondbacks closer is, but I’m losing faith that it’s him.

All right, that brings us up to speed on the closer craziness. Here’s who else stood out Wednesday …

Possible waiver wire pickups





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