Navigating saves the dilemma of fantasy baseball

Navigating saves the dilemma of fantasy baseball

At some point, fantasy baseball community have to move away from saving as a score category. Some leagues have chosen to go with “save plus holder” instead – a move that expands the scope of usable reliefs and does not force us to chase rescues all year round.

But if you thought that winnings were an arbitrary statistic, good luck finding out how seizures are awarded. And by the time we find a new category, we are left with rescues and the tedious task of interpreting whims from both teams and leaders.

With most executives wanting to play matchups, we are left with a declining number of real shutters. The Padres, Indians and Blue Jays have all announced a committee approach to closing games, and it is bullpens, like those from Rangers, Rays and Red Sox, who remain uneasy.

If you find yourself nodding your head in shared frustration right now, you can at least claim a minor win with some teams mapping out the game plan for you.

Phillies boss Joe Girardi finally put an end to the debates before opening day when he called Hector Neris his closest. Girardi comes from the same “school” as Marlins boss Don Mattingly and prefers to have designated bullpen roles over the committee’s approach. That’s not to say guys like Neris or Marlins closer to Anthony Bass are safe all year, but it will do more than just a single bump in the road to force a change.

Jordan hicks
Jordan hicks
Getty Images

Although it will frustrate those who drafted Jordan Hicks, Cardinal President of baseball operations John Mozeliak explained how the team would ease Hicks into the role, following his recovery from the Tommy John operation in 2019, and both he and manager Mike Shildt pointed to Alex Reyes as the current stopgap with Giovanny Gallegos filling in on days when Reyes can not throw. A short bench can make it difficult to stash Hicks, but for now, Reyes is the target for rescues in April.

Bullpen volatility has become the norm in fantasy baseball, and you need to be vigilant with team reports and management testimonials. Any job that changes hands leads to a feeding failure on the drop line. It will be up to you to sift through the clutter to find what you need.

Howard Bender is the managing director and head of content at Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6 p.m. 18-20 Go to for all of you fantasy baseball advice.

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