There is constant turnover at the closer position in baseball in recent seasons. The chase for saves has been stressful for Fantasy Baseball owners. In many drafts, people draft several setup men, hoping they eventually get saves making the pickings for stashing potential closers difficult in deeper formats.
A few pitchers emerge out of nowhere and that might be happening now with the Braves. Dan Winkler has suddenly entered the picture as a potential closer for the Braves.
Arodys Vizcaino entered the season as the closer, although he was one outside the Top 15 relievers in mot drafts. Vizcaino saved 14 of 17 games last season with a 2.83 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 27.2 percent strikeout rate and 8.9 percent walk rate.
Vizcaino hasn’t been awful in 2018, converting seven of nine saves with a 2.75 ERA, 24.1 percent strikeout rate, 12.1 percent walk rate and 1.22 WHIP. Vizcaino blew a save in the Braves’ 3-2 loss to the Cubs Tuesday night.
After the game, Braves manager Brian Snitker said he’s ready to enter Winkler into the closing equation with Vizcaino and left-hander A.J. Minter. Many drafted Minter in case Vizcaino struggled. Minter picked up a save on Monday, but it wasn’t easy. He allowed two hits, one run and a walk to get the save against the Cubs and left the bases loaded as Kris Bryant lined out to left field to end the game.
Minter hasn’t pitched well despite a 2.65 ERA. He has a 20 percent strikeout rate and a 16 percent walk rate with a 1.59 WHIP. He has a 44.7 percent hard hit rate.
Vizcaino has struggled in May, with a 5.14 ERA and has allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings, while allowing a .286 batting average against.
Winkler has pitched 18.1 innings and allowed seven hits, two earned runs, walked five and struck out 27. He has a 0.98 ERA and 0.65 WHIP and a hard hit rate of 11.8 percent. In his last 13 games, opponents are batting .061 against him.
Winkler is 28, but classified as a rookie. He has missed a lot of time over the last four seasons due to Tommy John surgery and a broken elbow.
Snitker didn’t express confidence in Vizcaino or Minter and said they have a few options with Winkler being one of them. There’s no guarantee a change is made, but if you can add Winkler now, do it. If he does convert a save, the price goes up.
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