No team's closer role has been a bigger tease so far than the Brewers', leading us to burn through piles of FAB dollars already.

When Devin Williams was first diagnosed with stress fractures in his back this spring, three relievers were identified as possible replacements: Abner Uribe, Joel Payamps and Trevor Megill. Little did we know the Brewers would cycle through them all in six weeks' time.

Note: "Pecking order" refers to rosterability in Fantasy and not necessarily who's first in line for saves (though it's usually one and the same).


Uribe got the first look -- somewhat unexpectedly, I'll add -- collecting three quick saves before proving not up to the task and subsequently being sent to the minors. Then Payamps stepped in and performed capably enough, collecting four saves in all, but it seems like manager Pat Murphy prefers a harder-throwing reliever in the role, having turned to Trevor Megill for each of the Brewers' past two saves. Payamps, meanwhile, handled the eighth inning both times. Megill was still working his way back from a concussion when Uribe was first ousted from the role, so perhaps Payamps was always meant as a placeholder, but in any case, it appears to be Megill's role for now. Maybe he'll even hold onto it until the All-Star break, when Williams is expected back.


Evan Phillips hit the IL Sunday with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, which doesn't sound like it should sideline him for too terribly long. It hardly seems worth pursuing anyone else in the Dodgers bullpen, and that's especially true if manager Dave Roberts plans to go the committee route in the meantime. Left-hander Alex Vesia wouldn't have been most people's first guess to get the first save chance in Phillips' absence, but there he was working (and converting) in the ninth inning Monday with two lefty hitters due up for the Marlins. If you're going to speculate on anyone here it should probably be the right-hander, Daniel Hudson, but again, it may not be worth your time.


Craig Kimbrel has endured his share of rough patches in recent years but generally ends up with closer-caliber numbers. He looked like he might be able to avoid the drama this year after being near perfect through 10 appearances, but things have gone south since then. He's allowed at least one run in four of his past five appearances, suffering two blown saves and perhaps a third if manager Brandon Hyde hadn't replaced him mid-inning Saturday. Kimbrel has already gotten a "break" during this stretch, so Hyde's next move may be to pull the plug completely -- though nothing seems imminent, I should point out. Yennier Cano would presumably be the next in line, but a committee seems more likely, possibly with an eye toward helping Kimbrel regain his footing. The Orioles bullpen makes the most sense with him closing, after all.


Manager A.J. Hinch hardly needs an excuse to do something unconventional, particularly with regard to bullpen management, and unfortunately, Jason Foley is giving him an excuse. His latest outing Friday, in which he allowed two earned runs on four hits, was technically his first blown save, but it was the second outing in four in which he gave up two runs. Suddenly, his WHIP is up 1.54, mostly on account of walks, which is something a pitch-to-contact guy can hardly afford. To be fair, Hinch hasn't hinted of a change, but it's worth pointing out that Alex Lange, who was the primary closer last year and presumed closer coming into this year, has pitched to a 0.73 ERA so far, albeit with an even worse walk rate than Foley.

So it turns out Jason Adam's stay in the closer role may be a bust. He's registered two saves but was tasked with working the eighth inning in his latest appearance Saturday, setting up Phil Maton for the save. Meanwhile, Pete Fairbanks is already on the road to recovery despite the ominous reports about his "nerve issue." I can't say for sure how his rehab assignment will go, which is why I wouldn't be so quick to drop Adam if I had already made the investment, but I can say that it's scheduled to begin Tuesday. If Fairbanks is back to his 2023 velocities, then yeah, he'll probably be back to closing games for the Rays in short order.


You'd think the return of Jhoan Duran from an oblique injury would mean the end of the Twins' closer committee, but instead, manager Rocco Baldelli's time without Duran just emboldened him. He's back to being the smartest guy in the room with regard to bullpen usage, which is basically the way he operated prior to 2023 (as those who were drafting Taylor Rogers then can attest). Rather than relying on designated bullpen roles, Baldelli would play the matchups. Playing the matchups these days apparently means using Duran in the eighth inning not just once but twice in a row, with right-hander Cole Sands getting the save the first time and left-hander Caleb Thielbar handling it the second time.

By most any measure, Duran is the Twins' best reliever and, as such, will be tasked with handling the ninth inning more times than not, but this is a a troubling development that could prevent him from being one of the top 10 relievers in Fantasy.

The Phillies bullpen has been a fixture in this space because it's been so hard to tell what manager Rob Thomson is up to, but it's becoming easier. Seems like he's just doing whatever he wants on any given day, which has usually translated to Jose Alvarado getting the save (five of the team's past seven have gone to him) but can sometimes mean the left-hander works the eighth inning instead. Those are the days when right-hander Jeff Hoffman is tasked with the save chance, unless he's needed earlier in the game, in which case someone else might get a shot. "Someone else" has so far been left-hander Gregory Soto, but he's performed rather miserably so far. Orion Kerkering is the dark horse here, but as a rookie, he's not working in the highest-leverage spots yet.


Paul Sewald was supposed to be back from the IL by now, but his rehab assignment was interrupted by renewed soreness in his oblique. He returned to the mound Saturday, a good 11 days after his first minor-league appearance, and could come off the IL as early as Tuesday. It would presumably end Kevin Ginkel's stint as closer, during which time he collected five saves, but he filled in admirably enough that there's no doubting who would step in should Sewald go down again.