Matt Belisle (RP, Twins) - The Twins bullpen is a bit muddled with the departure of Brandon Kintzler, who was traded to the Nationals at the deadline. It was looking for a long time like Taylor Rogers would be the successor to Kintzler, but he's allowed runs in each of his last five appearances and has likely been pushed down the pecking order. Matt Belisle, meanwhile, didn't allow a run in July and could be the favorite to close. He still has a 4.64 ERA - which points to just how bad he was earlier in the season - but something seems to have clicked recently, and he has a 13:2 K:BB ratio over those 12.2 scoreless July innings. He's worth an add for everyone needing cheap saves, but he's definitely a bottom-tier option who has very little job security.
Shane Greene (RP, DET) - The Tigers sent closer Justin Wilson to the Cubs along with catcher Alex Avila in exchange for some prospects. Mercifully, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus saved us the headache of trying to sort through the heap of mediocrity in the Tigers bullpen to figure out who will close by simply stating that Shane Greene will get the first shot. Bruce Rondon had been consistently pitching the 8th inning, but has allowed 8 ER over his last 1.1 innings of work spanning three appearances. That has opened the door for Greene, who has his own warts - namely, a 4.49 BB/9 and 43% hard contact rate. He has enjoyed a 2.74 ERA largely due to a .248 BABIP, so don't expect elite closer numbers from him. He gets enough strikeouts to be useful, with a 9.78 K/9, but he will have a relatively short leash. Alex Wilson doesn't get many strikeouts (5.82 K/9), but could put some pressure on Greene if he slips in the closer role. It is also worth mentioning that the Tigers recalled probable closer of the future Joe Jimenez from Triple-A. Jimenez had a 1.44 ERA over 25 innings for the Toledo Mud Hens, but his time for saves is probably next year rather than this season.
Alex Cobb (SP, TB) - Cobb was clobbered, giving up eight runs on nine hits over just three innings. He walked two without recording a strikeout. His ERA rose nearly a half run after the outing, from 3.46 to 3.89, but his peripherals point towards even more regression. His .274 BABIP to this point is incredibly fortunate given his 37% hard contact rate. He also doesn't contribute in strikeouts, with a paltry 5.74 K/9 that isn't surprising given his minuscule 7% swinging strike rate. His FIP and xFIP are both around 4.50, and his other supporting metrics also point towards a starter who will pitch to a 4+ ERA the rest of the season. His lack of strikeouts limits his relevance to deep leagues, although he could be spot started in shallower formats in much friendlier matchups than this one, which was against the Astros.
Jake Marisnick (OF, HOU) - Marisnick had a monster game batting ninth, going 3-5 with two homers, a double, a walk, four runs scored, and five RBI. His ISO rose to a mighty .284 on the year, which is about as good as his 34% strikeout rate is bad. He's hitting .259/.339/.543 on the year with 13 homers, and is 6-10 in stolen base attempts. The power is at least partially a mirage however, with a 26% hard contact rate that doesn't support the 24% HR/FB rate he had coming into the game. He is putting the ball in the air 47% of the time, which is much higher than his 35% mark from last year, but you can't count on this power to sustain. Given his 17% swinging strike rate and 66% contact, his high strikeout rate is well warranted and will limit his batting average. You could probably expect a downturn in his .330 BABIP as well, so a .230 average moving forward isn't out of the question. He remains a deep league play only.
Marco Estrada (SP, TOR) - Estrada finally put up a quality start, his first since June 24th, as he allowed only one run over seven innings against the White Sox. He gave up just four hits and a walk while striking out five, although he was saddled with a no decision and still sits on just four wins on the year. It'll be interesting to monitor his pitch mix in relation to his success, because he essentially scrapped his cutter and curveball in this start, throwing just one curveball with 59 fastballs and 41 changeups. The changeup got 27% whiffs, which is more than average for him but definitely the source of his strikeouts this year. His cutter has just 9% whiffs on the year and his curve has 5%, so nixing those pitches might not be the worst idea. He's really been floundering this year with a 5.19 ERA, but maybe with this alteration he can be better down the stretch. He will get a much more difficult test next time out against the Astros, however.
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