Get knocked down, get back up.
That has to be the rallying cry of any successful closer, who needs to have a very short memory after a bad outing in order to get the job done the next time his services are called for -- potentially the very next day.
Zach Britton faced six batters on Friday against the Braves and gave up three singles, two doubles and hit a guy, ultimately turning a 7-3 Baltimore lead into a tie game. On Saturday, Buck Showalter went right back to Britton with a two-run lead in the ninth and he rewarded his manager's faith by saving the contest.
That's great news for the Orioles -- not because the team is planning on having him close for the rest of 2018, but due to the fact multiple teams are reportedly looking to trade for the eight-year veteran. For fantasy managers who held on to Britton as he recovered from a ruptured Achilles, the more saves Britton gets for Baltimore in the short-term, the higher his perceived value will likely rise. Just be sure to unload him before he gets sent to a contender who is likely to end up using him in a setup capacity.
In the opposing dugout, Atlanta was dealing with the loss of Arodys Vizcaino, who was unavailable to throw during the series because of shoulder soreness before ultimately getting retroactively placed on the 10-day DL before Sunday's game. On Friday, after A.J. Minter threw a scoreless eighth inning, Dan Winkler was called upon to close things out in a 3-1 game. Five batters later (with three hits and a walk allowed), the save was blown.
On Sunday, however, Winkler was called on with a two-run lead in the eighth and the pitcher was up to the task, throwing a scoreless frame. Minter closed out the contest in what was no longer a save situation due to the Braves padding the lead. It's looking like manager Brian Snitker will mix and match the pair until Vizcaino returns, though he was very pleased that Winkler was indeed able to rebound, "It's good that he experienced that, because I don't think you ever know how you're going to react or what that feel is until you actually do it."
Also on Sunday, Seranthony Dominguez of the Phillies got charged with the loss after blowing his first save of the season against the Nationals. His ERA since June 6 is 6.00, with a .297 BAA. While nobody is suggesting that he shouldn't be closing based upon one mishap, one can't help but notice that Dominguez has struggled on the second day of back-to-back outings (.429 OBP). This is a trend that should be watched, because if it continues, you may want to bench the reliever immediately after he throws if you can make daily changes. Still, we expect him to bounce back in his next appearance at the start of new series.
Brad Hand, on the other hand, has not gotten back up after recent struggles. Since June 17, he's allowed four earned runs in four outings (15.00 ERA, .357 BAA) and blown two saves. If not for the fact that Hand is also "trade bait," we'd be seeing a lot more Kirby Yates for San Diego -- and I expect that to be the case down the road, either once a deal gets struck or if Hand indeed cannot seem to recover from this latest dry spell.
Finally, in Minnesota, Fernando Rodney has been super strong since the start of May, with a 1.45 ERA and a .141 BAA to go along with a perfect 14-for-14 in save conversions. Still, we are talking about a 41-year-old who has a history of sad Septembers (4.65 ERA, .263 BAA, both career-worst monthly splits). I might look to supplement my fantasy bench with Trevor Hildenberger, who has thrown 15 consecutive scoreless outings and is steadily climbing up the holds leaderboard, now just two holds shy of the top 10 in the American League.