It was another wild week in fantasy baseball, with closer changes and a big-time suspension. The grind is why we love this sport. We're not even a month into the season, and the roster you constructed on draft day may already be drastically different.
The Texas Rangers finally made it official and announced reliever Matt Bush will get the first crack in the ninth inning. At least we have some clarity, but if you are a Jeremy Jeffress owner, I'd still hold onto him, as this could change quickly. Jeffress is more widely available if you wanted to take a chance that Bush won't hold on to the job. I'll comment on the other closer change in our waiver-wire section.
The biggest news this week involved Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte. The 28-year-old was suspended for 80 games for performance-enhancing drugs. Marte has started the season slow, but this is a tough blow for fantasy owners, as the outfielder has been a lock to bat around .290, hit around 12 home runs, steal at least 30 bases and score more than 70 runs. Those players aren't on the waiver wire. This is where owners hope they drafted depth that can overcome this. If you are in a league with deep rosters, you can probably afford to hold on to Marte until he returns. However, in more shallow leagues, you may have to drop Marte if injuries begin to hit your team.
Washington Nationals relievers Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover -- The Nationals announced Kelley and Glover would split the closer duties for the team after Blake Treinen struggled in that role. Kelley will get the first crack as the closer and was already successful April 20. However, Kelley has had two elbow surgeries in his career, so the Nationals will not overwork the right-hander. This means Glover will also get chances to earn saves for fantasy owners. Kelley is the main target here and should be top priority this week on the waiver wire, but also make sure to put in a bid for Glover, as he has fantasy value as well.
Houston Astros Reliever Chris Devenski -- I'm not sure how to classify Devenski, as he isn't a middle reliever and he isn't used as a one inning pitcher in the later innings. The Astros are taking an unconventional approach with the right-hander, and it's working extremely well. The 26-year-old has worked at least two innings in four of his five appearances this season with two of those appearances spanning four innings. Devenski also earned his first save April 20 and has now struck out 25 hitters in only 13.1 innings pitched. What else makes Devenski an attractive target is that he is eligible at starting and relief pitcher, which gives fantasy owners roster flexibility. The fantasy world is picking up on Devenski, so this is probably the last chance to hop on the bandwagon, but I think it's worth it as he will help with pitching ratios and has a chance to pick up cheap wins and possibly cheap saves as well.
Tampa Bay Rays Outfielders Steven Souza and Corey Dickerson -- If you are a Marte owner and looking for outfield help, the pair of outfielders for the Rays could help. It's amazing how identical these two players are, which makes it difficult to separate which one to add. Neither players are a stolen-base threat, which is what makes Marte a fantasy asset, but they will provide power, and both are off to a sizzling start to the season with batting averages better than .300 and each slugging three home runs. I tend to lean toward Souza, as he is more available on the waiver wire and doesn't sit against tough left-handed pitchers, like Dickerson does. Even though he isn't a stolen base threat, Souza has proven he will at least run a little bit, where Dickerson will not.