Two names to keep an eye on as potential future closers, Abner Uribe and Ben Joyce have already factored in to some hold chances this season, with each picking up a hold this past week. Both also happen to be in similar situations with their teams respective closers only being under contract for one (Joyce in LA) or two (Uribe in MIL) more seasons, so there’s a chance if they can stay healthy and keep improving their command we see them as closers by 2026. Joyce finally returned from the IL earlier this week and has appeared in two games so far, and while his velo was down, he still averaged 100 MPH with his fastball, showing just the kind of upside he possesses if he can stay healthy for a full season.
- Erik Swanson returned from the IL this past week and was even showing off some increased velocity in his first game back. It’s great timing for a Blue Jays team struggling to hang on to a Wild Card spot at the moment, and expect Swanson to return to his regular set up role for the remainder of the season.
- I was worried about what kind of role Reynaldo López would have in Cleveland after landing there on waivers, but so far he has seen plenty of hold chances and continues to pitch well for his third team this season. He’s yet to allow a run in six outings with the Guardians.
- Joe Kelly and Michael Fulmer both returned from the IL this past week, with Fulmer already converting a save. He hasn’t been very consistent this season but with Adbert Alzolay on the IL, is likely to see more high leverage work. Kelly on the other hand has dealt with injuries all season, but was pitching well before this last stint although did not look great yesterday in his first game back.
- John King has taken over as the Cardinals top left handed late inning option with JoJo Romero on the IL, and while he doesn’t have the same sort of swing and miss upside, he has been great for them since coming over at the deadline, allowing just two earned runs over 14 IP.
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