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Joe Nathan strikes out the side for save No. 21


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:31 am ET) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan needed only 12 pitches to strike out the side in the ninth for the save Thursday night against the Angels. Nathan has converted 21 save in 26 tries. He owns a 5.73 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP over 37 2/3 innings of relief.

Aaron Crow picks up the win in extras


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:48 am ET) Royals pitcher Aaron Crow (5-1) picked up the win in extras against the Indians on Thursday. Crow struck out the side in the top of the 14th, while Norichika Aoki slapped the walkoff single in the bottom of the frame to end the game. Crow owns a 2.55 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP over 42 1/3 innings of relief.

Marc Rzepczynski pegged with loss in extras


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:45 am ET) Indians pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (0-3) was charged with the loss Thursday night against the Royals.

Rzepczynski was charged with the walkoff run in the 14th inning. Norichika Aoki slapped a single off John Axford to end the game. Rzepczynski permitted one run on one hit and no walks while striking out one over one inning of a 2-1 defeat. He owns a 3.60 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP over 35 innings of relief.

Greg Holland suffers second blown save


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:40 am ET) Royals closer Greg Holland was charged with his second blown save of the season Thursday night at home against the Indians.

Holland was unable to lock down the save in the ninth and permitted a game-tying RBI single to Yan Gomes with two outs. He permitted one run on two hits and one walk over one inning of work. He owns a 1.91 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP over 37 2/3 innings of relief.

Jake Petricka Ks two, closes out Twins


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) White Sox pitcher Jake Petricka struck out two and needed only 11 pitches to close out a 5-2 victory over the Twins in Minnesota. Petricka has converted five saves this season, with a 2.06 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP over 52 1/3 innings of work.

GM: Chad Qualls likely to stay put in Houston


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters that the team will likely not trade closer Chad Qualls before the July 31 trade deadline, MLB.com reports. Qualls has converted 11 saves in 13 chances with a 1.78 ERA over 35 1/3 innings this season.

"I hesitate to use the word 'untouchable,' but he likes it here, he's comfortable here and he's pitching well," Luhnow said. "To have a guy who's capable of pitching late in the game, in close games, we're going to have opportunity going forward. This is a team that's improving, and as the team improves, you have more save opportunities, more opportunities to pitch at the end of close games. We need more Chad Qualls. We don't need less."

Joakim Soria might be worth stashing


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/24/2014) Granted, he wasn't getting the most consistent save opportunities in Texas, but if you play in a league where every save matters (which is typically the case in Rotisserie formats), Joakim Soria's move to Detroit is a punch in the gut.

Mostly because the Tigers say they intend to stick with Joe Nathan as their closer. Sad face.

But let's get real here: Nathan has been terrible and has shown no clear signs of a turnaround. Since blowing his third save May 21, the longest he's gone without allowing an earned run is four appearances. That won't cut it in the ninth inning.

Soria, meanwhile, was brilliant for the Rangers even if his low save total didn't reflect it. He compiled a 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 35 innings. His FIP, which estimates ERA with defense and luck removed from the equation, is 1.07.

The Rangers may intend to stick with Nathan as their closer, but if both he and Soria continue to do what they've been doing, the switch could come quickly. So if you play in a league where every save matters, maybe you just stash Soria for now.


Neftali Feliz not an especially exciting pickup


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/24/2014) With Joakim Soria out of town, Neftali Feliz is back closing for the Rangers, which is seemingly great since he used to be a significant Fantasy contributor in the role.

But if you haven't kept tabs on him, this version of Feliz isn't quite the same as that one. This one is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, averaging about 3 mph less on his fastball than that one. This one has also recorded just five strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.

In fairness, they were 10 1/3 effective innings, so maybe questioning Feliz's pitching ability isn't the way to go here. But even if you assume he's as right as rain, he probably won't be as good as Soria was with his 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings. And pitching for a bad Rangers team, Soria ranked only 33rd among relief pitchers in Head-to-Head points leagues at the time of the trade, behind even non-closer Dellin Betances.

The Rangers may be the team least conducive for saves. Not only do they lose often, but they lose with bad pitching. So on the rare occasion they do win, the score typically isn't so close.

So Feliz may be a closer, but he's a closer with reduced stuff coming off major surgery for a team that won't give him any save opportunities. Sounds like Chad Qualls has met his match.


Matt Albers, Jesse Crain could start throwing on mound in 10 days


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters that he hopes that relievers Matt Albers and Jesse Crain will be able to throw on a mound in the next 10 days, according to MLB.com.

Albers has been sidelined since April 22 with right shoulder tendinitis, while Crain is working his way back from biceps tendinitis surgery performed in October.

"It's one of those things it's taken so much longer than I, or they, originally anticipated that it's hard to put a specific date on it," Luhnow said. "They are progressing, and neither has had any sort of setback in a while, which is good news, but we're taking it very slow because we really don't think we can afford any more setbacks. It would probably cost us the rest of the season if that occurs."

David Robertson Ks two, closes out Rangers


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Yankees closer David Robertson worked his way around a walk and struck out two to close out a 4-2 victory over the Rangers on Thursday. Robertson has not allowed a run over his last seven innings of relief. He has converted 25 of 27 save opportunities, with a 2.39 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP over 37 2/3 innings of work this season.

Zach Putnam hits the disabled list


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) White Sox pitcher Zach Putnam has been placed on the disabled list with a shoulder issue.

Putnam is dealing with right shoulder inflammation. Putnam had a stretch from late-June to mid-July where he gave up a run every other outing, but is coming off three straight scoreless appearances. Putnam has a 2.35 ERA over 38 1/3 innings. 


Twins acquire Stephen Pryor in trade with Mariners


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) The Mariners traded pitcher Stephen Pryor to the Twins Thursday in exchange for DH Kendrys Morales, who played for Seattle in 2013.

Pryor has a 3-1 record, 2.81 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 34 career appearances in the majors. He is striking out 9.8 batters per nine innings. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Tacoma, going 2-1 with a 4.65 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 24 appearances.


Joakim Soria expected to pitch mostly in seventh inning


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said newly acquired reliever Joakim Soria will probably pitch mostly in the seventh inning, according to the Detroit Free Press.

However, he said Soria could help in the eighth or ninth inning when setup man Joba Chamberlain and closer Joe Nathan need a day off.

"The ability to get left-handed and right-handed hitters out is extremely important," Dombrowski said. "In our situation, where you are trying to win, I think it’s important to be able to do that. You don’t want to be switching every hitter with a different pitcher if you can avoid that. Soria has shown that he can get left-handed and right-handed hitters out very well. I think that’s important."


Evan Scribner back in Athletics bullpen


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) The Athletics recalled reliever Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento Thursday. Scribner has not been in the majors since early April.

Neftali Feliz should get chance to pitch on back-to-back days


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Rangers manager Ron Washington said Thursday he isn't certain if newly anointed closer Neftali Feliz can pitch on consecutive days yet. However, Washington feels Feliz will be up to the challenge when the time arises.

"I'm going to give him the ball and tell him to do what he feels he needs to do with it," Washington said, per ESPN. "This is what, Neftali's fifth year? I can't motivate Neftali. That (being the closer again) should motivate him enough. You got a chance to close and that's what it is, a chance."


'Highly unlikely' Joel Hanrahan returns this season


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski acknowledged it's "highly unlikely" reliever Joel Hanrahan will pitch this season. "At this point I would say we're not counting on him at all. It does not sound encouraging," Dombrowski said.

Hanrahan suffered a setback this week in his comeback from Tommy John surgery.


Nate Adcock added to Rangers' 'pen


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) The Rangers purchased the contract of pitcher Nate Adcock and added him to the bullpen Thursday, the team announced.

Adcock got off to a late start this season while recovering from surgery, but had a 2.76 ERA in 16 1/3 innings at Triple-A Round Rock prior to his call-up.  


Neftali Feliz returning to former role as Rangers' closer


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) The trade of Joakim Soria has created an opening at closer for the Rangers, and the team has decided to return Neftali Feliz to his former role.

The 26-year-old reliever, whose career was derailed in 2012 due to Tommy John surgery, has 74 career saves, including a career-high 40 in 2010.

"We'll give him a shot, he is the only one with experience," Rangers manager Ron Washington said, per MLB.com. "It will show if he can or he can't."


Sean Doolittle tosses perfect inning in 15th save


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Athletics closer Sean Doolittle earned his 15th save Wednesday, striking out one in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off his team's 9-7 win over the Astros.

Doolittle picked up his first save of the second half, though was pitching for the third time in a four-day span. Another clean sheet gives the breakout performer a 2.70 ERA, 0.64 WHIP and 67:3 K:BB ratio in 46 2/3 innings.


Tommy Hunter takes loss Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter was stuck with a loss Wednesday after surrendering two earned runs on two hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings and striking out two in his team's 3-2 defeat against the Angels.

Hunter (2-2) made it through the seventh inning without issue before surrendering hits to the first two batters of the eighth, tying the score at 2-2. Hunter intentionally walked the following batter before unintentionally walking the batter after that. He was then removed, with the next pitcher also issuing a walk to bring in a run, which was charged to Hunter. He owns a 4.11 ERA and 27:11 K:BB ratio in 35 innings.


Huston Street earns first save with new team Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Angels closer Huston Street picked up his 25th save Wednesday but his first with his new team, giving up no hits and no runs while striking out two and walking one in his team's 3-2 win over the Orioles.

Street had made two appearances since the trade but hadn't seen a save opportunity until Wednesday. He continues to have a fantastic season, owning a 1.03 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 33:8 K:BB ratio in 35 innings.


Joe Nathan to remain the closer


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan will remain the team's closer, according to MLB.com.

Detroit acquired Joakim Soria Wednesday, muddying up the roles in the bullpen. According to general manager Dave Dombrowski, Nathan will proceed as the club's closer. Nathan has a 5.89 ERA over 36 2/3 innings. 


Jake McGee earns ninth save Wednesday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) Rays pitcher Jake McGee picked up his ninth save Wednesday agaisnt the Cardinals.

McGee was exceptional during his one inning of work. He entered the game with a three-run lead, and struck out the side. McGee did not allow a hit or a walk during the appearance. His ERA now sits at 1.40. 


Rangers acquire two minor-league pitchers


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) The Rangers have acquired pitchers Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson from the Tigers.

Texas will give up closer Joakim Soria in the deal. Knebel has tossed 8 2/3 innings in the majors this season, but has mostly pitched in the minors. He has a 1.62 ERA spread over two levels. Thompson is currently in Double-A. He's posted a 3.06 ERA over two levels. 


Tigers set to acquire Joakim Soria


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) The Tigers have traded for Rangers reliever Joakim Soria , according to 97.1 The Ticket. The move was confirmed by CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The Tigers bullpen has struggled this season, collectively posting a 4.41 ERA. That is the fifth worst figure among major-league bullpens. Soria has been solid this season, posting a 2.70 ERA over 33 1/3 innings. It's unclear whether Soria will be used as the closer, or if he'll set up Joe Nathan.


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