Reliever Roulette: The Return of Huston Street…and Others

(Alex Gallardo/Associated Press)

(Alex Gallardo/Associated Press)

The Angels activated Huston Street from the DL on Monday and he earned a win with a scoreless inning of relief in Tuesday night’s victory over the Tigers. Street pitched the top of the ninth in a tie game so he’s back in the closer role, as was expected. Joe Smith went 6/7 in save opportunities during the absence, but his 4.47 ERA during that stretch only reinforced the idea that he’s better suited as a setup man. That said, we know that oblique injuries can be easily aggravated so if you’re in a league where every single save matters Smith should likely remain on your radar.

Speaking of re-injured obliques, the Brad Boxberger comeback sure didn’t last long. The Rays reliever left with an injury in his first game back from core muscle surgery and the team has already placed him back on the DL. The official diagnosis is a left side muscle strain and seeing as it’s in the same spot as his previous ailment this is looking like it could be a lengthy absence. Given how well Alex Colome has pitched so far this season I would now expect him to keep the closer’s role for the remained of the year. For context, I rank him in the 12-15 range at the position moving forward.

On a more positive injury note, we have the return of Will Smith. The Brewers reliever was activated from the DL on Wednesday after missing 8 weeks with a torn LCL in his knee. Smith was the preseason favorite to be Milwaukee’s closer so this news certainly has fantasy relevance. Manager Craig Counsel has already told reporters that he won’t hesitate to use the lefty in save situations so there’s a decent chance this turns into a committee in the coming weeks. I view Smith as a more talented pitcher than Jeremy Jeffress so I certainly think he’s worth a speculative add and if I own the latter I’m at least mildly concerned about this development.

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