The Atlanta Braves placed closer Kenley Jansen on the 15-day injured list due to an irregular heartbeat on Tuesday afternoon. Jansen was placed on the IL retroactive to June 27. RHP Jesus Cruz was recalled from Triple-A to take Jansen’s spot on the roster.
The Braves lost on Sunday to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 with Jansen blowing his fourth save of the season up 2-0 in the 9th inning. With Jansen out, the Braves will have to turn to someone else in the bullpen to close games. Who might that be?
Fantasy baseball: Who will close for Braves?
Will Smith makes the most sense. He had 37 saves for the Braves last season in the championship year. Smith has 88 career saves spread out through his time with the Braves, San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers. There’s also some appeal in Smith being a lefty.
Outside of Jansen’s 20 saves this season, Smith has two and Jackson Stephens has two. The other name to throw out is A.J. Minter, who leads ATL in holds with 16 this season. If Smith struggles at all, Minter could end up getting some save opportunities. It depends on how long Jansen is out for. An irregular heartbeat is serious and could cause Jansen to miss some time.
If we hop on over the ESPN fantasy baseball, Smith is rostered in over 20% of leagues. He may be tougher to find in deeper formats with fantasy managers being ahead of the Jansen news. Minter is 10.3% rostered and could be an OK option if Smith struggles to close games. If Jansen’s injury is long-term, both Smith and Minter will have fantasy value.