Lefty Zack Britton got the call in the ninth inning of Thursday's game.
Britton has a 0.81 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP in 22 1/3 innings this season.
Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports
By John Halpin
When the Orioles reached the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead over the Royals on Thursday, they opted for southpaw Zach Britton rather than Tommy Hunter to close things out. Manager Buck Showaltersaid after the game that "we'll see where the matchups take us," and didn't commit to Britton moving forward. Britton is interesting, as he throws hard while not whiffing too many batters, but induces tons of ground balls.
So, what's next for the O's closer situation? Heck if I know, but Hunter owners should hold on for now, and speculators in deeper leagues can take a shot at Britton, who is owned in 3.8 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. I don't think they'll go to Darren O'Day or Kevin Gausman, if you're wondering. Predicting saves is an inexact science, folks.
On to the rest of the news:
If Carlos Beltran needs elbow surgery, it'll keep him out for 6-8 weeks. That decision probably won't be made until the end of his current 15-day DL stint, so keep your fingers crossed if you own Beltran.
Streaming starters: Another strong outing from the resurgent Phil Hughes raised our record to 28-17 for the season. The weekend selections are Jose Quintana (14.8 percent owned) at Houston on Friday; Samuel Deduno (0.4 percent owned) against the Mariners on Saturday; and Brad Peacock (0.2 percent owned) versus the White Sox on Sunday. I really don't like Sunday's options, so consider Peacock only as a last resort.
The Mets appear ready to start easing Jenrry Mejiainto the closer's role. It sounds like he's not ready to pitch on back-to-back days, so don't count on a boatload of saves just yet, but we might finally be seeing a light at the end of the Mets' bullpen tunnel. Mejia is owned in 10.7 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, and is probably a better bet than most speculative closers.
Blue Jays CF Colby Rasmus (hamstring) is on the DL. Speedy Anthony Gose started in Rasmus' place on Thursday, but look for Kevin Pillar to get some time there as well.
Twins OF Josh Willingham (wrist) will begin a rehab assignment today, so he could be a week or so away from returning to Minnesota. The Twins might have some space available in their outfield soon, considering how unhappy they seem with Aaron Hicks. Yes, I know Hicks had a game-winning homer on Thursday. When your GM says you come to the park not knowing what pitcher you're facing, your job security is fragile.
The A's hope to get OF Coco Crisp (neck) back in the lineup sometime this weekend. In other A's news, new acquisition Kyle Blanks will be the righty half of a first-base platoon with Brandon Moss. If you're in an AL-only, and you're desperate for a few home runs from a corner infielder ...
The Rockes aim to get OF Michael Cuddyer and C Wilin Rosarioback from the DL very soon. Rosario starts a rehab assignment today and shouldn't need many at bats, while Cuddyer is targeting a Tuesday return.
Saturday is the 16th anniversary of David Wells' perfect game, which I attended with a few friends. It's still the best sporting event I've ever seen in person. I highly recommend going to a perfect game if you ever get the chance.