Fantasy baseball reliever watch: Stock up, stock down

Will Evan Phillips be able to hold on for more saves once Daniel Hudson returns for the Los Angeles Dodgers? Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Evan Phillips was one of the noteworthy breakout relief pitchers of 2022 when, in his fifth big league season and performing for his fourth franchise, he learned to throw a cutter and suddenly posted a 1.14 ERA and an 0.76 WHIP over 63 innings. Fantasy managers tend to notice numbers such as those, even when there are few saves involved. Phillips, 28, should have been more popular in ESPN standard drafts this season but, perhaps fantasy managers preferred more saves.

Well, Phillips is having another tremendous season for the Dodgers this year, adding double-digit saves to his considerable numbers, even though he is occasionally utilized in an eighth-inning role, depending on game context and who is batting for the opponent. This is wise bullpen management, because as we saw with the beleaguered New York Mets in Philadelphia on Sunday, saving your closer for a save chance that may not come when the game is being cruelly lost in the eighth inning is not so smart.