A popular breakout candidate last year, Raisel Iglesias indeed achieved a good deal of success in 2016 but it was out of the Reds' bullpen rather than in the rotation. He hit the DL with a shoulder impingement in early May and pitched exclusively in relief upon his return, and the team has already committed to Iglesias staying in the bullpen in 2017. While a permanent move to the bullpen should help preserve Iglesias' shoulder, he now has a firm ceiling on his fantasy upside as all relievers inherently do. Complicating matters is the fact that manager Bryan Price has suggested he will keep roles fluid at the back end, using his best relievers in the highest-leverage spots regardless of the inning, and sometimes for multiple frames. Iglesias was used for multiple innings out of the bullpen 17 times last season and while more innings mean more Ks and a greater weight on the ratios, it also means Iglesias may have to share save opportunities with the likes of Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen and Tony Cingrani.
Iglesias allowed a solo home run over two innings but collected his first win of the season against Milwaukee on Saturday. Iglesias collected a save in his previous three outings, and the run he allowed Saturday was the first he's surrendered this season. The converted starter has a 1.17 ERA and 0.65 WHIP with eight strikeouts through 7.2 innings. He's clearly not locked into a traditional ninth-inning role but should continue to receive the bulk of the save opportunities for the Reds. Additionally, Iglesias has eligibility as a starting pitcher in a lot of formats, which is a sneaky value boost.
Iglesias allowed one hit over 1.2 innings Tuesday to pick up his third save of the season in a 6-2 win over the Pirates. Reds manager Bryan Price continues to have no problems using Iglesias to get more than the standard three outs, which might be as much a reflection on the right-hander's setup crew as it is Price's confidence in him. He's locked in as Cinci's closer, and the additional innings he seems set to compile will give a slight boost to Iglesias' fantasy value if he can repeat last season's strong rate stats.
Iglesias threw two shutout innings against the Cardinals on Friday en route to his second save of the season. He allowed one walk and struck out three batters. After Michael Lorenzen worked the seventh, Iglesias enter the game and ultimately nailed down the win for rookie Amir Garrett. It was another dominant performance by Iglesias, who has thrown four scoreless frames with one hit allowed and six strikeouts through three appearances. Drew Storen got the save opportunity Thursday, but it seems fair to say at this point that Iglesias is the preferred ninth-inning option in this closer committee.
Iglesias gave up a hit and struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday to pick up his first save of the year in a 2-0 win over the Phillies. The Reds' nominal closer has looked good through his first couple of appearances this season after missing the latter part of training camp due to an elbow bruise. If Iglesias continues racking up saves and strikeouts, he should build up plenty of job security in an otherwise unsettled bullpen.
Iglesias (elbow) said he had no issues during his appearance in a minor-league game Friday and will be ready to go for the start of the season, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. Prior to Friday, Iglesias hadn't pitched in 17 days after he suffered a bone bruise in his throwing elbow stemming from a hard fall in the shower. He tossed a scoreless inning and felt his control and command were both on point during the outing, which gave the Reds enough confidence that he'd be ready to go for Opening Day. Because of the extended time off, Iglesias may only be used in one-inning scenarios to begin the season while he builds up arm strength, but manager Bryan Price envisions using both Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen as multi-inning relievers capable of finishing out games. Iglesias is still expected to see the lion's share of the save opportunities, however.
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