This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Earlier this season, we took a look at a few teams struggling to find answers in the bullpen. As the year has progressed, it has become painfully obvious to MLB and fantasy teams that a reliable bullpen, front to back, is critical to success. As many starting pitchers were kept at the trade deadline, the scramble was on for help in the endgame – an "endgame" that has been happening earlier and earlier.
Bullpen role shifts result from both additions and subtractions
There were more additions in the National League, but a few subtractions in the American League are also contributing to role shifts with fantasy implications. Part of it is likely the apparent security felt by Houston and the Yankees. Only the AL Central title looks like it could come down to the wire. The Twins made minor adjustments, while the surging Indians held onto their ace closer, Brad Hand. This has been a wild year in both rotations and bullpens, but it's probably not settled yet. There are still shaky situations with more potential adjustments to come. Let's take a look at some bullpen assignments in the AL and see how they stack up for a postseason push:
Here are some AL bullpen scenarios to keep an eye on: