[closing_time_2019 list_id=”31269″ include_stats=”1″]
- Pedro Strop landed on the IL with a hamstring injury last week, opening up the Cubs closer job to Steve Cishek. Strop wasn’t exactly running away with the job prior to the injury, so now Cishek and his 127 career saves get the chance to. He won’t get a ton of swings and misses but induces plenty of weak contact and still gets the job done more often than not. The Cubs will almost certainly be in the market for a reliever at the deadline, but until they add someone I’d expect Cishek to take control of the 9th.
- With A.J. Minter out of the picture now, it’s Luke Jackson’s role to lose going forward it seems. His career numbers aren’t very promising, as he holds a 4.73 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over 129.1 IP but so far in 20 innings this season, he’s been able to up the K rate, lower his BB rate and his 13.3% SwStr is also a career high. There’s reason to think these changes could be here to stay as well, with an increase in fastball velocity, while also throwing the pitch much less than normal (down to 33%). He’s upped his slider usage more than 12% from last season, and 20% more than his career average. Despite the positive changes, I’m still skeptical he finishes the year as the team’s closer given the lack of trust in his fastball, but he’s worth owning, for now, to see how things play out.
- Hansel Robles continues to impress as the Angels closer, and it seems safe to say he’s not in any sort of committee anymore. Will it last remains to be seen as his current 10.42 K/9 and 2.37 BB/9 would be career highs in his 5 MLB season while the arsenal has mostly stayed the same.
- Chris Martin is currently in the driver’s seat for saves in Texas but I doubt it lasts through the week. Shawn Kelley, who’s dealing with an undisclosed infection, has been throwing and believes he will be activated on Thursday.