Consistently great closers may not get talked about enough, but that’s not necessarily bad. Emmanuel Clase has been one of my favorite relievers this year because he is exactly what you want in a closer. April was a bit of a rocky start to the season, but Clase has allowed just one run over his last 26 innings to go with a 29/2 K/BB rate. While he was only able to muster up seven saves over the first two months of the season, Clase has been on a roll in June with ten saves, which leads the league. I know some were getting restless with the underappreciated Clase after the first month of the season, but those who stuck with him are reaping the rewards now.
- Clay Holmes has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season, and while Aaron Boone hasn’t come out and said he’ll remain the closer once Aroldis Chapman returns, it would be shocking if he were to turn back to Chapman in the role at this point. Holmes has been a machine this season, with his 82.4% GB rate (not a typo) on track to be the highest in the Majors since 2002.
- Jhoan Duran continues to dominate in a relief role, even working the ninth inning in Sunday’s game to earn his fifth save of the season. Interestingly, Emilio Pagán entered in the 6th inning of this game. Pagán has allowed seven earned runs this month but does have a 12/1 K/BB ratio and a WHIP of just .96. I still think this is a timeshare at best for Duran, but his arrow is pointing upward again. EDIT: After blowing another save Tuesday, I’m swapping Duran and Pagán.
- After it looked like Diego Castillo was the favorite for saves in Seattle, perhaps the tide has turned back towards Paul Sewald who picked up the Mariners’ two saves this past week. Castillo has been excellent in June, but Sewald hasn’t been too shabby himself and as the most consistent option in this bullpen, he may be able to settle into the closer role as long as Castillo is pitching well in front of him.
- It appears that Lou Trivino is back in the closer role for the Athletics and while the ratios are pretty gross, Trivino’s 31.1% K rate is at least interesting. I wouldn’t get too excited here, but I can see him being worth a look in deeper leagues where saves are hard to come by. Just know what your getting yourself into and don’t be afraid to cut bait when things fall apart.
EDIT: Kenley Jansen was placed on the IL earlier today with an irregular heartbeat, a recurring and obviously rather serious issue. Will Smith has experience as the Braves closer and will likely be the choice in the ninth for as long as Jansen is out.
|1.||Diego Castillo||SEA||Back in a committee with Sewald?|
|2.||Giovanny Gallegos||STL||Pagan may be losing ground here|
|3.||Emilio Pagán||MIN||Losing ground to Duran now?|
|4.||Jason Adam||TB||Could be RH complement to Poche|
|5.||Alexis Díaz||CIN||could return this week…|
|6.||Brad Hand||PHI||could steal some saves from Seranthony|
|7.||John Schreiber||BOS||the closer to begin the week in Boston|
|8.||A.J. Puk||OAK||not a ton of faith in Trivino|
|9.||Joe Kelly||CWS||could form a committee with Graveman?|
|10.||Aroldis Chapman||NYY||never know, but likely won’t close again|
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Have generally heard that the Mariners like to pitch Sewald against the heart of the order / best hitters in high leverage situations. So if it (for instance) 2/3/4 in the lineup comes up in the 8th, he pitches in the 8th. If 7/8/9 come up in the 8th, he’ll pitch the 9th to take on the top and/or heart. Explains some of the variability.
I’ve heard that too but in his last save he faced the 5-6-7 hitters in the ninth (Stassi, Duffy, Marsh) with Munoz facing 2-3-4 (Trout, Ohtani, Walsh) in the eighth. The day before was the same thing, Sewald vs 5-6-7 in the ninth and Castillo vs 2-3-4 in the eighth. So I’m not sure what to think anymore about this timeshare.
And of course he gets another save last night. Having Sewald rostered in my primary league, I just shrug my shoulders and enjoy the good ratios/WHIP. Otherwise I drive myself crazy.