Ryan Helsley has been dominant since returning from the IL at the start of the month (2 H, 3 BB, 0 R, 12 K’s over 8.1 IP), which is a bit surprising given how poorly his rehab went and how many setbacks there were.
Even more surprising is how the team has been using him, as he has now pitched on back-to-back days three times since returning and even wound up working 1.1 innings last night after pitching the previous day. He now has five saves for the month and there appear to be no limitations moving forward.
- Alexis Díaz collected his first two saves of the month this past week but still has just five total since the trade deadline. Diaz had a forgettable August overall but has been throwing better in September, allowing just one earned run over 6.2 innings. The strikeouts have been down for a while now, with Diaz having a 44% K rate over his first 31 IP (2.47 xFIP, 17.3% SwStr, 32% CSW) and a 21% K rate over his last 33.1 IP (5.15 xFIP, 13.1% SwStr, 24.3% CSW).
- Evan Phillips has gotten off to a slow start in September with just two saves but overall has pitched fine, allowing zero earned runs (but five unearned runs). I’m not concerned with him despite some recent results, and he’s not so much moving down this week as others are moving up.
- Camilo Doval’s struggles continue and move him down the ranks this week as he now has a 5.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over his past 18 IP. He’s also only managed 6 saves over that span (dating back to late July) and has struck out only 16 hitters since August began. Taylor Rogers bailed him out the other night and could potentially see some save chances down the stretch.
- Carlos Hernández has been terrible since the Royals traded Scott Barlow away, and his chances to hold on to the closer role for next season are dwindling by the minute. Taylor Clarke has actually picked up the Royals’ past two saves and looks like the favorite to see chances the rest of the way.
And if you want more daily reliever updates, please check out our Reliever Ranks series
|1.||José Alvarado||PHI||Looks like he may be in a committee with Kimbrel now.|
|2.||Hunter Harvey||WAS||Finnegan struggling again, could Harvey still regain the job?|
|3.||Taylor Rogers||SF||Giants are fighting for the last Wild Card spot, and Doval isn’t helping.|
|4.||Matt Brash||SEA||Could be more involved in the 9th inning as option 1B.|
|5.||Jason Foley||DET||Still hard to trust Lange with his command issues.|
|6.||Mark Leiter Jr.||CHC||Could split the closer role with Merryweather.|
|7.||Will Smith||TEX||No idea who the closer is, but Smith has not pitched well recently.|
|8.||Gregory Santos||CWS||I still like the skills but may be more of a 2024 target at this point.|
|9.||Carlos Hernández||KC||I still like the skills but may be more of a 2024 target at this point.|
|10.||Brooks Raley||NYM||Timeshare with Ottavino (and others) for now seems likely.|