With the MLB season in full-swing, some bullpen hierarchies are becoming a lot clearer, while others have fallen apart. Though some managers may keep fantasy owners guessing, it is important to at least have an idea of who has a chance at a save and who is most likely not even going to appear in a game today. Don’t sleep on saves! In a shortened season, they all count that much more.
First, notes from last night and thoughts on today’s games:
- The Cubs and Cardinals continue to be postponed due to COVID. The Yankees and Rays have a double header and neither team has announced a starter for the second game of it, meaning both bullpens are likely to get a decent amount of work. Nick Anderson is likely available for one of the games despite working Friday night.
- Brett Anderson is slated to start for the Brewers on Saturday. In his last start, he lasted just three innings on 52 pitches. Five innings may not quite yet be in the cards for Anderson and the Brewers may again ask Corbin Burnes to piggy-back on Anderson’s start.
- Jake Odorizzi is back in Minnesota, however, his workload for today isn’t clear. If he isn’t able to go five innings, Lewis Thorpe would be the most likely long reliever and win vulture.
- Matt Foster has been named the starter for the White Sox Saturday, replacing Carlos Rodon’s spot in the rotation. It’s unclear how far into the game he might be able to go, which makes Ross Detwiler an interesting candidate to follow him and have a chance at a vultured win.
- It’s a battle of spot starters in Seattle as Nick Margevicius faces off against Ryan Castellani. There’s likely a win to be had somewhere in one of the bullpens. Jeff Hoffman is probably the most likely bet from Colorado to serve as a long-man, but with Yohan Ramirez and Erik Swanson both pitching Friday for Seattle, it’s unclear who might follow Margevicius in the middle innings and in what order.
- Joe Jimenez struck out the first two batters he faced, but proceeded to give up three straight hits, including a game-tying three-run homer to Adam Frazier in the bottom of the 9th. Despite his 7.50 ERA, this was just his first blown save in five chances this year and he’s likely to continue to be the first man up for save opportunities after a day of rest.
- Richard Rodriguez was tasked with preventing the Tigers from extending their three run lead in the ninth. He retired all three batters he faced on just 12 pitches and would likely be available again Saturday if needed.
- Alex Colome converted a clean save on just 11 pitches Friday night. Aaron Bummer and Evan Marshall both got holds and threw 20+ pitches. Colome only threw 11 pitches and is likely available Saturday. Bummer left the game with what’s been reported as biceps soreness, so it’s worth monitoring to see if he goes on the IL over the next few days.
- The Marlins turned to Nick Vincent for a five-out save Friday night, but only because Brad Boxberger had pitched the previous day and Brandon Kintzler the previous three. After three straight days of work, the Marlins may opt to give Kintzler another day off which would open the door for Boxberger to vulture a save Saturday if the opportunity arises. I’ll be keeping Kintzler yellow for one more day to reflect this.
- The Royals threw Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth and opted to use Greg Holland to get out of a two on, two out jam in the fifth. Rosenthal converted on the opportunity, retiring three Twins in order, including two on strikes. I’m not quite ready to make Rosenthal the sole guy on the closer line for the Royals, but I’m probably only one game away.
- The Red Sox used just about everybody from the back end of their bullpen. Brandon Workman only required 13 pitches, so he may be available Saturday despite also working on Wednesday. Matt Barnes needed 22 pitches to get through his frame and just 8 of them were for strikes, so if Workman isn’t available, the save opportunity may fall to Marcus Walden.
- In a close game with the Angels, the Rangers opted to use Jonathan Hernandez for four outs over the seventh and eighth innings and gave Rafael Montero the ball in the nineth; an opportunity he quickly seized with a clean inning including striking out Mike Trout to end the game. Nick Goody had pitched the day before, but he only threw seven pitches and was likely available. The closer situation in Texas continues to be fluid and is worth continuing to monitor.
- Both Liam Hendriks and Joakim Soria were called upon to protect a tie game last night. With Hendriks and Soria both having worked three of four games, my money is on Yusmeiro Petit to get the ball in the ninth inning tonight if there’s a save situation.
- The Astros were forced to throw both Ryan Pressly and Andre Scrubb for a second straight game to stay alive late. With the amount of work Astros bullpen has been getting recently, they could opt to be aggressive with their usage of Pressly and Scrubb, but if not, the late innings may go to Humberto Castellanos or Blake Taylor.
- The late innings went exactly according to plan for the Padres last night as they got scoreless innings from Drew Pomeranz and Emilio Pagan to set up Kirby Yates for the save in the ninth to complete the shutout. None of the three threw more than 20 pitches and all are likely available if needed again tonight.
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