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/Cardinals game has been postponed. They will not play today.
- The Phillies and Braves will play a double-header. There aren’t many games today that look opportunistic to find a vultured win from, so best of luck if you need a W today. Vince Velasquez takes the ball in Game 1 for the Phillies and rarely goes deep into games. Meanwhile, rookie Huascar Ynoa will make his starting and season debut for the Braves, and might have a quick hook with it being his season debut.
- Things got messy for Jalen Beeks in the final inning of the first Yankees/Rays game yesterday. Nick Anderson was called upon to earn the one-out save, getting MVP front-runner Aaron Judge to fly out (he only threw eight pitches, but has made two-straight appearances [23 pitches]). Oliver Drake has not earned a save since July 28.
- Cole Sulser was called upon to pitch the 8th inning, not the 9th, while the Orioles had a 2-run lead. Miguel Castro earned the save. While this is eye-brow raising, it should be noted that Sulser was brought in to face the Nationals’ 2, 3, and 4 hitters. Clearly, he is viewed internally as their top option in the pen.
- Over the last two days, Trevor Rosenthal has thrown 2.1 IP. He’s hit 99mph multiple times, struck out Nelson Cruz twice, and earned two saves in that time frame. While those 31 pitches over those two days probably rule him out for a save today, he is very clearly “the guy” in Kansas City.
- Liam Hendriks has pitched three days in a row.
- Taylor Williams only threw eight pitches last night, but neither Dan Altavilla nor Carl Edwards made an appearance. I would guess one of those two gets a crack at a save today.
- Daniel Hudson was brutal last night, surrendering a walk and two hits, including a three-run go-ahead homer to Anthony Santander. Hudson and Doolittle combined for 1.0 IP and 3 HR. Otherwise, Hudson has been awesome this season in the early going. While this most certainly wasn’t a job-losing performance, the 26 pitches he threw probably means Tanner Rainey could be in for a save today. He only threw 10 pitches last night in a perfect inning and struck out two.
- Stephen Strasburg is going to make his season debut and according to his manager, his pitch count is going to be watched very closely. This could be an opportunity to vulture a win for Erick Fedde.
- Steven Brault is taking the mound for the Pirates. The longest he has gone in an outing so far this season is three innings. It is not known who would likely follow Brault, though, since long-man Chad Kuhl just threw four innings on Friday. My money would be on Chris Stratton.
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