With the MLB season in its final stretch run, some bullpen hierarchies have stayed steady, while others have become more and more muddled. 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.
- As of the writing of this article, it looks like MLB’s plan is to have the Giants and Padres, who have had their last two games canceled due to COVID-19, play a double-header today. The probables have not been announced, but with both teams coming off a multi-day break, their closers will be fresh and ready to go.
- Let’s start with wins, since there really isn’t much today. The only two probables that we could maybe consider openers are Ryan Castellani (Rockies) and Jonathan Stiever (White Sox). Castellani has only gone at least five innings in a start twice before. I would expect Chi Chi González to follow him, though González was brutal in his last appearance. Stiever is making his MLB debut and has never pitched above High A, so he will presumably be on a short leash. Gio González would likely follow and is by far the most attractive relief option to vulture a win for today’s games.
- As for saves, Diego Castillo got the save for the Rays, while Nick Anderson was called upon to pitch the 8th. Do not read into this. Anderson pitched the 8th because it was a one-run game and Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and JD Martinez were due up. Anderson still figures to get most saves going forward for the Rays.
- Similarly, Anthony Bass pitched the 8th inning Saturday to face Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith, and Robinson Cano. Rafael Dolis then came in for the save. This is perhaps a little more interesting than the Anderson/Castillo situation that unfolded for Tampa Bay, but I expect Bass to get Toronto’s next save.
- Of the three names listed as the Orioles’ closer on the chart, only Hunter Harvey pitched yesterday and he only threw 8 pitches. The O’s next save will be given to anyone’s best guess.
- Taylor Rogers has thrown the last two days in a row and nearly 30 pitches in the process. Sergio Romo is probably in line for a save today but Rogers has pitched three-straight days in the past.
- Greg Holland, Scott Barlow, and even Josh Staumont have all pitched two-straight days and have all thrown over 30 pitches combined over those days. Holland earned saves the last two days, but it could be an interesting day for the Royals bullpen if all three are unavailable. The only one who, for certain, we can say is unavailable is Barlow. He’s thrown over 40 pitches the last two days including 25 last night.
- Matt Andriese earned the save for the Angels last night, but there is nothing to read into there since it was in the 11th inning. It is worth noting, though, that Ty Buttrey pitched for the third straight game in that one and is definitely unavailable today. This opens the door for a Felix Peña save.
- Mark Melancon also threw for the third straight day on Saturday, creating an opportunity for Will Smith to earn a save today.
- Craig Kimbrel earned a save last night, giving up two hits in 1.0 IP. Both Jeremy Jeffress and Rowan Wick had pitched the two days before, so they were presumably unavailable. Jeffress should resume the closer role today.
- Kimbrel’s save came after Josh Hader imploded. He threw 26 pitches and gave up four earned runs. Devin Williams is probably in line for a save opportunity today if Hader is unavailable, but he has thrown 30 pitches himself the last two days.
- It was a brutal night for Kenley Jansen. He pitched 0.0 IP and gave up 4 ER. He threw 21 pitches and should be available today, but if the Dodgers decide to give their veteran closer a break, Blake Treinen would be in line for a save.
- Daniel Bard has thrown 36 pitches over the last two days. I would not be surprised to see Carlos Estévez get a save opportunity today if one arises.
Bullpen Depth Charts