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.
- There are currently five double headers (DET @ MIN, CIN @ PIT, TOR @ BOS, WAS @ ATL, and NYY @ BAL), so expect most prominent relievers on those ten teams to get some work in.
- While neither picked up a decision, both Nik Turley and Richard Rodríguez put in some work for the Pirates. Neither allowed a hit nor a run, and I think it’s safe to say that for as long as they stay productive, Rodríguez will be the closer with Turley as the set-up man and first-in-line for saves should Rodríguez be unavailable.
- Craig Kimbrel threw a clean inning with two strikeouts on just eight pitches. It’s still a committee, but I have to imagine that Kimbrel is the lowest on the list until he puts together a few more outings with no walks.
- Daniel Hudson technically got the blown save for the Nationals despite 1.2 innings of work with no hits, no runs, and two strikeouts. How? He came on in the eighth with the bases loaded and one out, then got Andrew McCutchen to hit into a fielder’s choice. The run scored, but Hudson actually did quite well to clean up the mess Will Harris made (who, despite allowing two hits, an earned run, and a walk managed to come away with a hold). Sean Doolittle came on in the tenth, but walked two batters and allowed an unearned run to take the loss. I don’t think anything changed in the bullpen, but what a weird set of results.
- Hector Neris struck out the side in his one inning of work, but he might still be third in the pecking order for the Phillies with the arrival of David Phelps at the deadline.
- The Mets are going to need to hope that Rick Porcello can go the distance today, as almost their entire bullpen was used to follow the very short outing by Robert Gsellman. Jeurys Familia, Miguel Castro, Justin Wilson, and Edwin Díaz each tossed more than 20 pitches, with Díaz throwing 32. He’s probably not available today, and the most likely candidate for a save that I can think of is former Orioles closer Brad Brach.
- Felix Peña made his case to be the Angels closer with a perfect ninth inning and his first save of the season. He only threw nine pitches, but he’s thrown two nights in a row so Ty Buttrey is the more likely save candidate for tonight.
- The Red Sox lost this one in extras, but it was no fault of closer Matt Barnes, who allowed just one hit while striking out three in his one inning of work. He’s gone on back-to-back days, but with just 23 combined pitches in those two innings of work and a pair of back-to-back outings by Ryan Brasier (which required considerably more pitches), I think the Red Sox might be willing to use him again in this double header if needed. If not, Austin Brice or Josh Taylor would get the call.
- Blake Treinen continued his excellent season, tossing a scoreless inning with one hit allowed to lower his ERA to 1.04 and maintaining his 0.98 WHIP on the season. The strikeout numbers aren’t as eye-popping as they were in 2018, but he’s been effective enough to helps us start forgetting his rough 2019.
Bullpen Depth Charts