Tyler Chatwood is enjoying a rebirth to his career as a late-inning reliever, a trend we are starting to see more and more lately. Chatwood, albeit a small sample size, has been dominating hitters out of the bullpen, currently holding 38.3% K-BB and 42.7% Whiff rates over 13.1 innings pitched. Chatwood has increased his cutter usage by over 18% this season, all while continuing to throw his sinker 41.2% of the time, leading to a near 90% usage rate between his cutter and sinker. The cutter has been arguably his best pitch for some time now, so it’s great to see him make it his preferred offering and have success as a result. Even when (if?) the Jays bullpen gets healthy, Chatwood should still figure into high leverage work with only Jordan Romano and Rafael Dolis potentially in front of him.
- In an age where velocity and spin rates are everything, Yusmeiro Petit continues to defy the trend and just goes out and gets outs. Petit’s fastball tops out at 87 and he can barely get a spin rate over 2000 RPM’s but the guy has an ERA of 2.63 and WHIP of 0.93 over 310 innings since the 2017 season started. He does an excellent job commanding the strike zone and inducing weak contact and the lack of K upside limits his value, but Petit can certainly help with ratio’s and holds.
- A.J. Minter has been fine this year but with the return of Chris Martin, he probably figures to see fewer hold opportunities going forward. He’ll continue to battle with Tyler Matzek as the left-handed setup man for closer Will Smith, while Martin should quickly start working right in front of Smith as the team’s best right-handed reliever.
- Tanner Scott has been pretty good this year (minus the walk rate), but another Orioles lefty has been the better reliever of the two so far. Paul Fry has really helped fortify the Orioles bullpen and continues to impress after a strong, albeit short, 2020 campaign. Fry’s been able to add velocity to his pitches since 2019, adding 2.9MPH to his fastball since then and 1.5 MPH to his slider.
- It’s great to see Rex Brothers having success at the MLB level after pitching just 37.1 major league innings since 2014. It’s fair to wonder if the success will last but I’m digging how his current pitch mix is working so I’m holding out hope. Teammate Ryan Tepera also seems to be working his way into consistent high leverage work, and was someone I was high on heading into the season. He’s been hit around a bit this year, but that cutter can be a dominant pitch as seen last season.
- Just like Chatwood, Ryan Borucki has transitioned from a starter to full-time reliever quite nicely, gaining an almost Drew Pomeranz-like velocity boost moving into the bullpen, as his fastball is up 3.9 MPH from 2019, back when he was a starter. His slider is excellent too, currently with 55.9% Whiff 44.8% PutAway rates.
- Josh Sborz is back in the Rangers bullpen and hopefully here for good. Sborz should continue to see high leverage work and could be a candidate to take over for closer Ian Kennedy when the team trades him. His mid-upper 90’s fastball and power slider definitely scream future closer, and his statcast metrics back it up.
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