With Andrew Kittredge landing on the IL, look for things to open up more for J.P. Feyereisen to take on a more significant role. He’s been the Rays best reliever so far this season and has yet to allow an earned run over 21 innings. I’ve been moving Feyereisen up slowly as it feels like he hasn’t been given enough hold chances this year, but looking deeper into this trend, he isn’t the only one. We are now through seven weeks and only four relievers have 10 or more holds (ten have 10 or more saves). That seems awfully low, and to me validates chasing skill/upside over trying to find any consistency here. If most set up men are averaging one hold per week, I better be getting positive ratio help and some strikeouts with it.
- Aaron Bummer returned from the IL this week and should slide back into a setup role. He had gotten off to a rough start this year but we know the kind of skill/upside he brings when he is healthy. Speaking of staying healthy in this bullpen, Joe Kelly had been looking great recently but left last night’s game with a hamstring issue. For now, it looks like he should avoid IL time, but keep an eye out for updates.
- Emilio Pagán is having his best season since 2019, and whether it be closing out games or setting up Jhoan Duran, he has been mostly effective. He’s added a new splitter this year that he is throwing 18.6% of the time, and while that has produced more swings and misses, it is worth noting his walk rate has jumped to 15.5%. That will need to come down for him to sustain this success, as it should while he gets more comfortable with his new repertoire.
- The Tigers seem to have found the back end of their bullpen with Alex Lange, Michael Fulmer, and Andrew Chafin getting the ball to Gregory Soto. This is a bit of a rare scenario where I actually prefer the three set up guys to the closer, and it looks like the Tigers may feel the same way after all three worked after Soto yesterday, despite it being a 10-inning game.
- Taylor Rogers has been the only consistent piece of the Padres bullpen so far, as getting the ball to him has been an issue. Robert Suarez has looked better lately and could move back into the holds mix, especially as the team seems to be souring on Steven Wilson. Suarez’s 32.5% K rate may be deceiving as his Whiff rate (20.9%) is one of the lowest among relievers.
- I tend to be biased against the sidewinder/submariner community, but they can certainly be effective relievers as we’ve seen with Adam Cimber and Joe Smith this season, as well as Tyler Rogers despite allowing 11 runs over his last 3.1 innings. The lack of strikeouts really hurts, especially if they are only getting one, maybe two holds a week but the groundball ability usually keeps their floor relatively high.
- Speaking of sidewinder relievers, the Red Sox bullpen could really use a lot of help right about now and it may come from a journeyman in John Schreiber. Schreiber is a sinker/slider specialist and while I can’t picture him closing out games on a regular basis, he could fit into the role Ryan Brasier entered the year with. I already trust him more than Hansel Robles, and if Matt Barnes can get/stay “right”, they may have a solid group in Barnes, Schreiber, Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm.
Photo by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)