Génesis Cabrera has entrenched himself as the secondary setup option for the Cardinals this season, but due to his ability to induce weak contact (85.2 avg. exit velo) and groundballs (48%) rather than striking hitters out. While the velocity has come down 1.5 MPH on average this season, it has brought his walk rate down with it, going from 16.7% in 2020, to 12.2% in 2021 and just 7% this season. For a lefty who still sits in the high 90’s with his fastball, Cabrera definitely underwhelms in the swing-and-miss department (24% Whiff rate). The changeup has become a weapon against righties (41.5% Whiff) while his curveball does its job against lefties. Similar to Gregory Soto who I talked about earlier in the week, as long as the walk rate stays down, there should be value here even if the strikeout numbers aren’t what we had hoped they would be.
- The Phillies have removed Corey Knebel from the closer role for the time being, opting to go with a committee approach in the ninth moving forward. Seranthony Domínguez and Brad Hand are probably the favorites to split the duties here, but Connor Brogdon has also pitched really well as of late.
- Erik Swanson, Tim Mayza, and Joe Kelly each returned from the IL this past week, and should all go back into some sort of high leverage work for their respective teams. Kelly in particular is needed in Chicago with Liam Hendriks landing on the IL with the dreaded forearm strain.
- The Giants bullpen has undergone a bit of a reshuffling as of late, with Camilo Doval getting usage outside of the ninth inning and Dominic Leone replacing Tyler Rogers in high leverage situations. Jake McGee is also back and looking better, and could become a consistent factor in holds leagues once again.
- It looks like Tanner Houck will get a chance to lock down the closer role in Boston, but who will be the team’s top lefty option out of the pen between Matt Strahm and Jake Diekman? Strahm looks like the preferred option for now but that could change in a weekend. Austin Davis has been quietly effective as well here.
- Anthony Bass, despite not pitching all that great over the past month, still may be the most consistent reliever for the Marlins, and probably deserves a chance to be this team’s closer. Maybe they prefer someone with a better fastball in the role, but this is also a Marlins team who has had AJ Ramos, Steve Cishek, Dylan Floro, Yimi García, Brandon Kintzler, Sergio Romo, and Brad Ziegler closing out games over the past ten years.
- June has been really rough on Mychal Givens as he’s allowed six earned runs on five hits while walking six over just 3.2 innings pitched. Givens does have a history of command issues, so this may not just be an unlucky stretch. This entire Cubs bullpen has been problematic much of the season so Givens should still get chances to be a factor late in tight games.
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)