Héctor Neris hasn’t been the best pitcher in this Astros bullpen, but he continues to see work as the teams primary set up man. Ryne Stanek and Rafael Montero have had career first halves, but we could see some second half regression take place. Montero’s secondary’s are not getting swings and misses while Stanek continues to have control issues. Neris has always been one to allow for hard contact, but he’s also able to get whiffs at a high rate (life of a fastball/splitter guy) and has typically been a better second half pitcher over his career. While Stanek and Montero are closing the gap, I still have confidence in Neris being the reliever to roster in holds leagues for the rest of the season.
- With Kenley Jansen landing on the IL with an irregular heartbeat, the Braves will turn to Will Smith and A.J. Minter to close out games for the foreseeable future. While Minter received the first save chance, Smith picked up a save in last night’s game and I think given his track record, may see the majority of chances. It certainly doesn’t hurt Minter’s value any in holds leagues and should boost others in this bullpen like Colin McHugh. Also worth mentioning is that Tyler Matzek is on track to return next week.
- It looks like the Mariners may actually commit to Paul Sewald as their closer, and even if that’s the case, it shouldn’t dampen Diego Castillo’s value much in leagues that count holds. In fact, it would be nice to have some sort of set roles for this bullpen, as Andrés Muñoz and Erik Swanson should also be in the mix for holds moving forward. Ken Giles doesn’t seem quite ready to contribute in a high leverage spot quite yet, with his velocity down over 2 mph from when we last saw him.
- Two 8+ year veterans who are still dominating the end of ball games moved into the top 20 this week in Andrew Chafin and Brad Boxberger. Chafin is his same old self as a sinker balling lefty with a big-time swing and miss slider (59.7% Whiff rate) while Boxberger has continued to build off his 2021 campaign inducing weak contact despite not missing a ton of bats.
- The Dodgers bullpen received another big blow last week as Daniel Hudson will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL. With Blake Treinen already sidelined, this leaves a pretty sizable gap to get the ball to Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. My favorite to fill this void right now is Evan Phillips who has been one of the most underrated relievers in baseball this season. Brusdar Graterol should also see his high leverage usage increase, and don’t forget about Reyes Moronta.
- Aroldis Chapman is expected to return to the Yankees bullpen in the next day or two, and while it likely won’t be in a closer role, he should still factor into some hold opportunities. Perhaps not working in the ninth inning of games will take less pressure of Chapman and he’ll perform better but at the end of the day, he needs to command his stuff more consistently to get back to being an elite reliever again.
- Emilio Pagán’s time as the Twins closer should be officially over after the reliever failed to secure a three-run lead in the bottom of the tenth inning yesterday, allowing a hit and walk while getting one out and pushing his ERA up over 5. Jhoan Duran worked both the 8th and 9th innings, and should see the bulk of the save chances moving forward with Griffin Jax as the team’s top setup option.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)