After a fantastic start to the season, Trevor Stephan hit a bit of a rough patch from May through early-mid June. But over the past two months, he’s back to being one of the Guardians’ must trusted relievers. Despite allowing 21 hits over those 22.1 IP, Stephan has allowed just 3 earned runs while striking out 34 and walking just 4. More importantly, six of his ten holds on the season have come over the past three weeks as Terry Francona is willing to turn to him in more higher leverage situations now.
- With Clay Holmes landing on the IL with a back issue the door is open for Aroldis Chapman to return to the closer role, but we shouldn’t count out Scott Effross just yet. Effross has pitched well since the Yankees acquired him at the deadline, and no matter what his role winds up being in the short term, he should be on your radar in all leagues that count holds.
- A week after featuring Rafael Montero, he gets pushed down the list quite a bit after posting back to back terrible outings in which he allowed 5 hits, 5 earned runs and 3 walks while getting just one out against the Athletics and White Sox. That’s obviously cause for some concern, but while regression was always likely, there’s no need to rush to drop him quite yet.
- A few weeks ago I talked about Griffin Jax and Eli Morgan as SP eligible holds options who had been slumping, and since then the two have gone in two different directions. Jax appears to have figured things out and gotten back on track, and despite the additions the Twins made at the deadline, still has been able to pick up two holds this past week. Morgan, on the other hand, has no SV+HLD’s this month.
- Tanner Scott appears to be holding on to the closer role in Miami by a thread at this point, potentially leaving the door open for someone like Steven Okert to slide into the role eventually. Okert also has his own issues with walking batters, but over his last 11.2 IP, has allowed just two while striking out 18.
- Jonathan Hernández seems to have the confidence of interim manager Tony Beasley but José Leclerc has been quite good of late as well. Over his last 6.1 innings, Leclerc has allowed just one hit while compiling a 7/1 K/BB ratio and even recording a save his last time out. With Joe Barlow returning this week, this bullpen should be a strength for the Rangers.
- Carl Edwards Jr. appears to be in a closer committee with Kyle Finnegan in Washington, and while Finnegan may get he majority of opportunities (which may be few and far between for this team), I still think I’d slightly prefer rostering Edwards Jr. right now (despite the 1.60 WHIP over the past two months) given his strikeout ability.
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Speaking of SP-eligible relievers, what do we make of Jimmy Lambert? He’s been particularly effective over the last 30 days and has worked into somewhat consistent high-leverage work.