Josh Staumont is the latest Royals pitcher to record a save, but despite the team using six different relievers to close out games this year, Staumont seems likely to stick in the role here for a while. A popular breakout pick entering the season, Staumont has done a better job limiting walks (10.2% BB rate) but I’m not quite sure everything is fine under the hood. His velocity being down is a small concern, and it has led to him not getting the swings and misses on his fastball like he was accustomed to. I also do not love his pitch arsenal charts here either, but it helps explain the lack of whiffs and lowered walk rate. So why did he move up 20 spots? Well, the stuff is starting to come around, it seems, and while his last four outings have come against the Tigers and Pirates, he was still pretty dominant in each of those appearances, with his fastball averaging 98+ MPH. For now, I’d label Staumont as a volatile late-inning option, but he is certainly trending upward.
- I feel like I mention the Reds bullpen every single day, but we need to talk about Tejay Antone a little more. He’s upped his slider and curveball usage this season, now throwing the two 68% of the time, which has led to a huge uptick in his whiff rate (39.8%). The team will likely continue using him in multi-inning outings, but that doesn’t mean he won’t grab the occasional save (or hold) each week while helping with ratios and K’s. I still prefer Lucas Sims, but for those of you in leagues where SP eligible relievers are a luxury, Antone may be the best of the best there.
- While Michael Kopech is not too far behind Antone, and now that he is back in the bullpen, it will certainly be interesting to see if his usage changes at all following two dazzling starts. Like Antone, he may be the second-best pitcher in that bullpen, but it’s tough to tell if he will factor into a ton of SV+HLD chances at the moment. Either way, he deserves to be on your roster for the ratio and K help alone, and added holds would be gravy.
- The entire Rockies bullpen has been struggling this season, and now even Daniel Bard is being affected, allowing runs in four of his last five appearances. One member of that bullpen who has yet to really implode is Mychal Givens, who may be working his way into some save chances if Bard has another meltdown. Givens isn’t a must-roster player, but he doesn’t walk many guys and has an above-average K rate.
- Two rookies who deserve your attention immediately are Garrett Whitlock and Camilo Doval. Doval already has three holds since being called up on the 18th and has the prospect pedigree you like to see in a potential high leverage reliever. As for Whitlock, he looks like the steal of the Rule 5 draft and is starting to get some late-inning usage, as evidenced by his two holds over the past week. Whitlock currently holds a 33.3% K-BB% rate and .204 xwOBA, both elite numbers.
- It certainly has been a trying year for Evan Marshall so far, who has bounced up and down this list, but the fact of the matter is that his curveball is just not the same this year and the White Sox have other options in that bullpen (Kopech, Codi Heuer, Aaron Bummer), so they don’t need him in high leverage situations. It’s crazy to see that Marshall, who arguably had the best curveball in baseball last year (58.5% Whiff rate) has yet to earn a single whiff with the pitch this season over 42 pitches thrown. His other secondary offering, his changeup, has also been hit around pretty well in the early going.
- J.P. Feyereisen and Devin Williams led the league in SV+HLD’s the past week with four apiece. It’s nice to see Williams getting back on track here but he’s far from the dominant reliever we saw last year. His walk rate is way up and the 1.55 WHIP is nothing to get excited about, but at least the swing and miss stuff is still present.
5/1 EDIT: Removed Darren O’Day following news of his rotator cuff injury
|PITCHER||TIER||INJURY (EST. RETURN)|
|Nick Anderson||1/2||Elbow (All-Star break)|
|Trevor Rosenthal||2/3||Shoulder (July at earliest)|
|Julian Merryweather||3/4||Oblique (late May)|
|Seth Lugo||3/4||Elbow (May)|
|Pete Fairbanks||4||Rotator Cuff (May)|
|Zack Britton||4/5||Elbow (early June)|
|Archie Bradley||5||Oblique (May)|
|Chris Martin||5||Shoulder (next week?)|
|Garrett Crochet||5/6||Back (late May?)|
|Corey Knebel||5/6||Triceps (June)|
|Wander Suero||6/7||Oblique (May)|
|Keone Kela||7||Shoulder (May?)|
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)