Kendall Graveman has been relatively effective in his first season with the White Sox, but a look under the hood reveals he may run into issues down the line. Graveman’s 18.3% Whiff rate is one of the worst on this list, and while he does produce plenty of groundballs (58.5%), that’s still putting a lot of pressure on your defense behind you. But with Joe Kelly back on the IL, Aaron Bummer just returning from the IL, and José Ruiz fading out of the picture, the White Sox will need to rely on their big offseason acquisition.
- The Yankees have lost Chad Green, Jonathan Loáisiga, and Aroldis Chapman all within the last week, leaving them very thin at the back end of the bullpen. Clay Holmes will be closing out games for now, and the team will need to rely on Michael King more than ever. That could also be an issue as King has allowed five earned over his last 1.2 innings of work. Miguel Castro has been very mediocre this season, so if King struggles, the Yankees may be forced to throw someone like Ron Marinaccio into the fire as their top setup option.
- The Red Sox bullpen remains in flux as just when I thought Matt Barnes was getting back to normal, he goes out last night and walks four batters (the velocity was a plus though!?). I wonder if the best course of action here is to go with Jake Diekman in the closer role with John Schreiber and Matt Strahm in set up roles because I don’t think you can trust anyone else right now.
- If I asked what reliever is currently in the 99th percentile or better in Whiff rate, xERA, xBA, xwOBA, xSLG, and Fastball Spin, I doubt Jason Adam would be your first guess. But here we are with the Rays getting the most out of yet another journeyman reliever and while Adam has flashed this upside in the past, I never expected these types of numbers. With Andrew Kittredge out, Adam should be more of a factor at the end of games for the Rays, but there are still plenty of options there for Kevin Cash to turn to.
- Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Pressly were the only relievers with 3 SV+HLD over the past week (all saves). I mentioned yesterday how holds are down across the board in baseball as teams are using more than just two or three relievers in late-inning high leverage roles now. That seems like a good thing for the game of baseball, but not so much for these rankings.
|Aroldis Chapman||3-4||Achilles. The injury isn’t expected to keep Chapman out much longer than the 15 days but his role may be different upon returning.|
|Andrew Kittredge||3-4||Back. Also expected to miss just the minimum amount of time, Kittredge should return in a high leverage role in two weeks.|
|Drew Pomeranz||3-5||Flexor Tendon. On the 60 day IL so don’t expect to see him until June/July. Playing catch now|
|Nick Anderson||3-5||UCL. Still likely out until (at least) the All-Star break. Has thrown of the mound some.|
|Ken Giles||3-5||Finger tendon injury. Moved to the 60 day IL, cleared to resume throwing though.|
|Kirby Yates||3-5||TJS. Don’t expect to see Yates until after the All-Star break (at the earliest). Has been throwing off a mound.|
|Blake Treinen||3-5||Shoulder. Now out until after the All-Star break.|
|Jonathan Loáisiga||3-5||Shoulder. Its uncertain how long he will be out, but shoulder issues are never great.|
|José Leclerc||4-6||TJS. On the 60 day IL, expect a late June/July return|
|Jonathan Hernández||4-6||TJS. On the 60 day IL, expect a late June/July return|
|Pete Fairbanks||4-6||Torn Lat. Tough break for Fairbanks who will now miss at least 3 months of the season. Look for him to be back around the All-Star break.|
|Trevor May||4-6||Arm. Stress reaction will cause May to miss a minimum of 8-12 weeks. Could return in August.|
|Lucas Sims||4-6||Back. Will miss the next two weeks at least with a bulging disc. Likely June ETA.|
|Tim Mayza||4-6||Forearm. Mayza is optimistic he will only spend 15 days on the IL but forearms are tricky.|
|Tyler Matzek||4-6||Shoulder. Matzek has been shut down from throwing and likely wont return until July.|
|James Karinchak||5-6||Shoulder. A teres muscle strain has shut down Karinchak until June at the earliest.|
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Any off-the-radar guys who have a chance of cracking the top 15 this year? Who should I be keeping an eye on? Thanks!
Huge fan of this article. Are we going to get one for last week?
Rick was recovering from COVID and will have an update next week.
Thanks for letting us know. Was wondering what the hold up was, but that explains it. Wishing him a speedy recovery!