Zack Britton returned to the Yankees bullpen this past week and so far the results have been…mixed. After such a long absence, it makes sense that Britton’s having issues controlling his fastball, as he just hasn’t had much command of the pitch in his first three outings. He is really focusing on that pitch though, as he’s only thrown two sliders over 47 total pitches thrown so far. It’s also worth noting that Britton’s velocity has been down two mph (92.8 mph) which in turn is down four mph from his legendary 2016 campaign. It’s still early and he just returned from the IL but I do have my concerns with Britton going forward, but for those who have already invested, it’s worthwhile to wait and see this through the All-Star break.
- It looks as if Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak have swapped roles again, which is good news for both, as Karinchak has pitched much better in a setup role compared to trying to finish games. While he’s been limited to just five games this month (four against Baltimore), Clase has been fantastic in June, allowing just two hits over five innings to go with eight strikeouts and just one walk. The Orioles help those numbers, but it’s still nice to see just one walk allowed from Clase.
- Ian Kennedy returned from the IL this week after missing time with a hamstring injury. The Rangers are likely hoping to get another couple of quality outings from him before shipping him off to a contender prior to the trade deadline where his value in SV+HLD leagues may actually improve.
- Outside of the Diamondbacks, the two teams that really have been no help to boosting their closers fantasy value would be the Pirates and Orioles, which should come as no surprise. Richard Rodríguez has just one save over the past five-plus weeks, and despite being locked in as the teams closer, would benefit immensely in SV+HLD leagues with a trade to a better organization. As for Paul Fry, he didn’t come into the closer role until about a month ago, and he too has only seen one save in that time period. Unfortunately for Fry, he is likely stuck in Baltimore for the remainder of the season where saves will be hard to come by.
- Despite a near-blown save his last time out against the Royals, Michael Fulmer is back and looks great for the Tigers. His power sinker/slider combo should continue to play up at the back end of the bullpen, and with just one arbitration year remaining, he too could find himself on the move next month.
- It’s been a disappointing first season as a Met for Trevor May but it’s still too early to completely give up on him. His last two outings have been promising and I think that stems from his increased slider and changeup usage in those games. May’s been throwing his fastball over 55% of the time this year, a number that should probably come down about 10-15% for May to be at his most effective.
- Edwin Díaz and Craig Kimbrel led all relievers this past week with four SV+HLD’s (all saves) as the two continue their All-Star-worthy seasons. The two of them have arguably been the best closers over the past month or so, and hopefully, they will be able to keep this run of success going. A big key to both of their seasons and something I harp on constantly… walk rate. Both currently have their lowest respective walk rates since 2018 for Diaz and 2017 for Kimbrel.
|PITCHER||TIER||INJURY (EST. RETURN)|
|Nick Anderson||1/2||Elbow (August)|
|Trevor Rosenthal||2/3||Shoulder (August)|
|Drew Pomeranz||2/3||Lat (All-Star break)|
|Julian Merryweather||3/4||Oblique (All-Star break)|
|Michael Kopech||3/4||Hamstring (early July)|
|Corey Knebel||3/4||Triceps (late July)|
|Daniel Hudson||3/4||Elbow (July)|
|Rafael Dolis||4||Hand/Finger (July)|
|Jordan Hicks||4/5||Elbow (August)|
|J.B. Wendelken||6||Oblique (next week?)|
|Ryan Borucki||6||Forearm (early July)|
|Pedro Báez||6||Shoulder (July)|
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)