The Rays have been known to play games with their bullpen usage and keep people guessing as to who will get the ball in the ninth, but since May 25th, Colin Poche is the only reliever to have more than one save as he now has five on the season. Yes, there are five other relievers with a save over this time span, but Poche is clearly the “favorite” for manager Kevin Cash and it’s easy to see why. Poche doesn’t mess around, throwing his fastball 80% of the time and challenging hitters. Despite this usage, Poche has been able to keep hitters off balance and limit hard contact (86.9 AEV) while still getting them to chase out of the zone (35.4% Chase). The K rate will likely continue to suffer given this approach, but it’s hard to complain with the ratios and SV+HLD help he has been providing so far this season.
- It’s been a rough week for David Bednar who blew a save on Saturday against the Rays (.2 IP, 2 H, 2BB, 2ER), then missed a few days with a back injury, then returned to almost blow another save yesterday against the Brewers (.2 IP, 4 H, BB, 3 ER). His velocity is fine, but his command has been an issue and with that lingering back injury affecting his results, you have to wonder if an IL stint is coming in the near future.
- While the Cardinals continue to find ways to win games, the bullpen has not had much of a chance to rack up SV+HLD’s lately, with Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos combining for just four saves in June. Génesis Cabrera is currently on the Covid IL but once he and Jordan Hicks return, this bullpen has the potential to be the best in baseball, assuming everyone is healthy. It will also be interesting to see what role Hicks will have the rest of the season as he transitions back to the bullpen, but I’m thinking it will be similar to how the Yankees have used Chad Green/Michael King.
- It’s that time of year when we start to see pitchers going on and off the IL on a regular basis. Liam Hendriks, Alexis Díaz, and Tyler Matzek should be the next ones off the Injured List below, but as we’ve seen multiple times before, their proposed time to return is almost next accurate, as teams are more cautious than ever these days. While Hendriks himself wants to return this Monday, the team could delay that to give him some more time to ramp up properly. That’s what we’ve seen with Díaz as he was supposed to return today, but the team is being patient with him.
- Josh Hader, Ryan Pressly, and Devin Williams each had 3 SV+HLD’s this past week. While last saw a bunch of surprise names leading the way in SV+HLD’s for the week, this week we are back to the big names, with the elite Brewers bullpen duo in prime form. It’s also nice to see Pressly bounce back this week after his devastating blown save against the Yankees.
|Liam Hendriks||1-2||Forearm. Progressing well and may return next week if this weekend goes well.|
|Kenley Jansen||2-4||Heart. It’s unknown how long this will keep Jansen out for, but it’s certainly nothing to rush back from.|
|Drew Pomeranz||3-5||Flexor Tendon. On the 60-day IL so don’t expect to see him until July. Progressing to bullpens.|
|Nick Anderson||3-5||UCL. Still out until (at least) after the All-Star break. Has done some mound work but still experiencing discomfort.|
|Alexis Díaz||3-5||Bicep. Díaz should be able to return next week if all goes well in his throwing sessions.|
|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. Playing catch now|
|Jonathan Loáisiga||3-5||Shoulder. Could complete a bullpen this week, still a ways away. Would need a rehab assignment.|
|J.P. Feyereisen||4-6||Shoulder. Feeling better but still not throwing. Likely out a few more weeks.|
|Jonathan Hernández||4-6||TJS. On the 60-day IL, rehabbing at AAA and could be back in the next week.|
|Pete Fairbanks||4-6||Torn Lat. Could face hitters this week (June 27) so perhaps he’ll return in July.|
|Trevor May||4-6||Arm. Stress reaction will cause May to miss a minimum of 8-12 weeks. Throwing again.|
|Lucas Sims||4-6||Back. Has begun a throwing program but no rehab date as of now|
|Tyler Matzek||4-6||Shoulder. Began rehab assignment and should return by next week.|
|Aaron Bummer||4-6||Lat. Bummer has had trouble staying on the field this season, with a lat strain as his most recent injury.|
Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Hunter Strickland at 96?? Come on now, he’s the official closer and has done well in the role