Heading into July, Jake Diekman held a 2.82 ERA and 1.21 WHIP and was still very much a part of a closer committee with Lou Trivino as he tallied four saves in May alone. Things didn’t go quite as well in June for Diekman, as for the month he had a 4.50 ERA and 1.60 WHIP and only added three holds (zero saves). His command has been a bit all over the place this month, and he’s been vulnerable to allowing a lot of hard contact as a result. His fastball has been left at the bottom of the zone too often this season, resulting in what would be career-worse Barrel%, average launch angle, average exit velocity, and sweet spot %. It’s just a minor concern and one that can easily be remedied, but I think at the midway point of the season it’s safe to say Diekman’s 2021 has been a bit of a disappointing follow up to his 2020 season.
- June was a brutal month for Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, as he finished the month with an ERA of 11.42, WHIP of 2.77, and an 11/10 K/BB rate over 8.2 innings. Eight of those ten walks came over his past four games, so interpret that how you will, but this is getting to be a concern. Chapman’s velocity seems to fluctuate game to game but has been down more so lately, which could be a result of him taking something off his pitches since he’s having trouble commanding his stuff right now. Hopefully, that’s the case and he just needs to make some adjustments to how he pitches rather than him being hurt or hampered by a nagging injury.
- Mark Melancon blew another save to the Reds last night, his second in two weeks. Melancon now has a WHIP of 1.68 since the beginning of May and a 16/14 K/BB rate over that span. His job security, especially on this aggressive, win now Padres team should be in question. The problem is, I’m not sure the in-house alternatives are much better. Drew Pomeranz has returned but he hasn’t looked like his normal self in his first two games back. Emilio Pagan has experience closing out games but he too has been a rollercoaster for much of the season. Don’t be surprised to see the Padres in the market for a closer in the next month.
- While just north of San Diego, the Giants back end of the bullpen dominated June, with Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee combining to allow just thirteen baserunners and one earned run over 20.2 innings pitched. The two pitchers are polar opposites on the mound, and while they don’t add much to the strikeout column, they shut things down in the later innings and are a big reason the Giants have the best record in baseball.
- Pete Fairbanks took the biggest hit this week among Rays relievers after allowing ten earned runs over his past 4.2 innings of work, but I still worry about J.P. Feyereisen who continues to see his spin rate down (over 400 RPM’s across the board last game) while his slider has lost considerable break. He’s actually pitched well lately, but I wonder how long that will continue with these drastic changes. Another pitcher dealing with the effects of no sticky stuff is Brad Boxberger, who has walked six hitters over his past three outings despite walking only eight in his previous 30.1 innings of work.
- Héctor Neris is no longer in the closer mix in Philadelphia for the time being and struggled in his first non-closer role spot this past week allowing three hits and a walk over one inning. The Phillies are likely one of the teams in the market for relief help this trade deadline, and I wonder if they would consider moving Neris in the process. He could really use a fresh start somewhere else and could thrive in a setup role on a different team.
- Raisel Iglesias and Alex Reyes led all relievers with three SV+HLD’s over the past week (all saves). It was quite the dominant week for Iglesias who didn’t allow a baserunner while striking out six and for Reyes, it was encouraging to see him go a week without walking anyone.
|PITCHER||TIER||INJURY (EST. RETURN)|
|Nick Anderson||2/3||Elbow (August)|
|Trevor Rosenthal||3/4||Shoulder (August)|
|Tejay Antone||3/4||Forearm (All-Star break)|
|Lucas Sims||3/4||Elbow (August)|
|Julian Merryweather||4/5||Oblique (All-Star break)|
|Aaron Bummer||4/5||Hamstring (All-Star break)|
|Ryan Tepera||4/5||Calf (All-Star break)|
|Daniel Hudson||4/5||Elbow (next week?)|
|Corey Knebel||4/5||Triceps (late August)|
|Zack Britton||5/6||Hamstring (All-Star break)|
|Michael Fulmer||5/6||Neck (late July?)|
|Rafael Dolis||6||Hand/Finger (next week?)|
Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)