After earning the Rays first two saves of the season, it was certainly surprising to see Oliver Drake come into a situation in the 6th inning in his last outing, even if this is the Rays we are talking about. While he wasn’t great in that appearance, and it puts his closer status in doubt, I’m still confident in Drake’s ability to help those in SV+HD leagues for the rest of the season as long as he is seeing this high leverage work.
When I was going over some numbers from 2020 this past winter, Drake’s name kept coming up at the top in numerous categories (xFIP, SIERA, WPA, SwStr%, Z-Contact%, K%) and I remember wondering “if only he were locked into a high leverage role”. Well, it looks like he is for the time being at least, and whether it be as a closer or set up man, you should give Drake a look in all SV+HD leagues. He may not throw hard but his splitter is filthy and his funky angled delivery is super deceptive for opposing hitters.
- Edwin Diaz was called upon in a non-save situation last night, a chance for him to get back on track following Saturday’s blown save, and instead, he went in the other direction. The stuff is still there, he is not dealing with an injury, but like we have seen before with talented closers, it’s what’s going on between the ears that needs fixing right now. He was rushing everything and just seemed on edge despite it not even being a save situation. I still think he can figure this out before the seasons over, but with guys like Seth Lugo and Dellin Betances in that bullpen, I don’t think the Mets will wait for him to work through things. He’s probably out as Mets closer for the time being but I wouldn’t write off 2020 as a total failure yet. He’s just too talented.
- Trevor Rosenthal picked up the Royals 2nd save of the season and was routinely hitting triple digits with his fastball. He looks great which is nice to see after not pitching in 2018 and last year being forgettable, to say the least. Rosenthal could find himself higher on this list if he distances himself from the other closer candidates there, but it is a Royals team that probably has a limited number of wins in them.
- With Ken Giles out for awhile and Anthony Bass filing in, Jordan Romano has been asked to step into a setup role, where he is currently thriving. Romano had brief periods of success last season with Toronto, but for the most part was a disaster with a 7.63 ERA over 15 innings. This year, his fastball is up 2 MPH, touching 99 on occasion, and he is throwing his slider harder (88 MPH) and more often (60%). Keep an eye on him in deeper leagues as those changes are certainly intriguing.
- On the injury front, we lost Jose Leclerc this week with a grade 2 strain of the teres major in his right shoulder, and won’t see him again until late September I suppose. Who will fill that void in Texas remains to be seen, but Jonathan Hernandez and Nick Goody seem like the two front runners at the moment. Neither is worth blowing your waiver budget on and I’d recommend just continuing to monitor the situation for now. Will Harris was also placed on the IL this morning with a groin strain, but the sense is that it’s a minor injury and he could be back in a couple of weeks.
- Joe Jimenez is currently the only reliever to reach the 4 SV+HD mark, as he has earned a save in each of the Tigers 4 wins (remember Shane Greene last season?). Drew Pomeranz, Anthony Bass, Rafael Dolis, and Justin Wilson are at 3 apiece while there are 32 relievers currently at 2 SV+HD.
EDIT: Tommy Kahnle was removed after being placed on the IL with a forearm strain.
Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)