He has yet to pick up his first Major League save, but that should be coming in due time for David Bednar, who continues to work the ninth inning of games despite the Pirates’ inability to win games. The Pirates as a team have not recorded a save in a month now, but I find it hard to believe a save chance won’t arise in the next month and a half. In fact, the schedule will get much easier going forward as they have series coming up with the Diamondbacks, Cubs, Tigers, Nationals, and Marlins. Bednar may be the lone reliever who has been much better since the sticky stuff crackdown, which being a splitter guy makes sense. Over his last 23.1 innings, Bednar has a 1.16 ERA and .90 WHIP with 26 strikeouts but just five holds. His 2.56 pCRA since then is good for ninth amongst all relievers with at least 300 pitches thrown. Now, all we need is for Bednar to get some save chances which just by the laws of nature has to happen eventually, right?
- Aroldis Chapman returned from the IL this week and did not look so great in his first game back. He allowed two hits and a run over this innings of work, with his fastball averaging just 96.9 MPH, down from his usual 98.5. Pitchers tend to have lower velocities in their first games back from the IL so I wouldn’t worry yet, but if he continues to struggle this weekend then it may be time to panic.
- After Paul Sewald and Drew Steckenrider notched saves early in the week, it was Diego Castillo’s turn yesterday however he proceeded to cough up the lead in the ninth by allowing a two-run home run. Paul Sewald eventually came on in the 11th to secure the save, his second save since the trade deadline. In fact, Steckenrider has two saves of his own while Castillo only has one since moving to Seattle. Expect this three-headed committee to continue for now despite the blown save from Castillo last night.
- Corey Knebel actually started last night’s game against the Mets, functioning as the opener for their bullpen game. Since returning from his long IL stint, Knebel has just one save and no holds but has pitched well in those 4.1 innings, allowing zero runs on just three hits and a walk while striking out five. The holds should eventually come as he should be considered the Dodger’s third-best reliever at the moment behind Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen.
- Joe Barlow has taken over for Spencer Patton in the closer role for the Rangers, and in doing so blew his first save of the season last night. Working the tenth and eleventh innings, Barlow allowed a two-run home run in the eleventh to Kyle Seager (and nearly another one to Jake Fraley) after working a clean tenth. The outing raised Barlows ERA to 1.08 while his WHIP remains under one (.88) so no reason to worry here.
- There’s nothing really new to report on Mychal Givens except for the fact that he appears locked into the closer role for a Reds team that has an easy schedule the rest of the way and is trying to grab a playoff spot. There are certainly flaws in his game but those three facts should make him relevant in fantasy leagues moving forward.
- Zack Britton was the only reliever to pick up four SV+HLD’s this past week. Despite how poorly he has pitched this season, the Yankees have continued to turn to him in high leverage spots but with the bullpen getting healthy, you’d have to think that won’t last much longer. Britton’s velo is down 2.2 MPH from last season and he currently has a 5.89 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, and 2.4% K-BB rate on the season.
|PITCHER||TIER||INJURY (EST. RETURN)|
|Nick Anderson||1/2||Elbow/Covid (late August)|
|Tejay Antone||2/3||Forearm (next week)|
|Drew Pomeranz||2/3||Forearm (September)|
|Pete Fairbanks||3/4||Shoulder (late August)|
|J.P. Feyereisen||3/4||Bicep (late August)|
|Julian Merryweather||3/4||Oblique (September?)|
|Matt Wisler||3/4||Finger (September)|
|Jeffrey Springs||4/5||Knee (early September)|
|Art Warren||5/6||Oblique (late August)|
|José Alvarado||5/6||Shoulder (September)|
|Nick Sandlin||5/6||Shoulder (September)|
|Kyle Zimmer||5/6||Neck (next week?)|
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)