Not that it should come as a surprise to anyone but the Rays have themselves another reliever ace, this time in Matt Wisler who has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball since the calendar hit May. Since May 1st, Wisler has compiled a 2.27 ERA, .95 WHIP, and 47/6 K/BB ratio over 35.2 innings. He has a 38.6% CSW over that timespan which ranks in the top twelve amongst relievers and his 2.36 pCRA is third behind only Craig Kimbrel and teammate Collin McHugh (min. 400 pitches). What’s amazing to me is that he throws his slider 91% of the time and yet he doesn’t have issues with walks or hit batters, as fellow slider specialist Austin Adams does. Also amazing is the fact that his splits indicate he’s actually more effective against lefties than righties, despite throwing that slider 91% of the time. With most of the other big names in the Rays bullpen out for the next few weeks, Wisler could see a fair amount of save opportunities, making him one of the more unique closers in the game as someone whose fastball routinely sits under 92 MPH
- Josh Hader has missed the week due to a positive Covid test but he should be back next Thursday so there’s no real need to remove him from the list. Hader has been a notoriously poor performer in the second half, specifically August, so some time off may actually do him well. His teammate Jake Cousins, also on the Covid IL, should return early next week.
- The Cardinals bullpen melted down in truly spectacular fashion last night, and it all happened after Giovanny Gallegos recorded two quick outs in the top of the eighth inning. Gallegos then allowed a single to Freddie Freeman, a home run to Austin Riley on a hanging slider, and a double to Dansby Swanson before finally being removed for Alex Reyes. Reyes proceeded to hit the first batter he faced, then walk the next FOUR batters, throwing just four (three) of his 21 pitches for strikes before Justin Miller came in and walked one more hitter before getting out of the inning. I’m slightly worried about Gallegos but even more so for Reyes as that kind of outing last night may be tough to come back from as the yips are a real thing.
- Lucas Sims is set to return to the Reds bullpen this weekend and while I don’t see him getting back into the closer role, he should still see high leverage work in a fireman-type role. Despite what his ERA says, Sims was pitching well before the injury (2.66 pCRA) and is worth a look in holds leagues. I’d expect Michael Lorenzen to get an extended look at closing out games given how David Bell trusted him in the role in 2019 (seven saves) although Mychal Givens picked up a save last night with Lorenzen getting the day off.
- Corey Knebel’s impending return couldn’t have come at a better time with Jimmy Nelson landing back on the IL. We haven’t seen Knebel since April and while he’s only thrown six innings all year, his first 5.1 were vintage Knebel. He should slide right into the role Nelson had occupied, and could be a difference-maker down the stretch assuming health cooperates.
- Kyle Finnegan blew his first save of the season yesterday, and while it wasn’t entirely his fault (four runs, zero earned) he did allow three hits (all doubles) and walk (intentionally) in the inning, certainly not helping his cause either. As is the case with most of the new post-deadline closers, we should expect a bit of a rollercoaster ride with them.
- Six relievers picked up three SV+HLD’s this past week following the trade deadline; Anthony Bender, Michael Lorenzen, Mychal Givens, Matt Wisler, Brad Boxberger, and Jake McGee. After a rough May, McGee has yet to allow an earned run since the start of June, a streak of 22.2 innings. While he doesn’t bring much if any strikeout upside, McGee is still a great ratio stabilizer while picking up plenty of saves for the NL West leading Giants.
|PITCHER||TIER||INJURY (EST. RETURN)|
|Nick Anderson||1/2||Elbow/Covid (late August)|
|Tejay Antone||2/3||Forearm (early September)|
|Pete Fairbanks||3/4||Shoulder (late August)|
|J.P. Feyereisen||3/4||Bicep (late August)|
|Tanner Scott||3/4||Knee (mid-late August)|
|Julian Merryweather||3/4||Oblique (September?)|
|Jeffrey Springs||3/4||Knee (early September)|
|Victor González||4/5||Knee (September)|
|Art Warren||4/5||Oblique (late August)|
|Connor Brogdon||5/6||Elbow (late August)|
|Joakim Soria||5/6||Finger (late August)|
|Kyle Zimmer||5/6||Neck (late August)|
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
I know he hit the COVID-19 list a week ago, but where does Noe Ramirez fall on this list once he returns? I see a lot of other folks on the COVID-19 list still showing here, and imagine he should be top 100 going forward — maybe just an oversight? Thanks!
I had him at 102, but I could see him anywhere in the 60-100 range. Diamondback relievers just havn’t had much value this season and Ramirez’s track record is spotty.