Pete Fairbanks led all relievers with 4 SV+HLD’s this past week. The Fairbanks/Robert Stephenson duo right now is the best in baseball, and has been since June (see chart below). For Fairbanks, it’s always been about staying healthy and he looks to be hitting his stride at the right time for the Rays, as he was sitting 100 MPH last night while striking out the Orioles in order to end the game. Despite all the injuries, the Rays still have managed to develop an elite bullpen and solid starting rotation for their playoff push, and with this reliever group, I would not count them out as AL contenders this postseason.
- Josh Hader hasn’t exactly pitched poorly over the past couple of weeks, he just hasn’t really pitched. We are halfway through September and Hader has totaled just 2 IP this month and has totaled just 8 innings since August 2nd, picking up only 2 saves over that span (the last save coming on August 28th). Even if the Padres are struggling to produce save situations for him, it’s interesting that the team is refusing to use him in non-save situations on a weekly basis, and I wonder if he has quietly been shut down or limited for the remainder of the season. Perhaps it’s at Hader’s request as he is about to enter free agency, or perhaps the team wants to bring him back next season and prefers him to be fresh. Either way, I wouldn’t expect many more appearances from Hader this year.
- Kenley Jansen was placed on the COVID-IL this week and will be out for the weekend at least, but I think this could be another situation where the team and player may agree to shut the player down or at least limit his usage the rest of the way. The only reason for Jansen to return at this point is to help add to his career save totals, which he may want to do, but I wonder if the Red Sox prefer to shut him down now that a new front office regime will be taking over this offseason. For now, Chris Martin should be viewed as the favorite to pick up save chances.
And if you want more daily reliever updates, please check out our Reliever Ranks series.
|PITCHER||TIER||INJURY (SURGERY DATE). NOTES|
|Félix Bautista||1||UCL. Still could return this season as it sounds like he will avoid surgery at this point.|
|Edwin Diaz||1||Knee. Traveling with the team and could make an appearance or two before the season ends.|
|Adbert Alzolay||1||Forearm. Sense that he can return before the season ends, but likely too late for fantasy purposes.|
|Kenley Jansen||1-2||COVID. Not sure how long he will be out, but there’s no reason to push the veteran at this point of the season.|
|JoJo Romero||2||Knee. Patellar tendinitis could keep him out for the rest of the season.|
|Jason Adam||2||Oblique. Adam is hoping to return within a week or so.|
|Josh Sborz||3/4||Hamstring. Had been pitching very poorly, this may be an attempt to give him a break and reset.|
|Brock Stewart||3/4||Elbow. Starting rehab assignment and could be a late-season option for the Twins.|