Welcome back to the second installment of Wins From The Bullpen! This is your all-in-one location to find out which relief pitchers are earning Wins and/or Losses out of the bullpen, only at SPStreamer.com.
Week Two brought us another plethora of Wins out of the bullpen from across the entire league. The current results for this season are presented throughout the article. If you are familiar with the purpose of this article series, continue scrolling down to the Week Two Recap section.
It is imperative to accrue Wins in Rotisserie leagues to compete for an overall prize. Most fantasy managers do not have the time to track every relief pitcher outing on top of everything else during season. This necessity to stay abreast of relief pitcher performances gave rise to the Wins From The Bullpen Tracker (click link). This resource will also track Notable Losses From The Bullpen in a separate tab. Notable is the keyword here. These are relievers with a lot of buzz around them in the fantasy baseball world who post negative performances. This article series will highlight recent bullpen performances that can potentially assist in guiding your free agency endeavors.
Week Two – Recap
With the second week of the season in the books, very minor trends are starting to emerge in most bullpens around the league. It is way too early to say anything definitive about the majority of relief pitcher roles, but stats and success will speak for themselves. Luckily, starting pitchers are beginning to work deeper into games than they were last week, though relievers are still being heavily utilized. As this trend begins to normalize, expect to see the better relievers utilized more in critical situations with the game on the line.
There were twenty-eight different relievers who earned their first Win between April 18th and April 24th. That brings the total number of relief pitchers that have accrued one or more Wins this season to ninety-five. Of the twenty-eight relievers that earned a Win during Week Two, none of them secured multiple Wins during that time. There have now been ten relief pitchers that have earned multiple Wins from the bullpen over the past two weeks. The current Wins by Pitcher leaderboard through Week Two is included below:
Week Two Standouts
The full Wins From The Bullpen tracking resource can always be accessed here.
More detailed stats and observations for each recorded Win are included within the aforementioned tracking resource. Below is a recap of which relievers stood out during Week Two.
3-0 | Dillon Peters – PIT | 10.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.48 WHIP
Oh hey, Dillon, it’s nice to see you here again. For the second straight week, Peters has made the bill as a featured standout reliever. The sinker has become Peters’ primary pitch (29.2%), replacing the four-seam fastball (20.2%) which has notably been the worst pitch in his arsenal throughout his career. Dillon’s stuff is playing up enough to make him a -4 Run pitcher over the heart of the plate in 2022.
He has made very noticeable gains in horizontal movement on his curveball (+4.1 inches), sinker (+2.1 inches), changeup (+1.4 inches), and four-seam fastball (+1.5 inches). Peters has also added velocity to his four-seam fastball (+1.6 MPH), sinker (+1.4 MPH), and changeup (+1.2 MPH).
Becoming primarily a sinker-baller was an adapt-or-die decision for him, as the four-seam fastball wasn’t getting it done as a primary pitch. Thus far this season he has posted a 0.00 ERA and 2.70 FIP across 10.1 innings, but this comes with a career low BABIP of 0.48. Expect regression for him in the coming weeks, but hopefully the new Dillon Peters is what we will get for the rest of the season. His pitch mix changes will only get take him so far in the fantasy world, though, while not inducing many swings and misses (11.4% SwingStr%). One thing that Peters will give you right now is volume, Wins, and great ratios.
2-0 | Brock Burke – TEX | 7.2 IP, 2.35 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Brock Burke has been a work in progress since 2014, but finally seems to be quietly breaking out in the Texas bullpen. He has posted an absurd 43.8% strikeout rate across 7.2 innings pitched, contributing to a career high 34.4% K-BB%. Burke has displayed a surprising ability to strike out hitters this season, which can be owed in part to his dominant four-seam fastball. His fastball has a 40% PutAway% and .100 xBA thus far. In the video below, Burke freezes Shohei Ohtani on a 96 mph fastball with a ton of arm-side run. Yeah, that fastball is nasty.
Burke’s success with the four-seam fastball can be somewhat attributed to commanding his slider and changeup well. When a pitcher can throw a first-pitch-strike over 53% of the time and shove with his fastball like Burke has been, watch out.
Consistently throwing the slider in the lower quadrants of the strike zone allows for the fastball to play up beautifully atop the zone. Burke has added two and a half ticks on his four-seam, making him a very intriguing bullpen option to add to your fantasy roster. If Joe Barlow falters at all, look for Burke to get more high-leverage opportunities to earn you additional Wins and potential Holds/Saves.
2-0 | Steven Okert – MIA | 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.60 WHIP
Underrated for most of his career, Steven Okert has been a very solid relief pitcher for both the Giants and Marlins. He experienced an adjustment period with the Marlins after being stuck in AAA for all of 2019, but has otherwise been lights out in 2022. So far this season, Okert is sporting a 36.8% strikeout rate, 50% groundball rate, and a 26.4% CSW%. The slider is his most devastating pitch, throwing it 75.9% of the time while it’s achieving a 35.3% Whiff% and 28.6% PutAway%.
Throwing that slider low and away to all batters is his modus operandi. Okert works a lot like Josh Hader does on the mound, pounding low sliders in tandem with fastballs at the top of the zone. He doesn’t possess the overpowering fastball that Hader does, but has the mix of stuff to get outs and whiffs at any point in a game. Steven Okert is emerging as one of the best, if not the best option out of the Marlins’ bullpen. While other relievers struggle around him, look for Okert to pick up more high-leverage opportunities with the game on the line.
It’s only a matter of time before Steven Okert becomes a late inning staple in Miami
Given the opportunities, he has been one of the best, if not the best reliever in the Marlins’ pen thus far
— Cory ⚾️tt (@cory5ott) April 24, 2022
1-0 | Wil Crowe – PIT | 13.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.82 WHIP
Wil Crowe may be the hottest reliever in the league right now, even more so than all of the aforementioned pitchers throughout the first two weeks of the season. Crowe has been absolutely dominant in 2022, allowing very little hard contact (20% HardHit%) while also showing great command of the strike zone (28.9% CSW%). He has allowed precisely zero barrels over thirty batted ball events. Let’s take a look at his Statcast Percentile Sliders just for fun.
The most surprising aspect of Crowe’s success this season is how he made the transition to throwing the changeup as his primary pitch (32.9%). This pitch has yielded a 36.4% Whiff% and an xBA of .207.
As you can see in the chart above, his slider and changeup play off one another just wonderfully. Pitch location contour maps may seem rudimentary, but they can tell us a lot about a pitcher’s success to date. Crowe is commanding his top three pitches very well thus far in 2022, keeping them away from the heart of the zone. Wil Crowe should probably be rostered in the majority of fantasy leagues, as he is useful in both Points and Roto leagues. Scoop him up while he still has the hot hand.
(1-0) Jalen Beeks – TB | 7.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.54 WHIP
(1-0) Joe Smith – MIN | 5.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
(1-0) Anthony Gose – CLE | 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP
(1-0) Tim Mayza – TOR | 6.2 IP, 1.35 ERA, 0.75 WHIP
All Bullpen Wins – Week Two
The full Wins From The Bullpen tracking resource can always be accessed here.
This section includes all relief pitcher appearances that resulted in a Win during Week Two.
Notable Losses – Week Two
The full Losses From The Bullpen tracking resource can always be accessed here.
This section includes all relief pitcher appearances that resulted in a Loss during Week Two. The Losses by Pitcher leaderboard is also included below.
Thank you so much for reading! Please feel free to reach out to @cory5ott on Twitter with any questions or suggestions about the Wins From The Bullpen tracker article series.
*The ‘Wins From The Bullpen’ tracking resource was created by and is managed by Cory Ott.