Skip to main content

Committee Clarity

Camilo Doval earned both Giants’ two saves this past week and appears to have settled into the closer role ahead of Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee. Rogers has been excellent as usual but is being deployed in a more flexible relief role, while McGee has lost over one mile per hour on his fastball and is currently running an 11.1% strikeout rate with an 8.72 xERA.

The Marlins’ bullpen was busy the last seven days, racking up five saves. Two of them came from Anthony Bender, the most often used closer to this point in the season. Tanner Scott picked up a save last Saturday while Bender was sidelined with hip soreness, and Louis Head earned the save on Sunday after Tanner Scott ran into trouble in the ninth inning. After Bender pitched back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday, Cole Sulser earned a four-out save on Thursday. For now, Bender is the closer for Miami. The health status of Dylan Floro could easily change this, but Bender has been the go-to option when healthy even through occasional struggles.

Upon his return from the injured list, Lucas Sims picked up the save on Sunday. Both Tony Santillan and Art Warren set up ahead of him, indicating David Bell’s ideal late-inning plan is to have Lucas Sims close. The Reds have not won many games this season but it appears as though Sims is being treated as the closer at least for the moment.

David Bednar earned the save on Sunday, striking Frank Schwindel on three fastballs with the bases loaded. Bednar then earned a hold after going through the Brewers’ 3-4-5 hitters in the eighth inning. Chris Stratton would blow the save and take the loss in the ninth. Bednar’s superior stuff and performance should ensure he gets the majority of the save opportunities as the season goes on.

Emerging relievers

Ryan Thompson picked up two saves this past week, including a one-out save Thursday against the Mariners. The Rays will continue to be flexible with how they deploy their late-inning relievers, and it seems as though Thompson is viewed as a right-handed complement to their late-inning group.

Dany Jimenez continued to get the job done in the absence of Lou Trivino, picking up two more saves without letting up an earned run. Jimenez has been so effective during Trivino’s extended stint on the COVID-19 list that it’s fair to speculate whether the Athletics will simply let him run with the job when Trivino returns.

Erik Swanson and J.P. Feyereisen have been super effective so far this season. Swanson has yet to allow a run on the season while striking out 38.7% of the batters he’s faced. Feyereisen has also yet to allow a run while striking out 37.5% of the batters he’s faced. Neither is in a particularly valuable role right now but should see more high leverage work if their current performance continues.

Stray Saves and Temporary Committees

Some other relievers who picked up a save while the presumed closer was likely unavailable include Adam Cimber, Devin Williams, Joe Mantiply, Clay Holmes, Alex Colome, Archie Bradley, Matt Bush, and Kendall Graveman. Williams and Holmes have some value when it comes to ratios and strikeouts while being among the primary backup options to their current closer. Colome and Bush are likely the direct backups to Daniel Bard and Joe Barlow respectively. Graveman may get an extended opportunity to close with Liam Hendriks dealing with a back injury, although Hendriks has yet to be placed on the injured list.

Taylor Clarke and Rowan Wick earned saves in extra innings, but likely aren’t serious threats for saves as of right now.

Despite good starts to the season, Ryne Stanek and Rafael Montero each allowed an earned run while picking up their saves on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Neris set up Stanek in the game Wednesday and likely wasn’t available for the game Thursday. Closer Ryan Pressly is seemingly still a little way away from returning to a major league mound. There isn’t a clear favorite among Stanek, Montero, or Neris, but each might be useful as a one-week stream with seven home games lined up.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: