Bullpen Report: April 10, 2021

The 2021 version of Bullpen Report includes five different sections, as well as the closer chart, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

  1. Notable Workloads: Primary closers or valuable members of a closer committee who have been deemed unavailable or likely unavailable for the current day due to recent workload.
  2. Injury News 
  3. Outlier Saves: Explanation for a non-closer earning a save during the previous day.
  4. Committee Clarity: Notes on a closer committee that clarify a pitcher’s standing in the group.
  5. Losing A Grip: Struggling closers who could be on the hot seat.

The “RosterResource” link will take you to the corresponding team’s RosterResource depth chart, which will give you a better picture of the full bullpen and results of the previous six days (pitch count, save, hold, win, loss, blown save.)

Notable Workloads



Injury News

Pete Fairbanks, TBR: Placed on 10-Day IL (strained rotator cuff); no timetable for return. | RosterResource

Diego Castillo will remain the team’s top candidate for save chances, but the Rays’ depth has taken a huge hit after injuries to Nick Anderson, Chaz Roe, and now Fairbanks. Ryan Thompson and Andrew Kittredge could possibly be in the mix if the Rays decide to go with a committee, while Collin McHugh and the newly-promoted Hunter Strickland are additional options if the committee is as wide-ranging as it was in 2020.

Matt Bush, TEX: Placed on 10-Day IL (elbow inflammation); no timetable for return. | RosterResource

It’s been a long road back for Bush, who had last pitched in the big leagues in June 2018 before pitching in three of the Rangers’ first six games of 2021. Now, his career is on hold again after being placed on the 10-Day IL with an elbow injury. Ian Kennedy has quickly established himself as the team’s closer as Bush was being given a chance to be the team’s primary setup man. Josh Sborz is the likely candidate to fill that role now, while lefties Taylor Hearn, John King, and Brett Martin are also in the mix.

Brad Hand, WSN: Activated from COVID-19 IL. | RosterResource

After missing the Nationals’ first three games, Hand joined the team on Friday. The left-hander is expected to be the team’s closer with Tanner Rainey and Daniel Hudson serving as his primary setup men.


Outlier Saves

Corey Knebel, LAD | RosterResource

Knebel’s first save since September 24, 2018 came in the Dodgers’ home opener to secure a 1-0 shutout win over the Nationals. The 29-year-old, who signed a one-year, $5.25 million contract during the offseason, struck out the side on just 10 pitches. We can consider this an outlier, but only because manager Dave Roberts said that Kenley Jansen was getting a second consecutive day off after throwing back-to-back days on Tuesday and Wednesday.

And that’s a reasonable explanation. Having the 33-year-old Jansen pitch on three of four days this early in the season is unnecessary for a team with several relievers capable of closing out a victory. But Roberts added that he’s comfortable using those other relievers in a save situation.


Does that mean the Dodgers have a closer committee? It’s possible, although Jansen will likely be the team’s closer when available. That is, unless he blows another save in one of his next few chances. At that point, the Dodgers could go in a different direction and Knebel sure did make a strong case to be next in line after Friday’s performance.


Committee Clarity

Emmanuel Clase, CLE | RosterResource

After Wednesday’s game when Cleveland’s top three relievers all pitched, I wrote that Nick Wittgren can be trusted in a save situation and I also surmised that Clase had moved ahead of James Karinchak as the team’s “Closer of the Near Future”. Well, the 23-year-old Clase got his first save chance with Cleveland on Friday and, after an absolutely dominant performance, I can’t see how he’s not their closer right now.

Facing the heart of the Tigers’ order, Clase threw 12 cutters that were either 100 or 101 MPH and a pair of 92 MPH sliders to close out the 4-1 victory. He’s now retired all nine batters he’s faced this season, striking out five of them. It’s possible that manager Terry Francona wants to ease the rookie into the closer’s role, giving Wittgren and Karinchak occasional save chances, but Clase should continue to separate himself with a few more strong outings.


Jake Diekman and Lou Trivino, OAK | RosterResource

With the game tied at one in the top of the eighth inning, Diekman was warming up with the expectation that he’d face lefty slugger Yordan Alvarez in the bottom half of the inning. But a Matt Olson three-run homer made a potential Diekman-Alvarez matchup much less important. As a result, it was Trivino who pitched the eighth with his team ahead 4-1.


Had the score held after Trivino’s scoreless eighth, Diekman would’ve been in line for a save chance. But the A’s scored two more in the top of the ninth, giving the left-hander a five-run lead to work with. He allowed a run, but closed out the 6-2 victory. Trivino and Diekman are clearly the team’s top closing options with Sergio Romo also a possibility.


Losing A Grip

Kenley Jansen, LAD | RosterResource

Jansen hasn’t pitched since he was listed in this section after Wednesday’s blown save. Therefore, the Dodgers’ closer situation hasn’t changed based on anything Jansen did. But Knebel’s impressive outing on Friday does move the needle a bit more towards a closer change.


Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 4/9/2021
Team Closer First Up Second Up Injured List
ARI Stefan Crichton Kevin Ginkel Taylor Clarke Joakim Soria
ATL Will Smith Chris Martin A.J. Minter
BAL Cesar Valdez Tanner Scott Dillon Tate Hunter Harvey
BOS Matt Barnes Adam Ottavino Hirokazu Sawamura Ryan Brasier
CHC Craig Kimbrel Andrew Chafin Alec Mills Rowan Wick
CWS Liam Hendriks Aaron Bummer Garrett Crochet
CIN Amir Garrett Lucas Sims Sean Doolittle
CLE Emmanuel Clase Nick Wittgren James Karinchak
COL Daniel Bard Mychal Givens Tyler Kinley
DET Gregory Soto Bryan Garcia Buck Farmer
HOU Ryan Pressly Joe Smith Blake Taylor Pedro Baez
KC Greg Holland Jesse Hahn Josh Staumont
LAA Raisel Iglesias Mike Mayers Aaron Slegers Felix Peña
LAD Kenley Jansen Blake Treinen Corey Knebel
MIA Anthony Bass Yimi Garcia Dylan Floro
MIL Josh Hader Devin Williams Brent Suter
MIN Alex Colome Taylor Rogers Hansel Robles
NYM Edwin Diaz Trevor May Miguel Castro
NYY Aroldis Chapman Chad Green Darren O’Day Zack Britton
OAK Lou Trivino Jake Diekman Sergio Romo Trevor Rosenthal
PHI Hector Neris Archie Bradley Jose Alvarado
PIT Richard Rodriguez Chris Stratton David Bednar
STL Alex Reyes Giovanny Gallegos Andrew Miller
SD Mark Melancon Drew Pomeranz Emilio Pagan
SF Jake McGee Tyler Rogers Reyes Moronta
SEA Rafael Montero Kendall Graveman Anthony Misiewicz
TB Diego Castillo Ryan Thompson Andrew Kittredge Pete Fairbanks
TEX Ian Kennedy Josh Sborz Taylor Hearn Matt Bush
TOR Julian Merryweather Jordan Romano Rafael Dolis
WSH Brad Hand Tanner Rainey Daniel Hudson

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Turd Furgeson
1 year ago

“Ol’ Dead Arm” Jansen.