• No save for Jose Leclerc who was ineffective in allowing a hit and a walk while only getting one out in the 9th. Kyle Bird relieved him to get the last two outs and his 1st save of the year. Al mentioned Leclerc’s struggles yesterday and we should consider this a situation worth monitoring early on. Saves are hard to come by and if something is up with Leclerc, look for Chris Martin and Shawn Kelley to get some saves. It’s still very early and the Rangers are committed to Leclerc ($14.75M worth) but it’s certainly a concerning start.
• In Eric Longenhagen’s prospect notes yesterday, he noted how Jeremy Jeffress gave up four hits in his rehab appearance and was sitting at 87-91 while touching 92. If he’s going to be effective, he will need to show improvement on the velo as he was at 95 mph last year. Josh Hader owners should be monitoring this closely. If Jeffress is back to his normal velo he could be getting lower leverage saves for the Brewers but if his injury lingers, it will still be Hader time, at least until they look for a bullpen upgrade in the summer.
• 8 wins for the Tigers this season, with Shane Greene getting a save in each one. Although Greene doesn’t have a particularly bad strikeout rate this year, he still only has 7 strikeouts to his 8 saves which isn’t a ratio that he’s likely to hold all year although I’m here to watch him try.
• No save situation for the Rays yesterday but Jalen Beeks went three innings for his first save of the year. We removed the committee tag for the Rays making Jose Alvarado the sole closer in TB but as far as main closers go he could see a lesser percentage of saves with Diego Castillo or some of their long relievers like Beeks closing out games with multi-inning saves.
• Kirby Yates found himself in a tough situation with runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 9th but still managed to get out of the inning unscathed for his 7th save. Early returns on Yates have been fantasitc with high save totals and a 1.13/1.60/2.99 ERA/FIP/xFIP on a 12/3 K/BB ratio. The Padres should be a competitive team all year and Yates owners will be happy with his yield throughout the season.
• We have mentioned how the Reds haven’t used Raisel Iglesias 100% traditional thus far this season but last night he was a regular old closer, getting the save in the 9th inning while striking out the side. Iglesias’ control has eluded him a bit with a 4.76 BB/9 and 12.0% BB% but his whiffs have been where we would expect and he should settle into a solid closer for a Reds team that is likely better than their 3-8 record.
Setting up Iglesias was Amir Garrett who struck out a pair while getting 4 outs. On the season Garrett has throw 5.2 innings with a 8/1 K/BB and could be one of the better multi-inning set up options in fantasy if he can keep up his improved control.
• Adam Conley threw a perfect 7th for his 2nd hold of the year last night, handing the ball off to Drew Steckenrider in the 8th who blew the one-run lead when Jose Iglesias and Jesse Winker hit homers. Steckenrider is in the mix for saves in Miami but his 9.00/8.94/6.14 ERA/FIP/xFIP are leaving a lot to be desired. Adam Conley could start seeing the 8th instead of the 7th moving forward.
• No save situation for the Mets last night but they still went with Jeurys Familia –> Edwin Diaz to close the game. Familia allowed 2 hits a walk and a run and has been a bit shaky to star the season. The Mets don’t have many great options outside of Familia right now, so he should get ample opportunity to sort himself out. Although Edwin Diaz allowed a home run to Mitch Garver in the 9th he still struck out the side and remains a top closer in both real life and fantasy.
• Trevor May pitched in garbage time, throwing a scoreless 9th, maintaining his pristine 0.00 ERA. Although he’s been effective his usage still suggests Taylor Rogers and Blake Parker ahead of him for saves. Parker is skating on some thin ice
• In spite of Josh James 4 ER blowup without recording an out the Astros still hung on for the win against the Yankees with Hector Rondon and Ryan Pressly getting the last 6 outs. Rondon got the first 2 outs of the 8th with Ryan Pressly getting the last and finishing out the 9th for his first save of the year. Pressly was one of the more dominant relievers last year on both the Twins and Astros and that has continued this year with a 35% K% against no walks and a 61.5% GB%. Roberto Osuna is still the closer but had the night off after three days of work but Pressly is cementing himself as a premiere back up who should see a few save opportunities when Osuna isn’t available. With all of the committees and bad pens this year, someone like Pressly would be more valuable then several “closers.”
• Felipe Vazquez closed his 3rd door lsat night getting the last 5 outs and keeping his perfect 0.00 ERA. I was going to suggest Vazquez could be a great mid-season acquisition for a team but the Pirates are 6-4 and we have them projected to be 81-81, only a few games back of the Cardinals. In such a close division he’s likely to stay on board and so far is off to his best year yet.
• We don’t have a committee tag in Seattle, but Anthony Swarzak came on in the 8th to get the biggest outs of the game. In the 9th, Roenis Elias was called upon for his 2nd save of the year. I won’t make this a committee but have added Elias to the grid.
• With Cody Allen getting the night off, Hansel Robles got the save chance. Ty Buttrey also got the night off but we still have Buttrey above Robles in the pecking order. However, if Buttrey struggles Robles is proving in the early going that he can fill in.
When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias