This evening’s edition of the Bullpen Report is much more of a routine fly-out than the previous week or so — lucky me. A combination of a short(er) slate and closers already in the green getting their work in are to thank as I write this. There have been some minor changes to the chart based on the work of the previous writers and the helpful notes from some of the commenters. Thanks folks.
Kelvin Herrera took to the hill for the third time the season as the Royals’ closer. The right-hander surrendered a leadoff homer to Rajai Davis and a subsequent double off the bat of Jed Lowrie, but induced a trio of worm burners to seal the Kansas City victory and notch his first save of the season. While it’s still extremely early in the season and we are cautious with sample sizes, Herrera’s velocity looks to be within striking distance of ‘16’s efforts, however, he’s not missing as many bats (9.4% SwStr% vs. career 13.1% SwStr%) resulting in just one strikeout over 12 batters faced. Everything is green in Kansas City and we’ll learn if Herrera’s lack of strikeouts are indeed “woes” as the season continues to unfold.
In Toronto, Baltimore’s Zach Britton gave up a one-out single followed by a free pass, but managed to escape unscathed to convert his fourth save of the season in a 2-1 victory. Britton needed 18 pitches (11 strikes, two of which were swings-and-misses) to successfully convert his 53rd consecutive save dating back to September 20th of 2015. Not bad! Darren O’Day (1) appeared in the seventh-inning followed by Brad Brach (4) in the eighth, each picking up holds for their efforts. All green in Baltimore.
Greg Holland (6), Craig Kimbrel (3) and Aroldis Chapman (2) each notched saves tonight. Despite allowing a pair of hits and a walk, Holland remains a perfect 6-for-6 in save chances to start the season in his new uniform. Craig Kimbrel allowed a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Adam Frazier but the induced a fly-out, a groundout and caught Frazier stealing second to seal Boston’s 4-3 win over Pittsburgh and Kimbrel’s third save in as many chances this young season.
Adam Ottavino (5) is your current holds leader.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]