Bullpen Report: April 8, 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

Cesar Valdez, BAL: 31 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Tanner Scott (21 pitches on Wednesday) and Dillon Tate (22 pitches on Wednesday) will be candidates for a save chance on Thursday if Valdez is not available. All three had several days off before pitching on Wednesday, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if all three were available.

Greg Holland, KCR: 20 pitches on Wednesday; Jesse Hahn, KCR: 24 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Wade Davis and Josh Staumont are candidates for a save chance on Thursday if neither Holland or Hahn is available.

Alex Colomé, MIN: 32 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Taylor Rogers is a likely candidate for a save chance on Thursday if Colomé is not available.


Injury News

Trevor Rosenthal, OAK: Could require season-ending thoracic outlet syndrome surgery | RosterResource

It’s possible that Rosenthal will not pitch for Oakland at all in 2021 after he signed a one-year, $11 million contract this past offseason. He was placed on the 10-Day IL with shoulder inflammation on Opening Day, leaving Jake Diekman as the top candidate for save chances.


Outlier Saves

Sean Newcomb, ATL | RosterResource

Will Smith was unavailable for game two of Wednesday’s double-header versus the Nationlas after picking up a save in game one, as were A.J. Minter and Nate Jones. Tyler Matzek was also unlikely to pitch, having thrown 29 pitches on Tuesday. That left few options for the Braves in a potential save situation for game two.

After the Braves took a two-run lead in the last inning, it was Newcomb who got a chance to redeem himself after a shaky 2021 debut on Saturday (0.2 IP, ER, H, BB, HBP). The 27-year-old struck out the side, throwing mostly fastballs in the 96-98 MPH range to complete the shutout and double-header sweep. Newcomb probably wasn’t the Braves’ first, second, third, or fourth choice with the game on the line, but he took advantage of the opportunity and could be in line for some future high-leverage work.

Paul Fry, BAL | RosterResource

The Orioles’ top three relievers — Valdez, Scott, and Tate — had all been used by the time the Orioles had to protect a 4-3 lead over the Yankees in the bottom of the 11th inning. That left Fry, a 28-year-old lefty who has been a reliable pitcher out of the Baltimore bullpen for the past three seasons.

Despite an awful spring and a poor performance in his first appearance of 2021 (0.1 IP, ER, 3 H, BB), the 28-year-old lefty was able to get the job done on Wednesday with minimal work. Brett Gardner began the inning with a sacrifice bunt and DJ LeMahieu followed with a line out to right fielder Anthony Santander, who ended the game by throwing Gio Urshela out at the plate. It was Fry’s sixth career save.

Brad Boxberger, MIL | RosterResource

With Devin Williams and Josh Hader having pitched the previous two innings with the game tied, J.P. Feyereisen had a chance to pick up his first major league save after the Brewers went ahead of the Cubs by a score of 4-1 in the top of the 10th inning. It was a well-deserved opportunity after he began the season with 3.1 scoreless innings, but the 28-year-old struggled to close things out. After allowing a single and a pair of walks, Boxberger came in and retired Ian Happ on a flyout to end the game.


Committee Clarity

Chris Devenski, ARI | RosterResource

A day after Joakim Soria was placed on the 10-Day IL with a strained calf, the Diamondbacks placed Devenski, another member of the closer committee, on the Restricted List. Stefen Crichton and Kevin Ginkel are currently the team’s top candidates for save chances.

Nick Wittgren, Emmanuel Clase, James Karinchak, CLE | RosterResource

Karinchak entered Wednesday’s game in the bottom of the seventh, replacing staff ace Shane Bieber with two runners on, one out, and a 2-1 lead over the Royals. That’s about as high-leverage as it gets, although not where you’d expect the “closer” to pitch.

After Karinchak allowed a game-tying single, Emmanuel Clase pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Again, not really when the “closer” would pitch, but the 23-year-old was terrific. He struck out two of the three hitters he faced on sliders after he had mixed in a few 101 MPH cutters.

Once Cleveland took the lead in the bottom of the eighth, it became a save situation. Wittgren got the call and quickly sat the Royals down in order to secure his first save.

What did we learn? First of all, Wittgren can be trusted in save situations if they choose to stick with him. Secondly, Clase has probably pulled ahead of Karinchak in the race to become the team’s closer of the near future.

Ian Kennedy, TEX | RosterResource

A day after Matt Bush pitched with a lead in the eighth inning and Kennedy followed by pitching a scoreless ninth to secure his first save, the Rangers went with the same formula on Wednesday. And, same as Tuesday, Bush picked up a hold despite allowing a run and the 36-year-old Kennedy converted the save. This time, he struck out three Blue Jays, proving that he has the ability to miss bats in the late innings and possibly hold on to the closer’s job for a while.

Losing A Grip

Kenley Jansen, LAD | RosterResource

It’s probably still too early to judge any closer on one blown save, especially the one on the defending World Series champions, but it seems like Jansen has been on shaky ground more often than not over the past few seasons. To his credit, he always comes back strong. But manager Dave Roberts might not have much more patience if the 33-year-old struggles again in 2021. Blake Treinen would likely be next in line should the Dodgers make a change.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 4/8/2021
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 Enoli Paredes 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 Jake Diekman Sergio Romo J.B. Wendelken 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 Pete Fairbanks Ryan Thompson Nick Anderson
TEX Ian Kennedy Matt Bush Josh Sborz Jonathan Hernandez
TOR Julian Merryweather Jordan Romano Rafael Dolis
WSH Tanner Rainey Daniel Hudson Wander Suero Brad Hand

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1 year ago

Nothing on the Reds’ situation?