Friday was busy for relievers as Jim Johnson (10), Dellin Betances (4), Will Harris (12), David Robertson (28), Brandon Maurer (5), Sam Dyson (26), Ryan Madson (25), Tony Watson (5), and Zach Britton (36) all shook hands and earned saves on Friday. Transactions started to build up on Saturday, along with some saves so let’s get to those.
Darren O’Day is back on the DL with a shoulder injury and changes our grid for Baltimore. Brad Brach is now first in line for holds and Mychal Givens is back on the grid with 5 straight scoreless outings. O’Day has struggled in 2 of his last 3 appearances giving up 3 and 2 runs in those spots. I wouldn’t count on these guys for saves, but Brach and Givens are really solid options for holds at this point even though O’Day is supposed to return right when his DL stint it is up.
Jonathan Papelbon has been released by the Washington Nationals, which should officially mean he is not on your roster at this point. After giving up a home-run on August 6th, he has not seen any action and asked for his release, which also changes up our grid, slotting Blake Treinen as second in line for save opps. Treinen has posted a 1.90 ERA, but his FIP (3.64) tells us to be cautious. The K rate (23.9%) is solid, but the BB rate (10.9%) has improved, but is still concerning. Treinen may be somebody to track who has only given up a run in an over 2 inning outing since July 8th. Shawn Kelley is clearly next in line with six straight scoreless appearances and a strikeout in each, though the 8 holds seem pretty low.
Pedro Strop is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which places Carl Edwards Jr. second in line. The K rate is strong (36.5%), but the BB rate (12.2%) is concerning for Edwards Jr. who gave up 4 walks today along with 5 runs in 0.2 innings. Outside of today, he has posted a 1.42 ERA (1.87 FIP), but today’s outing shot his ERA up to 3.66 (2.42 FIP). Strop has been excellent out of the pen this season, and has accumulated over 20 holds in each of the past 3 seasons. Edwards has strong potential for holds, but I wouldn’t jump all over him yet after today’s meltdown (even though he didn’t give up the grand slam to crush his ERA). I would still take a day or two to monitor how Joe Maddon uses his bullpen moving forward if you are looking to snag some holds.
Jeurys Familia blew his third save of the year after giving up a game-tying home run to Wil Myers, but all is forgotten as the Mets won the game in the 11th off Brandon Maurer. Familia is still having an excellent year with a 2.91 ERA (2.54 FIP), but the BB rate has shot up from 6.2% in 2015 to 9.9% this season. In his past 5 outings, Familia has allowed at least one base runner, but has given up no runs in those games while saving two of them. The WHIP has also skyrocketed from 1.00 last season to 1.31 in 2016, as well as the BABIP (.272 vs .331) and his LOB% (89.4% vs. 77.1%). Familia is not in danger of losing his job, but the amount of base runners he is allowing is concerning and he is not the same dominant closer of last season, which of course is a lot to ask.
Quick Hits: Roberto Osuna (26), Kenley Jansen (35), Mark Melancon (33), Jeanmar Gomez (30), Craig Kimbrel (19), David Robertson (19), Brandon Kintzler (11), Francisco Rodriguez (33), Santiago Casilla (27), and Edwin Diaz (6) all earned saves tonight.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]