Bullpen Report: August 13, 2020

The 2020 version of Bullpen Report includes six 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.
  6. Reliever On The Rise: Non-closer who is quickly moving up the depth chart based on potential and recent performance.

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

Cole Sulser, BAL: Back-to-back days; 16 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Sulser has thrown 44 pitches in two days, while Miguel Castro and Mychal Givens have also pitched on back-to-back days. Givens (19 pitches on Wednesday) would seem the most likely to get a third consecutive day and a save chance.


Injury News

Keone Kela, PIT | RosterResource

Kela will be activated from the Injured List (COVID-19) on Thursday ahead of the Pirates’ four-game series in Cincinnati. Without any reliable late-inning alternatives, the expectation is that he’ll be the closer right away. Easing him back with a few low-leverage outings is a possibility, but mostly because the Pirates have only won one of their last 11 games and might not be able to offer many save opportunities.


Outlier Saves

Josh A. Smith., MIA | RosterResource

After closer Brandon Kintzler pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to send a tie game into extra innings, the Marlins took a 14-11 lead over the Blue Jays in the top of the 10th. Miami’s eighth and final pitcher of the game was Smith, who pitched a scoreless bottom half of the inning (2 K) for his second career save. His first was last June while he was with the Red Sox.


Committee Clarity

Cole Sulser, Miguel Castro, and Mychal Givens, BAL | RosterResource

For the second time this season, manager Brandon Hyde has gone right back to Sulser the day after a blown save. Both times, Sulser has delivered with a strong bounce-back performance. On Wednesday, he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth (2 K) to close out a 5-4 win over the Phillies and pick up his fourth save. At 9-7, the Orioles could be the most surprising team in baseball thus far and Hyde appears confident with Sulser as the closer on his winning ball club and Castro and Givens as his primary setup men.


Losing A Grip



Reliever On The Rise

Blake Taylor, HOU | RosterResource

There aren’t many bright spots in the Astros’ bullpen, but Taylor has been an exception. Acquired from the Mets this past offseason in a trade for Jake Marisnick, the 24-year-old was coming off of his first season as a relief pitcher. He spent most of the season in High-A and Double-A, so his arrival in the big leagues was not highly anticipated on Opening Day 2020. But he won a spot as the team’s lone left-handed reliever and he has not disappointed.

After pitching a scoreless ninth on Wednesday to close out a 5-1 win over the Giants — not quite his first save chance, but he’s getting closer — Taylor has allowed just two runs in 10 innings with four walks and ten strikeouts. He’s been very good against lefty hitters (1-for-13), but right-handers haven’t exactly had much success against him either (5-for-20, HR, 2 2B).

It’s a small sample, but with closer Ryan Pressly struggling, Taylor’s ability to get both left-handed and right-handed batters out is what could earn him a chance to step into the role should the team decide to make a change. If he can continue to paint the outside corner with his mid-nineties fastball as he did here to Anthony Rendon, he should be just fine.


Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 8/12/2020
Team Closer First Up Second Up Injured List
ARI Archie Bradley Junior Guerra Andrew Chafin
ATL Mark Melancon Will Smith Shane Greene
BAL Cole Sulser Miguel Castro Mychal Givens Hunter Harvey
BOS Brandon Workman Matt Barnes Austin Brice
CHC Rowan Wick Jeremy Jeffress Kyle Ryan
CWS Alex Colome Evan Marshall Jimmy Cordero Aaron Bummer
CIN Raisel Iglesias Amir Garrett Nate Jones
CLE Brad Hand James Karinchak Nick Wittgren
COL Jairo Diaz Carlos Estevez Daniel Bard Wade Davis
DET Joe Jimenez Gregory Soto Jose Cisnero Buck Farmer
HOU Ryan Pressly Blake Taylor Josh James Roberto Osuna
KC Trevor Rosenthal Scott Barlow Josh Staumont
LAA Ty Buttrey Felix Peña Keynan Middleton
LAD Kenley Jansen Blake Treinen Pedro Baez
MIA Brandon Kintzler Brad Boxberger Nick Vincent Richard Bleier
MIL Josh Hader Devin Williams Corey Knebel
MIN Taylor Rogers Sergio Romo Trevor May
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Dellin Betances
NYY Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Chad Green Aroldis Chapman
OAK Liam Hendriks Joakim Soria Yusmeiro Petit
PHI Hector Neris Tommy Hunter Adam Morgan David Robertson
PIT Richard Rodriguez Chris Stratton Geoff Hartlieb Keone Kela
STL Giovanny Gallegos Andrew Miller John Gant Ryan Helsley
SD Kirby Yates Drew Pomeranz Emilio Pagan
SF Trevor Gott Tony Watson Tyler Rogers Reyes Moronta
SEA Taylor Williams Dan Altavilla Matt Magill Austin Adams
TB Nick Anderson Jose Alvarado Diego Castillo
TEX Rafael Montero Jonathan Hernandez Joely Rodriguez Jose LeClerc
TOR Anthony Bass Jordan Romano Rafael Dolis Ken Giles
WSH Daniel Hudson Tanner Rainey Javy Guerra Will Harris

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You have to mention the ugly save for Rosenthal. IN a 1 run game he walked the leadoff man on a 3-2 pitch and none of the 4 balls were close. Then after the Reds gave up an out on a failed sacrifice (with 2 pitches to that hitter not particularly close), Rosenthal walked the next guy on 4 straight with at least 3 of those not being terribly close either. Then he walked Castellanos on a 3-2 pitch with again none of the 4 balls being particularly close.

He did finish off the last PA with 4 of his 5 pitches in the zone and got a double play to end it, but for a guy that had disastrous control problems last year as part of his comeback, not a great appearance.

(As a side note, that game also showed the hazards of pinch-running for a star hitter. The Reds pinch-ran for Votto when he led off the 8th with a BB. Then in the 9th when Rosenthal walked the bases loaded, Votto’s spot came back up but Rosenthal got Christian Colon instead.)