Bullpen Report: August 18, 2019

Sean Doolittle’s workload was a talking point over the last couple of weeks and after another clunker in the 9th where he allowed four runs in a blown save, Doolittle was now place on the IL with knee tendinitis. Whether Doolittle is suffering a real injury or just getting some necessary rest, it should benefit Doolittle and the Nationals to give him some time to recover as he hasn’t been himself of late. With Doolitle now on the shelf look for a committee in Washingon. At the top I would expect Dan Hudson to get the first opportunity with Hunter Strickland and none other than Fernando Rodney also in the mix.

• In the same game where Doolittle’s struggles continue, Josh Hader also blew a save for the Brewers in what was truly a wild game, ending after 14 innings and a Brewers win. But in the 9th Hader allowed two walks and two hits and an earned run in his 6th blown save. In classic Hader fashion he also struck out three and although he has been a tad shaky, Matt Albers, Drew Pomeranz, and Freddy Peralta aren’t the stiffest competition either. In July spanning 16.1 innings pitched, Hader has a 6.19 ERA and 6.78 FIP but also a 3.58 xFIP and 2.61 SIERA. Hader’s extreme strikeout rate and fly ball rate have broken advanced pitching metrics. It’s unlikely that Hader continues to give up homers at the rate he is at but he will always be an extreme fly ball guy who likely carries an ERA higher than the estimators.

Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect 9th for his 35th save. Chapman had a rough stretch a few weeks ago but has gone 8 appearances in a row without allowing a run. An up and down Chapman on the Yankees is still one of the best options in fantasy baseball for saves and if he’s on point for the remainder of the year he could be the best option from here on out.

Craig Kimbrel has been mediocre on the Cubs but he should be back today which would clearly put him atop the pecking order. Last night, without Kimbrel’s services the Cubs turned to Rowan Wick who pitched a clean inning for his first career save. The options behind Kimbrel and Pedro Strop are pretty meager and Wick could become a more prominent piece in the pen.

• The Mariners turned to Matt Magill in the 9th last night and he struck out the side for his first career save. There may not be many save opportunities in Seattle and they will be split between Anthony Bass, Magill and Sam Tuivailala but AL Only leauges and teams in desperate need of save could look Magill’s way. I trust your judgement that if you are picking up Magill it’s because there isn’t a better option.

Quick Hits: Kirby Yates recorded his 34th save in a perfect inning lowering his ERA to 1.10. Yates has probably been the most valuable reliever this year, and it will be interesting to see where he ranks heading into next year’s drafts. No save for the Red Sox last night but Brandon Workman pitched a scoreless 9th and remains atop the totem pole there. Seth Lugo recovered for his 3rd save for the Mets last night and remains in the committee with Edwin Diaz. As we all know, the Braves bullpen additions have all disappointed but Mark Melancon got his 3rd save for the Braves and is still ahead of the committee there. He might start shedding that committee tag as well but he’s just one bad outing away from moving to the back of the line so we will leave as is for now. Hansel Robles (18) also recorded a save.

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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

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Jackie T.
Jackie T.

Oberg is on the DL – his season is likely over.