Bullpen Report: August 19, 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.)

Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.

Notable Workloads

Tyler Clippard, ARI: Back-to-back days; 19 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Taylor Clarke is a likely candidate for a save chance on Thursday if Clippard isn’t available.

Josh Hader, MIL: Back-to-back days; 3 of last 4 days; 14 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Devin Williams has also thrown back-to-back days and 3 of the last 4. Brad Boxberger is a likely candidate for a save chance on Thursday if neither Hader nor Williams is available.

Alex Colomé, MIN: 3 of last 4 days; 31 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Tyler Duffey is a likely candidate for a save chance on Thursday if Colome isn’t available.

Alex Reyes, STL: 32 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Giovanny Gallegos (26 pitches on Wednesday) and Génesis Cabrera are likely candidates for a save chance on Thursday if Reyes isn’t available.


Injury News

Aroldis Chapman, NYY: Activated from 10-Day IL| RosterResource

Prior to landing on the Injured List due to elbow inflammation on August 6, Chapman had pitched seven consecutive scoreless innings with saves in his last six appearances. It certainly could have been a case of bad timing, but the Yankees’ bullpen really stepped things up. With Chapman out, the team won nine of 12 games with five different pitchers combining for eight saves. While Zach Britton probably took a step backward and isn’t likely to be in the mix for saves again anytime soon, Albert Abreu is emerging as a reliable late-inning arm who can capably bridge the gap to Chad Green, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Chapman.

The Yankees’ winning ways continued on Tuesday as they defeated the Red Sox to take the lead in the AL Wild Card race, although Chapman’s poor performance put a bit of a damper on things. Pitching with a 5-1 lead in the ninth, he allowed a solo homer to Hunter Renfroe and then allowed a walk and single to put two runners on with two outs. Lucas Luetge came in to record the final out and pick up his first save since his rookie season in 2012.

Outlier Saves

Lucas Luetge, NYY | RosterResource

•Devin Williams, MIL | RosterResource

After the Brewers tied the game in the top of the ninth against Cardinals’ closer Alex Reyes, they went to Hader in the bottom of the ninth in hopes that he could send the game to extra innings. He hit the leadoff man before retiring the next three batters in order. The offense went back to work, scoring three more runs against Reyes in the top of the tenth.

Williams closed things out in the bottom-half of the inning, allowing only the inherited runner to score in a 6-4 win. The 2020 NL Rookie of the Year now has three saves to go along with 19 holds and six wins in his sophomore season.


Committee Clarity

Scott Barlow, KCR| RosterResource

Greg Holland’s recent struggles and subsequent placement on the Injured List only strengthened the case for Barlow to become the Royals’ primary closer. Rookie left-hander Jake Brentz appears to have entered the mix, however, picking up two of the team’s last three saves while fellow lefty Richard Lovelady had the other. But with a 3-2 lead over the Astros on Monday, it was Barlow who was back in the saddle. While he was able to close out the win for his seventh save, he did have some defensive help. With two outs and runners on first and second, Jose Altuve lined a single to left field. Andrew Benintendi fired a one-hop strike to Salvador Perez, who made a diving tag of the speedy Chas McCormick to end the game.

Since allowing five earned runs in his last two outings prior to the All-Star break, the 28-year-old Barlow has allowed only three earned runs in 15 1/3 innings over his last 14 outings. He’ll head into the offseason as the Royals’ best reliever, although it’s still to be determined whether they trust him in the closer’s role.

Drew Steckenrider, SEA | RosterResource

Since picking up a save in his third appearance for the Mariners back on August 3, Diego Castillo has been used exclusively in a high-leverage role in the seventh and/or eighth innings. And while Steckenrider only has two saves during that span — he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out a 3-1 win over Texas on Wednesday for his fifth save — he has on most occasions appeared to be the most likely candidate for a save chance should one have been presented. On Tuesday, however, the winning formula was Steckenrider and Castillo in the seventh and eighth, respectively, with a one-run lead and Paul Sewald getting the call in the ninth to close out the 3-1 win. Thus, it does not appear that Steckenrider is the Mariners’ sole closer at this point.

The Mariners’ usage of their top three relievers is becoming very familiar to what the Tampa Bay Rays did with Castillo, Nick Anderson, and Pete Fairbanks during the 2020 regular season. Castillo and Anderson got the bulk of save chances while Fairbanks surprisingly had no saves until the post-season, when he tied Castillo for the team lead with three. For the 2021 Mariners, at least over the past two weeks, Castillo appears to be playing Fairbanks’ part as the “first man up” with the game on the line.


Losing A Grip



Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.


Not Very Stable
Hot Seat

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