Bullpen Report: August 20, 2021

NEW FEATURE ALERT! We have added an upgraded version of RosterResource’s Closer Depth Chart to FanGraphs. Read more about it here.

We will always include a link to the full Closer Depth Chart at the bottom of the Bullpen Report each day. It’s also accessible from the RosterResource drop-down menu and from any RosterResource page. Please let us know what you think.

  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

Paul Sewald, SEA: Three straight days; 9 pitches on Thursday. | RosterResource

Diego Castillo and Drew Steckenrider, Sewald’s co-closers, should both be available on Friday.

Joe Barlow, TEX: 27 pitches on Thursday. | RosterResource

Spencer Patton and Brett Martin are the likeliest options for a save on Friday.

Injury News


Outlier Saves

Cristian Javier, HOU | RosterResource

Dusty Baker elected to use closer Ryan Pressly in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game against the meat of the Royals order (Perez-Santana-Benintendi), so he had to go to another option after the Astros took the lead in the top of the tenth. Kendall Graveman was evidently unavailable after throwing 17 pitches to get five outs on Wednesday. With Phil Maton and Ryne Stanek both used earlier in the game, that left Javier—who opened the season in Houston’s rotation but has since been an excellent Swiss army knife out of the bullpen—as the best option. Javier made quick work of Kansas City, as he retired all three men he faced on 13 pitches. It was his second save of the season.

Austin Warren, LAA | RosterResource

The Angels were down 10-2 heading into the sixth inning, so Joe Maddon and his coaching staff probably didn’t think they’d need to figure out a closer with Raisel Iglesias getting a day off after pitching Wednesday. But once the Angels stormed back to take the lead in the eighth, they had to figure things out pretty quickly. Enter Warren, the rookie righty who made a relatively quick ascension to the majors after being drafted in the sixth round of 2018 out of UNC Wilmington.

Warren was so good in the eighth, retiring the side in order, that he was brought back out for the ninth, and did the same once again to earn his first carer save. He lowered his ERA to 2.08 in the process (three earned runs in 13 innings) and is quickly moving up LA’s bullpen hierarchy.

Chad Green, NYY | RosterResource

The plan was for Aroldis Chapman to immediately take back the closer role upon his return from the Injured List on Wednesday, though that may no longer be the case after Chapman faltered on Wednesday (Lucas Luetge earned the save to bail him out) and he didn’t pitch on Thursday. It could simply be because he threw 20 pitches on Wednesday, but this is nonetheless worth monitoring.

At any rate, it was Green who closed on Wednesday, striking out two but giving up a homer to Miguel Sanó and throwing 23 pitches in a mixed-bag outing. Ultimately, though, he did the job and was credited with his sixth save of the year.

Blake Treinen, LAD | RosterResource

Kenley Jansen had a heavy workload earlier in the week, throwing 35 pitches combined between Monday and Tuesday’s appearances. So, even though he didn’t pitch Wednesday, it appeared he had Thursday off as well. So, as he has on multiple occasions this year, it was Treinen who filled in, and he made quick work of the Mets, striking out the side in order. It was his fourth save of the year, and he should continue to be the top option to substitute for Jansen as needed.

Committee Clarity


Losing A Grip


Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.

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8 months ago

I don’t see Tejay Antone in the “Injured List” slot for Cincinnati. Do we think he moves into the closer role when he comes back? Or more likely to be 7th/8th inning fireman’s role with multi-inning outings mixed in?