Bullpen Report: August 27, 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

Matt Barnes, BOS: Three of last four days; 26 pitches on Thursday. | RosterResource

Adam Ottavino, Josh Taylor and Hirokazu Sawamura are the likeliest to fill in if the struggling Barnes (who threw a scoreless inning despite being inefficient) is unavailable Friday.

•Scott Barlow, KCR: 8 pitches on Thursday; 31 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Wade Davis, Domingo Tapia and Richard Lovelady could cobble together the late innings if the Royals have a lead Friday.

Injury News

Tejay Antone, CIN: Will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday.

On Tuesday, Antone was activated from the IL after two months on the sidelines due to a forearm strain. Unfortunately, that return lasted just five pitches before he had to leave with the trainer on the very day he was activated. Antone announced Thursday that he will indeed have to go under the knife for his second Tommy John surgery, with his first coming in April of 2017. Antone missed just under 13 months after his first surgery, and second surgeries generally take longer to heal from. As such, we almost definitely won’t see Antone until Spring Training of 2023 at the earliest.

Antone had emerged as the Reds’ best reliever when healthy this year, pitching to a 2.14 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 33.2 innings. The Reds will have a lot of offseason work to do on a bullpen that’s struggled all year; in addition to the loss of Antone, Michael Lorenzen, Mychal Givens and Brad Brach (currently on the IL) will be free agents. Veteran lefty Justin Wilson has a player option as well.

Outlier Saves

Noé Ramirez, ARI | RosterResource

The Diamondbacks haven’t really had a named closer all season, though it sure seems like Tyler Clippard is the man right now, with five saves in 13 appearances since coming off the IL in late-July. The Snakes aren’t exactly brimming with options on days Clippard isn’t available, but Ramirez has done solid work, allowing seven runs in 17.2 innings as a Diamondback. He only needed to get one out to win the game, though he didn’t make that easy on himself at all; J.T. Realmuto walked and Didi Gregorius knocked a two-run single before Brad Miller struck out to end the game. It was Ramirez’s first save of the season, but with Clippard’s great work (four runs allowed in 13 innings) for a last-place team, it could well be his last.

Tyler Rogers, SFG | RosterResource

The righty Rogers is no stranger to pitching the final inning for the best team in baseball, as Thursday’s save was his 12th of the season. However, it was the submariner’s first save since July 21st, during which time he’s earned seven holds and lefty closer Jake McGee—who had split the duties with Rogers earlier in the year—has picked up nine saves. McGee threw 24 pitches Wednesday and wasn’t going to pitch Thursday.

Rogers remains incredibly valuable, lowering his ERA to 1.89 with his scoreless save (on just eight pitches), and he’s doing it while leading the NL in appearances (62). He’s walked only nine batters and four homers, and his WHIP is 1.000 on the dot, so his appearances have tended to be low-stress. He’ll continue to be the man up for the closing job when McGee needs a breather.

Craig Kimbrel, CHW | RosterResource

When the White Sox first acquired Kimbrel, it was assumed that manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Ethan Katz would be very fluid with their closing situation, working in Kimbrel along with Liam Hendriks roughly equally. But that simply didn’t materialize, with Hendriks earning four saves this month and Kimbrel finally getting his first opportunity on Thursday (Hendriks threw 39 pitches on Tuesday and was given a couple of days off).

It’s been a poor start for Kimbrel as a White Sox, having allowed six runs in 9.1 innings entering Thursday. Even after a scoreless inning to earn Thursday’s save, his White Sox ERA stands at 5.23 (in a small sample, of course). Kimbrel assured the media that any struggles he’s had were due to mechanical flaws he’s working to iron out rather than any displeasure or discomfort pitching in the eighth.

Committee Clarity


Losing A Grip

•Matt Barnes, BOS | RosterResource

It was yet another outing to forget for Barnes, who allowed a leadoff homer to Josh Donaldson before walking the next two batters faced, throwing just four of 12 pitches for strikes. Even though neither of the walks ultimately came around to score, Barnes’ ERA has gone up from 2.30 to 3.91 this month, as he’s allowed ten earned runs in nine appearances, spanning just 5.1 innings. Barnes has had horrible luck, with a .571 BABIP in August, but he’s also walked five batters and given up three homers, so this can’t all be pinned on defense or flukiness.

Barnes may well need a reset, and if he does, Adam Ottavino, Hansel Robles, Josh Taylor, Garrett Whitlock and Hirokazu Sawamura are all options for saves.

Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.

Not Very Stable
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2 years ago

Barlow has pitched back to back days and has thrown 40+ pitches. Probably notable that he won’t pitched today