Bullpen Report: August 6, 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

Brad Hand, CLE: Back-to-back days; 14 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

If Hand, who has also thrown 27 pitches combined over the past two days, is unavailable on Wednesday, James Karinchak (3 of last 4 days; 8 pitches on Wednesday) and Nick Wittgren (no appearances since Sunday) are the top candidates for a save chance on Thursday versus the Reds.

Brandon Kintzler, MIA: Back-to-back days; 11 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Kintzler is very likely available on Thursday versus the Orioles after throwing just 21 pitches over the past two days.


Injury News

Nick Burdi, PIT | RosterResource

Burdi is expected to miss the remainder of the season after he was placed on the 45-Day IL due to elbow discomfort. For the same reasons that the Pirates were planning on limiting his workload in 2020 — he missed most of the past few seasons after Tommy John surgery and thoracic outlet syndrome surgery — they are taking a cautious approach in the hopes that he’ll be able to contribute during his age-28 season in 2021.

Keone Kela is recovered from COVID-19 and back in camp. He’ll be the closer once he’s ready to return, likely within a week or two. Until then, Richard Rodriguez is the team’s best bet for save chances with Chad Kuhl and Chris Stratton also in the mix.


Outlier Saves

Stephen Tarpley, MIA | RosterResource

After Kintzler picked up the save in game one of Wednesday’s double-header, it was Tarpley who picked up a four-out save in game two. The lefty allowed an inherited runner to score on an RBI single, but retired the next four batters to complete the sweep over the Orioles.

Surprisingly, it was the 27-year-old’s third career save in only his 34th big league appearance. Despite posting a 6.93 ERA with the Yankees in 2019, he was dominant in the two save situations. He struck out the side in a 7-6 extra-inning win over the Indians on June 9 and pitched three scoreless innings with six strikeouts to close out an 8-2 victory against the Rockies on July 19.

Joakim Soria, OAK | RosterResource

Soria came on to record the final two outs of the eighth inning on five pitches with a 5-4 lead intact. The lead was extended to 6-4 in the bottom of the inning, after which manager Bob Melvin opted to let Soria finish the game — he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth — instead of going to closer Liam Hendriks, who had pitched three of the last four days. Soria now has two saves in 2020 and 223 in his career.



Committee Clarity

Josh James, HOU | RosterResource

Even if the decimated Astros’ bullpen wasn’t desperate for help, James might’ve been headed there regardless, after allowing seven runs and walking 11 batters over six innings in his first two starts. By default, he’s probably going to take on a high-leverage role soon, if not right away, although his lack of control is concerning.

In 2019, he was a bit wild (5.1 BB/9), but he struck out 100 batters in 61.1 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .203 batting average. He also got better as the season went on. If he can regain that form, he might finish the 2020 season as the Astros’ closer.

Seth Lugo, NYM | RosterResource

With Edwin Diaz making progress in a pair of lower-leverage outings, the Mets’ committee finally got some quality work out of one of its members. Lugo set the Nationals down in order in the eighth and ninth innings to preserve a 3-1 win.

Carl Edwards Jr., SEA | RosterResource

We knew the Mariners’ closer committee would be wide-ranging, but Edwards wasn’t the first name anyone would think of as an important part of that group after a disastrous 2019 season. The 28-year-old, however, is the most accomplished member and still has a terrific arm. If he can only throw strikes, he could bounce back in a big way.

Edwards got his chance on Wednesday, pitching the ninth inning with his team ahead 7-6 over the Angels. He retired the side in order on a groundout and a pair of strikeouts, giving him four consecutive scoreless outings with no walks.

Trevor Gott, SFG | RosterResource

The Giants have three saves in 2020 and Gott has all of them. With the team leading the Rockies 4-2 on Wednesday, the Giants went to Tony Watson in the seventh, Tyler Rogers in the eighth, and Gott in the ninth to close it out. Gabe Kapler isn’t one to divulge his strategies, but he appears to prefer Gott when his team is winning by three runs or less in the last inning.

Ryan Helsley, STL | RosterResource

Prior to the season, manager Mike Shildt responded with a handful of names when asked who his closer would be. Helsley was the first name mentioned, although Giovanny Gallegos wasn’t expected to be ready for Opening Day and it was apparent that Carlos Martinez would be pitching out of the starting rotation. But, surprisingly, it was newcomer Kwang Hyun Kim 김광현 that emerged as the primary closer.

Now that Kim is headed to the rotation with Martinez on the Injured List, Shildt was asked again who his closer would be.


Losing A Grip

No updates

Reliever On The Rise

Miguel Castro, BAL | RosterResource

The year was 2015. A pair of 20-year-old pitchers made the Blue Jays’ Opening Day roster after never having pitched above High-A. One was Roberto Osuna, who would go on to save more than 100 games for the team over the next four seasons. The other began his MLB career with a 1.93 ERA and four saves, including the first of his career at Yankee Stadium, over his first nine appearances. That pitcher was Miguel Castro. His success was short-lived, though. He was sent to the minors in early May. Less than three months later, he was traded to Colorado in a deal for Troy Tulowitzki.

After one full season, the Rockies were ready to move on from Castro. He was traded to the Orioles at the beginning of the 2017 season and he’s been a fixture in their bullpen ever since. But the numbers have always failed to match his potential. The 6’7″ right-hander had been adequate, posting a 4.06 ERA in his three seasons with Baltimore, but had almost as many walks as strikeouts.

On the other hand, he had just finished his age-24 season and his K/9 rate had risen from 5.9 in 2018 to 8.7. And, by the way, he averages 97 MPH on his fastball. At age 25 and pitching in his sixth MLB season, he’s off to a terrific start. In 6.1 scoreless innings, he’s walked only one batter while striking out eight. And he made it on PitchingNinja …



Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 8/5/2020
Team Closer First Up Second Up Injured List
ARI Archie Bradley Junior Guerra Andrew Chafin
ATL Mark Melancon Shane Greene Luke Jackson Will Smith
BAL Cole Sulser Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Hunter Harvey
BOS Brandon Workman Matt Barnes Heath Hembree
CHC Rowan Wick Jeremy Jeffress Kyle Ryan
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Evan Marshall
CIN Raisel Iglesias Amir Garrett Michael Lorenzen
CLE Brad Hand James Karinchak Nick Wittgren
COL Jairo Diaz Carlos Estevez Yency Almonte Wade Davis
DET Joe Jimenez Buck Farmer Gregory Soto
HOU Ryan Pressly Cy Sneed Blake Taylor Roberto Osuna
KC Greg Holland Trevor Rosenthal Ian Kennedy
LAA Ty Buttrey Felix Peña Keynan Middleton
LAD Kenley Jansen Blake Treinen Pedro Baez
MIA Brandon Kintzler Brad Boxberger Richard Bleier
MIL Josh Hader Corey Knebel David Phelps
MIN Taylor Rogers Sergio Romo Trevor May
NYM Seth Lugo Justin Wilson Jeurys Familia
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 Chad Kuhl Keone Kela
STL Ryan Helsley Giovanny Gallegos Andrew Miller
SD Kirby Yates Drew Pomeranz Emilio Pagan
SF Trevor Gott Tony Watson Tyler Rogers Reyes Moronta
SEA Carl Edwards Jr. Taylor Williams Dan Altavilla Austin Adams
TB Nick Anderson Jose Alvarado Oliver Drake
TEX Edinson Volquez Jonathan Hernandez Nick Goody Jose LeClerc
TOR Anthony Bass Jordan Romano Rafael Dolis Ken Giles
WSH Daniel Hudson Tanner Rainey Sean Doolittle Will Harris

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