Bullpen Report: August 8, 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

Joe Jimenez, DET: 31 pitches on Friday. | RosterResource

The Tigers used seven pitchers on Friday, so there won’t be many fresh arms to choose from if Jimenez isn’t available. Jimenez hadn’t pitched in four days, so there’s a chance he could pitch again on Saturday. If not, Gregory Soto (10 pitches on Friday) could get a save chance.

Ryan Pressly, HOU: Back-to-back days; 10 pitches on Friday. | RosterResource

Pressly had a nice and easy inning on Friday after his debacle on Thursday. Considering his early season elbow discomfort, the Astros will likely stay away from him on a third consecutive day. Look for Blake Taylor to get a save chance on Saturday.

Liam Hendriks, OAK: Back-to-back days; 3 of last 4 days; 10 pitches on Friday. | RosterResource

Joakim Soria threw 16 pitches on Friday and has also made an appearance in three of four days, but he had an off day on Thursday. He might be considered more likely to pitch on Saturday than Hendriks. Yusmeiro Petit could also be an option if the A’s stay away from using Hendriks on a third consecutive day.


Injury News

Ryan Helsley, STL | RosterResource

As the Cardinals were set to resume action on Friday after more than a week off, Helsley was the leading candidate for save chances. But after the weekend series versus the Cubs was postponed due to additional positive tests for COVID-19, it was reported that Helsley was one of those players.

When the team does finally play a game — Monday would be the earliest — it’s likely that Giovanny Gallegos would be the team’s leading candidate for saves.

Outlier Saves

Nick Vincent, MIA | RosterResource

With Brandon Kintzler unavailable after pitching three straight days and Brad Boxberger throwing 20 pitches on Thursday, the Marlins turned to the veteran Vincent with the bases loaded, one out, and his team winning 4-2 in the eighth. After allowing an RBI single, he retired the next two hitters to end the threat. The ninth inning was much less dramatic as the 34-year-old set the Mets down in order for his fifth career save.


Committee Clarity

Trevor Rosenthal, KCR | RosterResource

Rosenthal has gotten the last two save chances for the Royals, picking up his 123rd career save on Friday. After his first save of the season last Thursday, the Royals went on a six-game losing streak.

Greg Holland, who has the team’s only other save, entered Friday’s game in the fifth inning with his team down by a run. It’s a strong indication that this committee might not be much of a committee, considering that Holland had appeared to be Rosenthal’s top competition for saves.

Edwin Diaz, NYM | RosterResource

After a third consecutive scoreless outing on Friday, a 1-2-3 ninth inning (2 K) with his team trailing the Marlins by a run, it is likely that Diaz will return to the closer’s role in the very near future or, at the least, he could become part of the closer committee with Seth Lugo and company.

By not committing either way, manager Luis Rojas could remove some pressure from the 26-year-old when he gets his next save chance. If Diaz executes, the job is likely his again whether he’s anointed as the “closer” or not.

Rafael Montero, TEX | RosterResource

It’s not a big surprise that Montero is in the mix for save chances after a very good 22-appearance stint (2.48 ERA, 10.6 K/9, 7 holds) with the Rangers in 2019. What is shocking is that he got a save chance in his first game back from a stint on the Injured List because of elbow tendinitis.

Despite the team’s very unsettled committee, one or two low-leverage outings seemed likely before throwing the 29-year-old into the fire. But manager Chris Woodward trusted Montero, who pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to lock down his first career save. My guess is that it won’t be his last in 2020.


Losing A Grip

Ryan Pressly, HOU | RosterResource

A day after blowing his first save chance without even recording an out, the 31-year-old Pressly came back strong on Friday with a perfect ninth inning in a tie game.


Reliever On The Rise

J.B. Wendelken, OAK | RosterResource

On May 4, 2019, Wendelken allowed three runs in a second consecutive appearance. He picked up his first big league loss and blown save while his ERA rose to 5.85. It didn’t matter that his numbers were good in April or that he had allowed just one run in 16.2 innings in 2019. As a middle reliever with minor league options, it only takes a few bad games to get buried on the depth chart.

Shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the majors for the remainder of the season, Wendelken made only 10 more big league appearances after May 4. But he didn’t allow a run over that 12.2 inning span while limiting opposing hitters to an .051 batting average.

Nearly 10 months later, the 27-year-old picked up right where he left off with no runs allowed over his first four appearances (3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, BB, 5 K) in 2020. He finally gave up a run on Friday in his third inning of work, but it was unearned — if the runner who begins on second base in extra innings scores, it’s ruled as an unearned run — and the A’s came back with two in the bottom of the 13th to secure Wendelken’s fourth career win. Here he is pitching in the game when he picked up his first career win …

With a streak of 18.2 innings without allowing an unearned run still intact, Wendelken has ensured that he’s going to be an integral part of the Oakland bullpen in 2020 and beyond. With Hendriks and Soria both set to become free agents at season’s end, Wendelken could be the heir apparent to the closer’s job.


Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 8/7/2020
Team Closer First Up Second Up Injured List
ARI Archie Bradley Junior Guerra Andrew Chafin
ATL Mark Melancon Will Smith Shane Greene
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 Blake Taylor Josh James Roberto Osuna
KC Trevor Rosenthal Greg Holland 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 Freddy Peralta
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 Giovanny Gallegos Andrew Miller John Gant Ryan Helsley
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 Rafael Montero 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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Jeff Meredithmember
3 years ago

Thanks Jason. Your article is the First thing I look for when I get off work late!