Bullpen Report: August 8, 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.

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.)

Notable Workloads

Matt Barnes, BOS: 9 pitches on Saturday.RosterResource

While his pitch count is low, Barnes appeared in both games of yesterday’s double-header and may need a day off. While it’s certainly possible he could go again on Sunday if he’s needed, Adam Ottavino and Josh Taylor are likely candidates to fill in if that’s not the case.

Jonathan Loaisiga, NYY: 8 pitches on Saturday, three of last four days.RosterResource

One look at the Yankees section of the closer depth chart might make you think there is some sort of glitch in the system. There is not. Every member of the Yankees bullpen was used on Friday, except for Aroldis Chapman who went on the IL on Saturday (see more below). That made Saturday’s bullpen strategy complicated, to say the least. Luckily, manager Aaron Boone was able to give Zack Britton and Chad Green the day off yesterday and either is likely to be called on in a save situation today.

Craig Kimbrel, CHW: 16 pitches on Saturday, back-to-back days.RosterResource

After a blown save on Friday, Kimbrel appeared in the bottom of the eighth inning on Saturday and pitched a clean inning with two strikeouts. It’s unclear why he pitched the eighth and not the ninth. Perhaps it was due to matchups, as he faced one left-handed hitter and two right-handed hitters. Regardless, it was not a save situation with a four-run lead. Co-closer Liam Hendriks had the day off on Saturday and is likely to get a save opportunity on Sunday.

José Cisnero, DET: 27 pitches on Saturday.RosterResource

While all three closer committee members were used yesterday, Michael Fulmer (12 pitches) and Gregory Soto (20 pitches) are likely to appear again on Sunday if a save situation comes up.

Ryan Pressly, HOU: 11 pitches on Saturday, back-to-back days.| RosterResource

Luckily for the Astros, they have three closer-caliber (maybe more) pitchers in their pen after their trade deadline moves. Kendall Graveman (15 pitches on Saturday, back-to-back days) is also on “High Usage Alert” making Yimi García the most rested and likely to pick up a save on Sunday if the opportunity presents itself.

Diego Castillo, SEA: 15 pitches on Saturday, back-to-back days.| RosterResource

The Mariners pen has had a rough go of things the past three days and will look to bounce back on Sunday with either Paul Sewald or Drew Steckenrider as likely candidates for a save opportunity if one comes up.

Ian Kennedy, PHI: 19 pitches on Saturday, back-to-back days.| RosterResource

Kennedy has been a great addition to a Phillies bullpen that was struggling to close out games. While he hasn’t been the most efficient closer in the game, he has recorded back-to-back saves in his last two games and will likely need a day of rest on Sunday. Setup men José Alvarado and Archie Bradley are likely candidates for save chances.

Kenley Jansen, LAD: 9 pitches on Saturday, three of last four days.| RosterResource

Setup men Joe Kelly and Blake Treinen are likely to fill in for Jansen on Sunday.

Tyler Rogers, SFG: 7 pitches on Saturday, three of last four days.| RosterResource

After extra innings on Saturday, Rogers, along with co-closer Jake McGee and setup man Dominic Leone, are all listed under “High Usage Alert”. Both McGee and Rogers have appeared three games in a row and every member of the bullpen was used last night. Gabe Kapler will have to get creative on Sunday as it’s unclear who is the most rested and likely to appear out of the pen.


Injury News

Aroldis Chapman, NYY: 10-Day IL, Left elbow inflammation | RosterResource

According to manager Aaron Boone, Chapman is likely looking at, “A few days of no throwing” and he is hopeful the closer will return to action on the 10th day. Champman’s last outing was on Thursday, August 5th where he faced 5 batters, walked 1, struck out 1, and recorded the save. After a bullpen game from the Yankees on Friday, it was unclear how Aaron Boone would handle the pen on Saturday. Andrew Heaney was able to go a full six innings, taking some of the pressure off the Yankees relievers. In the end, Jonathan Loaisiga closed out the game and recorded a save with a clean inning. Based on Boone’s post-game comments and mention of “All hands on deck”, the closer role is likely to go to a committee situation, as Zack Britton, Chad Green and Loaisiga are all capable of closing out games.


Outlier Saves

Adam Ottavino, BOS |Roster Resource

The Red Sox and the Blue Jays played a double-header yesterday and Matt Barnes gave up a walk-off home run to the only batter he faced, Marcus Semien, in the bottom of the seventh of game one. Barnes was given another chance in game two and came into a tied seventh inning once again, this time getting all three outs to put the game into extra innings. When the Red Sox went up by a run in the top of the eighth, it was Ottavino who came in to close things out, recording the save and giving Matt Barnes the win. Ottavino now has eight saves on the year.

Giovanny GallegosSTL | Roster Resource

With Alex Reyes coming off back-to-back nights, throwing 30 pitches in total, it is likely this was a routine night off for the closer, giving Gallegos an opportunity. Facing only three batters on 13 pitches, Gallegos showed once again that he is more than capable of handling late-inning, save situations.

Committee Clarity


Losing a Grip



Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.

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Scotty Gmember
1 year ago

I would hesitate to call Hendrinks and Kimbrel a co-closer situation. Hendriks has pitched the ninth in every game they’ve both been available, and LaRussa’s quote appears to confirm him as closer: “The day that they’re both available, it will be real clear, if we have the lead, who pitches the eighth and who pitches the ninth.”