Bullpen Report: July 17, 2021

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.)

Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.

Notable Workloads

Kendall Graveman, SEA: 28 pitches on Friday. | RosterResource

Paul Sewald is a likely candidate for a save chance on Saturday, especially if Graveman isn’t available.


Injury News



Outlier Saves



Committee Clarity

Ranger Suárez, PHI | RosterResource

While manager Joe Girardi might be comfortable enough using José Alvarado or Archie Bradley in a save situation, it’s becoming clear that Suárez is the reliever that he trusts the most these days. After picking up the team’s last two saves, including a seven-out appearance to close out a 5-4 win over the Red Sox in the final game of the first half, the 25-year-old lefty got the call in game one of Friday’s double-header with his team leading 5-2 over the Marlins. He allowed a hit, but struck out three in a scoreless inning to pick up his third save.

Success out of the bullpen is nothing new for Suárez. As a rookie in 2019, he had a 3.14 ERA and six holds in 37 appearances. He missed most of last season with COVID-19 and began 2021 in Triple-A after reporting late to camp due to visa issues. But he’s been a savior for the Phillies since joining them, allowing only three earned runs and 16 hits in 36 innings and pitching at least two innings on nine occasions.

•Paul Sewald, SEA | RosterResource

Sewald had already made a strong case to become part of a closer committee after dominating in 25 appearances (1.40 ERA, 15.4 K/9) following a mid-May promotion. He also picked up two of the team’s last three saves. But Graveman has also been terrific, posting a 0.95 ERA with eight saves and four holds, which likely gave him the edge as the Mariners’ primary closer heading into the second half of the season. But he struggled to close out the Angels in a non-save situation on Friday. An error led to three unearned runs, but he allowed three hits and was removed for Sewald with two outs and a runner on first. The 31-year-old allowed a single to Jared Walsh before retiring Phil Gosselin on a line out to right field to close out the 6-5 victory.

If it wasn’t already the case, a Graveman-Sewald closer share is likely what’s happening in Seattle for the time being.

Pete Fairbanks, TBR | RosterResource

For a stretch, it appeared that Fairbanks was going to pitch himself out of a high-leverage role. Over the final two weeks in June, he allowed 12 runs (8 ER), 11 hits, and six walks in five innings with three losses. He bounced back, though, pitching four consecutive scoreless innings without allowing a hit or a walk heading into the All-Star break. Manager Kevin Cash was likely convinced that it would carry over into the second half because it was Fairbanks, and not Diego Castillo, who got the save chance once the Rays took a 7-6 lead over the Braves in the tenth inning of Friday’s game. The 27-year-old made quick work of Atlanta, retiring the side on eight pitches to pick up his fourth save.


Losing A Grip

Emmanuel Clase, CLE | RosterResource

Aside from a few hiccups, Clase had been rolling along without much trouble in his first season with Cleveland. He allowed only three earned runs while saving 11 games over his first 33 appearances, including nine scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts to close out that span. But over his next five outings, the 23-year-old allowed four earned runs and nine hits over five innings with two blown saves and two losses. Things did not get better on Friday. Given a chance to secure a 4-3 win over the A’s, Clase allowed a leadoff single to Elvis Andrus and, two batters later, Jed Lowrie hit a two-run, walk-off homer to give Clase his third consecutive blown save.

Clase and James Karinchak have gotten a pretty equal share of save chances as co-closers, but that could change with Clase’s latest struggles. After pitching a scoreless inning on Friday, Karinchak has allowed only three earned runs over his last 15 2/3 innings.


Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.


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