Bullpen Report: July 19, 2019

Thursday’s schedule did not produce many notable performances from closers, but it did produce one from a possible future closer. Nathan Eovaldi made his first appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket, and he pitched a scoreless inning. He struck out the side but also issued a walk.

This would appear to be the only rehab appearance Eovaldi is going to make. He has already joined the Red Sox, who are in Baltimore for their weekend series, and he could be activated as soon as Saturday. While earlier reports had suggested that Eovaldi was going to be used as the Red Sox’s closer, Alex Cora has only specified that he plans to use the converted starter in high-leverage situations. Eovaldi’s imminent activation might not mean it’s the end of Brandon Workman’s recent run as the team’s primary closer. Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree, who have combined for six saves, may still figure into saves situations as well.

Will Smith did not win or save the Giants’ 3-2 victory over the Mets, as he pitched the 10th inning of the 16-inning contest. He fared better than he did on Tuesday night in Colorado, when he gave up three runs on a pair of homers, but it was still a mixed outing. Smith began by allowing a Robinson Cano single and an Amed Rosario double, but the rest of his inning consisted of an intentional walk and three strikeouts. He also reversed a recent trend of allowing far more contact than usual, getting swings and misses on six of his 22 pitches.

Hector Neris was also looking for a bounceback performance after blowing a save against the Dodgers on Tuesday night by allowing a go-ahead three-run homer to Matt Beaty. On Thursday, Neris gave up another home run — the fourth in his last five appearances — this time to Alex Verdugo. The solo shot reduced the Phillies’ lead to 7-6, but that was all that Neris would yield. The save he recorded was his 18th of the season and his first since July 2.

The frustration felt by Taylor Rogers‘ fantasy owners earlier this season, as he waded on the fringes of the Twins’ closer situation, is long gone. Over the last 30 days, he has accrued more value in standard Roto leagues than any other reliever besides Liam Hendriks (per ESPN’s Player Rater). On Thursday night, Rogers pitched two scoreless innings for his 14th save, making it three straight saves of two innings or more. He has not allowed a run since June 22, and since then, he has struck out 14 batters over 10.2 innings while allowing four singles. This is a good time to remember that Rogers ended his 2018 season by not allowing a run over his final 26.1 innings.

Carlos Martinez and Greg Holland have both been the subject of trade rumors, and on Thursday night, we got some insight on who could succeed them if they are dealt. Andrew Miller took care of the ninth inning against the Reds, and he successfully converted his second save of the season, securing the Cardinals’ 7-4 win. It’s entirely possible that Mike Shildt chose righty John Brebbia to pitch the eighth inning against the Reds’ bottom of the order so he could save Miller for lefties Jesse Winker and Joey Votto. One thing was clear: Martinez was not going to pitch in this game after having been used on four of the previous five days.

While the Cardinals could acquire relievers for the back end of the bullpen before the trade deadline, it will be worth noting Miller’s and Brebbia’s usage over the coming days. After a miserable June, Brebbia has rebounded in July, striking out 15 batters over 8.1 innings, while allowing two runs on three hits and two walks.

Meanwhile in Arizona, Yoan Lopez seems to be losing his grip on his chances to succeed Holland as closer. Lopez took the loss in the Diamondbacks’ 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Brewers, as he gave up three runs while retiring only one batter in the top of the eighth inning. He has now given up six runs (five earned) over his last 3.2 innings. Andrew Chafin has also been mentioned in trade rumors, so that could open the door for Yoshihisa Hirano to get saves if Holland is traded.

Quick hits: Brad Hand (26) and Ian Kennedy (16) both recorded saves on Thursday…Tanner Rainey was one ball away from an immaculate inning in the Nationals’ 13-4 win over the Braves. He has pitched 5.1 scoreless innings in July, striking out nine batters with an 18.7 percent SwStr%…The Reds placed David Hernandez on the 10-day IL with right shoulder fatigue. Amir Garrett (lat) is making his way towards a return to the Reds’ bullpen, as he is set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Friday.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 7/19/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Yoan Lopez Andrew Chafin
ATL Luke Jackson A.J. Minter Anthony Swarzak
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Brandon Workman Matt Barnes Heath Hembree Nathan Eovaldi
CHC Craig Kimbrel Pedro Strop Steve Cishek
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Evan Marshall
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Jared Hughes Amir Garrett
CLE Brad Hand Adam Cimber Oliver Perez
COL Wade Davis Scott Oberg Jairo Diaz
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Victor Alcantara
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Will Harris
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Kevin McCarthy
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Joe Kelly
MIA Sergio Romo Nick Anderson Jose Quijada Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Junior Guerra
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Justin Wilson
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendriks Joakim Soria Yusmeiro Petit
PHI Hector Neris Adam Morgan Juan Nicasio David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Carlos Martinez Andrew Miller John Brebbia Jordan Hicks
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Sam Dyson Tony Watson
SEA Roenis Elias Anthony Bass Cory Gearrin Hunter Strickland
TB Emilio Pagan Oliver Drake Diego Castillo Jose Alvarado
TEX Shawn Kelley Chris Martin Jose LeClerc
TOR Ken Giles Daniel Hudson David Phelps
WSH Sean Doolittle Fernando Rodney Wander Suero Kyle Barraclough

Al Melchior has been writing about Fantasy baseball and sim games since 2000, and his work has appeared at CBSSports.com, BaseballHQ, Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster and FanRagSports. He has also participated in Tout Wars' mixed auction league since 2013. You can follow Al on Twitter @almelchiorbb and find more of his work at almelchior.com.

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Smaleb Cith
4 years ago

How do you feel about Munoz for the Pads?