Bullpen Report: July 28, 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.

  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

Ryan Pressly, HOU: 24 pitches on Tuesday. | RosterResource

Newly-acquired Kendall Graveman is the best bet to fill in for Pressly.

Hansel Robles, MIN: 29 pitches on Tuesday; 13 pitches on Monday. | RosterResource

Robles left early on Tuesday with dizziness, so he may have been down on Wednesday regardless of his workload. Tyler Duffey and Alex Colomé are the top choices to fill in if needed.

Brad Hand, WSN: Three straight days; 11 pitches on Tuesday. | RosterResource

If Hand’s still on the Nationals’ roster on Wednesday, he almost definitely won’t pitch anyway. Fellow trade candidate Daniel Hudson (who pitched Saturday, Sunday and Monday but not Tuesday) would be next in line to fill in. Kyle Finnegan would be next in line if a Hudson trade occurs.


•HOU acquires RP Kendall Graveman and RP Rafael Montero for RP Joe Smith and INF Abraham Toro

The big piece here is Graveman, who’s been one of baseball’s best relievers this year. The sinkerballing righty has allowed just three earned runs in 33 innings pitched, striking out 34 and walking just eight. 54% of balls in play against him are on the ground, so while his .176 BABIP assuredly won’t hold, it should continue to stay on the lower side. Relevant to fantasy players is that he’s not expected to close for Houston—All-Star Ryan Pressly will keep his job—but he’s next in line for saves. Montero’s bottom-line results were bad (7.27 ERA), but there should be some positive regression coming (.364 BABIP, 3.73 xERA). He’ll likely work in the middle innings.

On the Mariners’ side of things, Paul Sewald looks primed to take over as closer. The former Met has been perhaps the most surprising reliever in baseball this year, striking out 42.5% of opponents and putting up a 2.30 ERA, and he’s already picked up four saves. That said, Jerry Dipoto may well have more moves up his sleeve, keeping Sewald in a setup role. Smith hasn’t been good at all this year (7.48 ERA/4.63 xERA) and will be low in the Mariners’ bullpen pecking order.

Injury News

Taylor Rogers, MIN: Placed on the 10-day IL (sprained finger). | RosterResource

There’s no timetable for Rogers’ return, but anything involving the pitching hand is fickle, especially when it’s an injury to a finger so vital to gripping the baseball. No matter how long he’s out, this almost assuredly takes Minnesota’s best reliever off the trade market. He’s pitched to a great 3.35 ERA with an even more sparkling 2.53 xERA, striking out seven times as many hitters as he’s walking all while running a 50% grounder rate.

In the meantime for the Twins, they’ll roll with some combination of Alex Colomé, Hansel Robles and perhaps Tyler Duffey closing games, though it figures that at least one of the three will be the traded (with Colomé and Robles far likelier to move than Duffey). There should be more clarity after Friday’s trade deadline.

Outlier Saves

•Daniel Norris, DET | RosterResource

Gregory Soto was unavailable on Tuesday after throwing 42 pitches on Monday, and José Cisnero and Michael Fulmer had been used already by the time the Tigers took an 11th-inning lead. The southpaw Norris was brought on and needed just 11 pitches to end the game, stranding the extra-innings ghost runner at second. It was the former starting pitcher’s first career save.

Norris has struggled to a 5.89 ERA this year, though xERA likes his performance more (4.29) because he’s running an unsustainably-high .354 BABIP. Norris’ luck does appear to be turning, as he’s allowed just three runs in 8.1 innings in July, with nine strikeouts.

Committee Clarity


Losing A Grip


Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.

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