Bullpen Report: June 17, 2019

It has now been 10 days since Wade Davis ended his stay on the IL with an oblique injury, and he has appeared five times for the Rockies since then. Enough time has passed that it’s fair to say that the warning signs that were present for Davis before going on the IL have not gotten any weaker.

In Davis’ three outings before getting shelved, he had given up three runs on five hits and a pair of walks over three innings, and the average velocity on his fastball was 93.3 mph, as compared to 94.1 mph prior to that stretch. Since returning from his injury, Davis has allowed seven runs on nine hits and three walks over 4.1 innings, and his average fastball velocity has dipped a little further to 92.9 mph.

His latest — and worst — misstep occurred on Sunday against the Padres at Coors Field, as Davis relinquished the Rockies’ 13-10 lead in the top of the ninth inning. The three-run advantage unraveled when he allowed a pair of one-out walks, followed by a two-out RBI single to Wil Myers and a two-RBI triple to Greg Garcia. At that point, Davis was lifted for Jon Gray, who was making his first major league relief appearance. Gray loaded the bases with back-to-back intentional walks and then brought in the go-ahead run by walking pinch-hitter/pitcher Matt Strahm on six pitches. (To his credit, Strahm entered Sunday’s game 5 for 17 with two doubles on the season.)

Davis wound up with both his second blown save and second loss of the season, as Kirby Yates retired Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado in the bottom of the frame, with the latter two hitters striking out on four pitches each. Both of Davis’ blown saves have come in his last two outings, and he has now allowed at least one run in three straight appearances and at least one hit in eight straight appearances. Davis’ fantasy owners should strongly consider benching him this week, and all owners should check into the availability of Scott Oberg, who may need to fill in at closer yet again should the Rockies’ incumbent fail to snap out of his latest skid.

Mychal Givens was in a serious funk of his own less than three weeks ago, but heading into the Orioles’ series finale with the Red Sox, he had been on a nice roll, having not allowed a run over his previous 4.1 innings while ringing up eight strikeouts. However, Givens’ Sunday did not go much better than Davis’ did. He entered in the top of the ninth inning with a one-run lead that vanished with Marco Hernandez’s one-out solo homer. Givens did not give up any other runs, and with Brandon Workman pitching a scoreless bottom of the ninth, he came back out for the top of the 10th. Rafael Devers promptly put the Red Sox ahead with a leadoff home run, and then Xander Bogaerts and Michael Chavis reached base (Bogaerts got on via a Rio Ruiz error). Givens was relieved by David Hess, who subsequently allowed both Bogaerts and Chavis to score.

With Sunday’s meltdown being an isolated incident among his recent performances, there is little reason to think the Orioles will move away from Givens again, as they had last month.

Prior to Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Angels, Diego Castillo had not had a save (or a save opportunity) since May 28. In fact, no Rays reliever had a save since then, but Castillo broke both streaks on Sunday, though he made it suspenseful in giving up a two-run homer to Mike Trout. The 25-year-old righty has struggled for nearly a month, but because he has not blown a save in that time, his recent lackluster performance may have gone under the radar. Going back to May 19, Castillo has posted a mediocre 9.3 percent SwStr% and a downright anemic 24.7 percent O-Swing%, which have respectively contributed to a 14.3 percent K% and 11.9 percent BB%.

In the short term, maybe we will see Emilio Pagan return to pitch in late-inning situations (he has entered in the fifth inning in his last two appearances, including on Sunday). Jose Alvarado is still on the restricted list, but he has returned to the U.S. from Venezuela, where he had been with his family since June 2. Once Alvarado is removed from the restricted list, he will pitch at Advanced Class A Port Charlotte before returning to the Rays. In time, perhaps Colin Poche could work his way into higher-leverage situations. The lefty relief prospect was credited with the win on Sunday, as he threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

In holding the Mets scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings, Carlos Martinez secured a 4-3 Cardinals win and his second save of the season. Jordan Hicks last pitched on Friday in the completion of Thursday’s suspended series opener, and given that he threw only six pitches in that contest, it was curious that he did not relieve Martinez to pitch the ninth inning on Sunday. However, Mike Shildt was short-handed in terms of his relief options, so he refrained from using Hicks in case the game went into extra innings.

Quick hits: Kenley Jansen recorded his 21st save in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over the Cubs on Sunday night. It marked the third straight game in which Jansen pitched in a save situation. Owners in daily leagues could consider targeting Pedro Baez for Monday night’s game against the Giants..Josh Hader (17), Felipe Vazquez (16) and Ian Kennedy (7) also notched saves on Sunday…Roenis Elias and Anthony Bass have been sharing the Mariners’ closer duties, and on Sunday against the Athletics, it’s was Elias’ turn to try for a save. He pitched a scoreless frame to preserve a 6-3 win. The save situation was made possible when the Mariners scored four runs (one earned) in the eighth inning, all of which were charged to the slumping Lou Trivino…The Reds activated Robert Stephenson from the IL on Sunday. He threw two scoreless innings against the Rangers in his first game back…The Phillies took Pat Neshek off the IL, but he did not appear in their 15-1 loss to the Braves…The Nationals placed Kyle Barraclough on the 10-day IL with radial nerve irritation on Sunday.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 6/17/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Archie Bradley Yoan Lopez
ATL Luke Jackson Anthony Swarzak A.J. Minter
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Matt Barnes Brandon Workman Marcus Walden Heath Hembree
CHC Pedro Strop Steve Cishek Brandon Kintzler Craig Kimbrel
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Kelvin Herrera
CIN Raisel Iglesias Amir Garrett David Hernandez
CLE Brad Hand Nick Wittgren Adam Cimber
COL Wade Davis Scott Oberg Jairo Diaz
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Victor Alcantara
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Hector Rondon Collin McHugh
KC Ian Kennedy Wily Peralta Jake Diekman
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Ross Stripling
MIA Sergio Romo Nick Anderson Tayron Guerrero Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Junior Guerra
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Robert Gsellman
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Blake Treinen Lou Trivino Liam Hendriks
PHI Hector Neris Jose Alvarez Vince Velasquez David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Jordan Hicks John Gant Carlos Martinez
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Anthony Bass Austin Adams Hunter Strickland
TB Diego Castillo Jose Alvarado Emilio Pagan
TEX Shawn Kelley Jose LeClerc Chris Martin
TOR Daniel Hudson Joe Biagini Sam Gaviiglio Ken Giles
WSH Sean Doolittle Tanner Rainey 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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4 years ago

With Luke Jackson’s recent struggles, who do you think gets Atlanta’s next save opportunity?

4 years ago
Reply to  Creamy

Should be Swarzak imo