Bullpen Report: June 24, 2021

The 2021 version of Bullpen Report includes five differentßsections, 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

Michael Fulmer, DET: 21 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Gregory Soto and José Cisnero are likely candidates for a save chance on Thursday, especially if Fulmer is not available.

Greg Holland, KCR: Back-to-back days; 3 of last 4 days; 19 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Scott Barlow and Kyle Zimmer have also pitched back-to-back days and three of the last four. It’s likely that at least one of Holland, Barlow, or Zimmer will be available for a save chance on Thursday.

Jordan Romano, TOR: Back-to-back days; 16 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

Tyler Chatwood and Tim Mayza have also pitched back-to-back days. Anthony Castro is a likely candidate for a save chance on Thursday if neither Romano, Chatwood, nor Mayza is available.


Injury News



Outlier Saves

Joely Rodríguez, TEX | RosterResource

With Ian Kennedy unavailable due to illness, the Rangers gave Rodríguez a chance to close out Wednesday’s game over the A’s. A week ago, the 29-year-old lefty wouldn’t have been trusted to hold a lead. He had allowed 12 earned runs over a 5.2 inning span, pushing him out of the primary setup man role. But four consecutive scoreless outings from June 12 through June 21 apparently put Rodriguez back in manager Chris Woodward’s circle of trust. His fifth consecutive scoreless outing ended Wednesday’s 5-3 win and gave Rodriguez his first career save in the majors. He’ll be a popular trade candidate next month if he continues to pitch well.

Paolo Espino, WSN | RosterResource

Brad Hand was unavailable after throwing 34 pitches on Tuesday, leaving Tanner Rainey as the most likely candidate for a save chance on Wednesday. But with an 11-10 lead and two runners on in the eighth inning, the Nats went to Rainey, who gave up the lead on a pair of RBI singles. The Nats regained the lead with two runs in the top of the ninth, giving the 34-year-old Espino a chance to pick up his first career save in the bottom of the ninth.

In his first appearance since throwing five shutout innings in a spot start against the Pirates a week ago, Espino tossed another scoreless inning to close out the 13-12 win. The journeyman has been a valuable reliever for the Nats, allowing just five earned runs in 19.1 innings out of the ‘pen with two walks and 16 strikeouts.



Committee Clarity

Stefan Crichton, ARI | RosterResource

While it was difficult to gauge whether the Diamondbacks’ late-inning bullpen situation had changed at all throughout a miserable month-and-a-half where they only won a handful of games, it was starting to become apparent that Crichton would not be pitching the ninth inning whenever they did have a lead. In Monday’s 5-1 win over the Brewers, Joakim Soria pitched the ninth inning. It wasn’t a save opportunity, but closing out a win that broke a 17-game losing streak seemed like a big deal.

Crichton made his next appearance on Tuesday and was unable to retire any of the four hitters he faced. He was designated for assignment on Wednesday, leaving no doubt that Soria is the team’s closer for the foreseeable future.

Greg Holland, KCR | RosterResource

Holland picked up a pair of saves in a span of four games while Josh Staumont, who had appeared to lock down the closer’s job prior to landing on the Injured List in late May, had not pitched since June 16 after struggling in two of his past three appearances. Clearly, their roles had changed.

On Wednesday, Staumont was finally back on the mound, entering in the sixth inning with the game tied at two versus the Yankees. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, including strikeouts of Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge, before he was removed following a four-pitch walk to Gary Sánchez in the seventh. It’s probably not an outing that will immediately put him back in the mix for saves, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Holland, in the meantime, was back on for another save chance after the Royals took a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. After striking out Judge to begin the inning, he allowed a game-tying homer to Sanchez, a walk, wild pitch, and a walk-off single. Another successful save attempt and it’s possible that the 35-year-old could’ve separated himself as the closer. As things stand, it’s more likely to be a committee with Barlow and Zimmer also in the mix and Staumont a few good outings away from joining them.


Losing A Grip

Héctor Neris, PHI | RosterResource

Neris, who blew his third save in his last four chances on Wednesday, is no stranger to being on the hot seat. He continues to be the Phillies’ closer, however, because no one has been able to step up and take the job from him. When he lost the job in 2020, the newly-acquired Brandon Workman struggled badly and Neris ended the season as the closer by default.

The top candidate to replace him now would likely be José Alvarado, although he has walked nearly eight batters per nine innings. Archie Bradley has been much better as of late, but still nowhere close to the reliever he was over the past few years. If manager Joe Girardi does make a change to remove Neris from the closer’s role, he would likely go with a committee that includes Alvarado, Bradley, and possibly Connor Brogdon and Ranger Suárez.


Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.


Not Very Stable
Hot Seat

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2 years ago

Coonrod would see high leverage late innings before Brogdon or Suarez. He should be over Bradley and King of Walks Jose Alvarado also, but Girardi seems too busy trolling the Nats to look at underlying RP stats.