Following up on Friday’s Bullpen Report in which we reported that Roberto Osuna was unavailable due to illness, it turns out that it was mental illness. Arden Zwelling of Sportnet passed along the following comments from the Blue Jays closer:
I don’t really know how to explain it. I just feel anxious. I feel like I’m lost a little bit right now. This has nothing to do with me being on the field. I feel great out there. It’s just when I’m out of baseball. When I’m not on the field, I feel just weird and a little bit lost.
Needless to say, Osuna’s mental health should be everyone’s top priority. It was encouraging that he pitched the ninth inning on Sunday with an 8-2 lead. He allowed a two-out single but struck out the side.
Despite the appearance on Sunday, Osuna’s status as the team’s full-time closer remains in doubt for the time being while he works through his personal issues. Ryan Tepera is next in line for saves if Osuna needs to miss additional time.
Matt Bush, who was saddled with a blown save and a loss on Friday, closed out a one-run win over the Yankees on Sunday. With a blazing fastball, he breezed through the first two outs before Aaron Judge singled, and the inning culminated in a battle with Gary Sanchez, who had homered earlier in the game. Despite the drama, Bush struck out Sanchez on a sharp slider off the plate, giving him his ninth save of the season. Things haven’t been easy for Bush as of late: he currently has a troubling 4.55 FIP and 4.34 xFIP. However, Bush has the stuff to be at least an adequate closer, and the projections back that up. Recent struggles aside, Bush still seems to have a grasp on the closer’s role, although Keone Kela is lurking behind him.
Yusmeiro Petit picked up a two-inning save against the Red Sox. The Angels bullpen in general is going through significant change right now, with Bud Norris recently landing on the disabled list and Cam Bedrosian and Huston Street recently returning from injury. Bedrosian looks like the closer moving forward, at least until Norris returns, and Petit probably received the save chance on Sunday because Bedrosian had thrown 30 pitches the previous day. In that 30-pitch outing, Bedrosian allowed two runs on two hits, two walks, and a wild pitch.
Santiago Casilla allowed a home run and a single but picked up his 13th save against the White Sox. Casilla has been shaky all season, and Sunday was no exception. He now has a 4.28 ERA/4.20 FIP/4.75 xFIP in 27.1 innings. On his heels, Sean Doolittle has been outstanding as of late. Doolittle has 22 strikeouts and has allowed just one walk and two homers in 13.2 innings. True, the sample size is minuscule, but Doolittle’s 1.98 ERA/2.04 FIP/1.85 xFIP looks so much better than what Casilla has done this season. If Doolittle can prove that he’s healthy and reliable, it’s conceivable that a change in the pecking order could take place at some point this season.
Alex Colome pitched the top of the ninth in a tie game, and he allowed three runs on two hits, two intentional walks, and a hit batsman. As has been mentioned multiple times in the Bullpen Report this year, Colome’s strikeout rate has fallen back down to earth after he put up impressive numbers in that category last season. But for the most part, he still gets the job done. Despite the 4.40 xFIP this season, he has just a 3.15 ERA and 3.17 FIP, and that same trend (beating his xFIP) has held true throughout his major league career. The projections forecast good things moving forward from Colome as well, so today’s outing looks like just a rare bad one for Colome.
Joe Kelly extended his scoreless streak to 21 consecutive outings dating back to May 1. In that 18.1 inning span, Kelly has a 26.8 percent strikeout rate and 55.6 percent ground ball rate. He’s picked up holds in three of his last four appearances and has nine on the season. Overall, Kelly boasts a 1.10 ERA/3.05 FIP/3.98 xFIP in 32.2 innings this season, but his strikeout rate is projected to increase (it’s just 18.5 percent on the year), and he could be on his way to a sustained and prominent role in the Red Sox ‘pen. He’s bumping Heath Hembree, who has just one hold since May 26, off the grid for now.
Other closer activity: A.J. Ramos picked up a four-out save (12). Brandon Kintzler pitched a perfect ninth in a non-save situation. Brach Brach pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth and was rewarded with a win. Craig Kimbrel allowed a run on two hits and a strikeout in a non-save situation. Raisel Iglesias pitched 1.2 innings to finish off the Nationals in a non-save situation. Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless top of the ninth in a tie game. He struck out one and walked a batter. Brandon Maurer pitched the top of the ninth in a tie game and allowed two runs on two hits and a walk. He has a 6.53 ERA and a 3.86 xFIP. Justin Wilson struck out two in a perfect ninth to notch his sixth save of the season. Kenley Jansen entered with a one-run lead with one out in the eighth, and he ultimately finished off the Rockies in the ninth with a six-run lead. Jansen added to the offensive explosion in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI double off Greg Holland.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
Ben Kaspick is the founder of CoveCast, LLC, a sabermetric San Francisco Giants analysis website and podcast featured at CoveCast.net. He has written for RotoGraphs since 2016 and also contributes to SB Nation's Beyond the Box Score. Follow him on Twitter @Cove_Cast.