Amidst the struggles prior to September within the Rockies bullpen, both Jairo Diaz and Carlos Estevez continue to emerge as high leverage options. Last night, Diaz notched his third save in the last four days erasing a lead-off hit by Wil Myers with a double play ground out by Josh Naylor then ended the game with a strikeout of Luis Urias. This marks the fourth save of the month for Diaz and he’s yet to allow an earned run his last 7.2 innings with seven strikeouts against one walk. He’s also been unscored upon his last six appearances. Estevez recorded his 10th hold with a clean eighth inning striking out one. His month’s proves to be more impressive than Diaz with a minuscule 0.15 WHIP over 6.2 scoreless innings with an identical 7:1 K:BB. It can be tough to trust relievers in the Rockies, but there could be hope with a healthy Scott Oberg combined with the recent success of Diaz and Estevez in the future.
With Will Smith still sidelined in San Francisco, Shaun Anderson recorded his second career save. Like Diaz, he yielded a lead-off single but generated a double play ground ball and a strikeout to thwart the rally preserving a 1-0 win over the Marlins. Noting Anderson’s college career as a closer for the University of Florida, he could emerge as a late inning option in 2020 after his sneak preview over the last month of the season. Smith will be a free agent after this season and with the Giants potentially turning over the bullpen, there’s a chance Anderson could emerge with the role as soon as next season. As a reliever this month, Anderson’s increased his swinging strike percent to 18.2 with a robust 39.1 strikeouts minus walk percentage fueled by a 11:2 K:BB in 6.1 innings with a 1.42 ERA and 0.79 WHIP.
Although Anderson’s time as the closer could be short lived this year with Smith throwing off flat ground on Friday and hopeful to be active for the road trip to Boston, keeper league players along with those looking for sneaky saves next year will hone in on how Anderson performs during San Francisco’s last 15 contests. Working as the bridge to Anderson, Tyler Rogers fired 1.2 clean innings with three strikeouts. Like Anderson, Rogers will be pitching for an expanded role the last two weeks and in the future for the Giants.
Wilmer Font notched his second win for Toronto, and fourth this year with two clean innings striking out three against the Yankees last night. Since joining the Jays, Font’s appeared in 17 games spanning 31 innings with a 43:7 K:BB, 2.61 ERA, 2.05 FIP and 1.07 WHIP. He’s raised his swinging strike percentage to 12.4 percent n this time frame with a 37.6 O-Swing (swings and misses outside the strike zone) percentage and 46.2 zone percent (hat tip to Al Melchior). His role in 2020 will be determined but Font could emerge as a late inning reliever or ratio protector if he can carry these gains into next season.
With a doubleheader looming in Cleveland and Minnesota “bullpenning” both games, it’s likely prospect James Karinchak makes his major league debut at some point today. Across two levels, Karinchak recorded an eye popping 57.9 strikeout percentage striking out 66 of the 114 total batters faced. Armed with a fastball which sits between 93-to-96 MPH, his breaking ball could pave his road to success:
Little video montage of #Indians prospect RHP relief prospect James Karinchak who was just promoted from (AAA) Columbus. Karinchak is set to join the big league club on Friday for the series vs the Twins.@jkarinchak21 #RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/GgVz8qpNQK
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) September 12, 2019
There’s no guarantee Karinchak will dominate major league hitters like he did in the minors, but Cleveland fans along with fantasy owners await his debut.
Quick Hits: Working three innings for his first career save, Alec Mills allowed two hits and one earned run with four strikeouts preserving a win for the Cubs on Friday…Adam Ottavino suffered his seventh blown save issuing two walks and giving up a hit resulting in an earned run against letting Toronto tie the game…Hunter Harvey pitched a clean eighth inning with a strikeout and Mychal Givens yielded a hit along with a walk with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth in non-save outings for the Orioles…Hold number two for A.J. Puk logging two scoreless frames with a strikeout in Texas…Roberto Osuna notched his 33rd save ceding a hit and striking out one. He’s one save away from 150 in his career and will set the major league record as the youngest pitcher to do so breaking a mark set by Craig Kimbrel…For the second straight year, Raisel Iglesias reached 30 saves becoming the fifth Reds reliever to accomplish the feat. After a rough end to August, Iglesias has retired 14 of 16 batters faced in September. Michael Lorenzen fired two scoreless innings giving up a hit with two strikeouts for his 20th hold…Save number 27 Alex Colome allowing a hit and a walk with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Although no runs were charged to Colome, he allowed both inherited runners to score on a Daniel Vogelbach double in the eighth inning.
Avid fantasy baseball player and writer. You can find my work here chasing the next save or as the lead fantasy analyst on Fantasy Alarm. Any questions, hit me up on the Twitter machine, @gjewett9