Bullpen Report: September 15, 2019

James Karinchak, the newly called up reliever on the Indians with the fabulous strikeout rates made his seasonal debut last night against the Twins in a low leverage situation down in the 9th and he didn’t disappoint getting four outs with three via strikeout. In 27.1 IP across AA and AAA this year, Karinchak struck out an incredible 64 batters, and yes, you are reading that correctly. While I don’t expect Karinchak to post a K% near 60% in the majors, he will undoubtedly pile on the strikeouts and could find himself in high leverage work in Cleveland. Brad Hand has a long leash but he has had a few warts this season and while Tyler Clippard and Nick Goody have been pretty solid, they don’t have the ceiling as someone with Karinchak’s arsenal. If Karinchak is throwing multi-inning mini-Hader outings in the 7th and 8th innings in close games, I wouldn’t be shocked.

• Elsewhere in the Twins and Indians double header, Taylor Rogers was called on for a five-out save and struck out four batters en route to his 26th save. Rogers started out the season as a low key relief ace and he has since forced himself as a main part of the discussion. Although he’s a lefty, Rogers has become a shutdown reliever who can go multi-innings if need be and now sits at a 2.64 SIERA and 28.6% K-BB% which ranks 10th and 11th among qualified relievers in the MLB this year. Rogers should enter next season as the Twins closer and a top 10 option off the board. In the second game of the double header, there was no save situation but top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol pitched two perfect frames with three strikeouts and received the first win of his career. Graterol has filthy stuff and could be a compelling end of season relief option for strikeouts before likely seeing more of the rotation next season.

• Last night in a blow out win, Jonathan Loasiga pitched two scoreless frames for the Yankees and finds himself in a similar spot as Graterol, pitching in relief on a competing team. Loasiga has had a bit of a disappointing season, plagued by some injury, but he should receive ample opportunity in the pen here on out. Like Graterol, he will likely see the rotation next year in some fashion and he is probably more of more interest in deep leagues for the long term than to be relied upon for success this year. Staying in New York, Dellin Betances and Jordan Montgomery were activated today. When Betances is going well, there aren’t many better relief options in baseball and he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. However, as he works himself back into form it’s unlikely he sees high leverage innings so he’s mostly a strikeout and ratio play than saves or holds.

Quick Hits:  Seth Lugo struck out the side in the 8th and Justin Wilson was called on for the save, getting his 3rd of the year. Seth Lugo is definitely the guy to own here still but he was pinch hit for in a bit spot in the bottom of the 8th inning last night leading to the Wilson save opp. Hector Neris gave up a run in the 9th to the Red Sox, receiving the loss and giving Brandon Workman the save opportunity which he took advantage of for his 13th save. Workman has the ERA, the whiffs, and the team to come off like a solid option entering next year but I would temper expectations as his walk rate (15.3%) and HR/FB% (2.7%) leave a lot to be desired. Workman is still a useful option but he’s a few untimely just enough homers from an inflated ERA. Disappointing outing for Hader who only struck out one batter for his 32nd save. Even during our Hader concerns earlier this year he remained a great option but he’s been great of late, throwing 10 consecutive scoreless outings with a 21/1 k/bb ratio in 12.1 innings. Liam Hendriks allowed two base runners but didn’t allow a run as he got his 22nd save. It’s easy to point to Hader’s 127 strikeouts but Hendriks isn’t too far behind with 115 of his own, which is 2nd best in the league. Archie Bradley closed his 14th door for the snakes and should enter 2020 as their main option. Jose Urena recorded his 2nd save of the season, and how the Marlins allocate their saves in 2020 is anyone’s guess but for those in NL Only leagues, Urena could provide a save or three in the final weeks.  Emilio Pagan (20) continues to benefit from the Rays now fairly standard bullpen usage, with Nick Anderson and Oliver Drake pitching ahead of him depending on the matchup.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 9/15/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Archie Bradley Kevin Ginkel Andrew Chafin
ATL Mark Melancon Shane Greene Luke Jackson
BAL Mychal Givens Richard Bleier Hunter Harvey
BOS Brandon Workman Matt Barnes Marcus Walden
CHC Rowan Wick Brandon Kintzler Steve Cishek Craig Kimbrel
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Evan Marshall
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Robert Stephenson
CLE Nick Wittgren Adam Cimber Tyler Clippard
COL Jairo Diaz Carlos Estevez Bryan Shaw Scott Oberg
DET Joe Jimenez Bryan Garcia Jose Cisnero
HOU Roberto Osuna Will Harris Joe Smith Ryan Pressly
KC Ian Kennedy Scott Barlow Tim Hill
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Luis Garcia Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Casey Sadler
MIA Jose Urena Adam Conley Ryne Stanek
MIL Josh Hader Drew Pomeranz Junior Guerra
MIN Taylor Rogers Sergio Romo Tyler Duffey
NYM Seth Lugo Justin Wilson Edwin Diaz
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendriks Yusmeiro Petit Joakim Soria
PHI Hector Neris Blake Parker Jared Hughes Adam Morgan
PIT Felipe Vazquez Francisco Liriano Richard Rodriguez
STL Carlos Martinez Andrew Miller Giovanny Gallegos Jordan Hicks
SD Kirby Yates Andres Munoz Craig Stammen
SF Will Smith Shaun Anderson Tyler Rogers Reyes Moronta
SEA Matt Magill Anthony Bass Sam Tuivailala
TB Emilio Pagan Nick Anderson Colin Poche Jose Alvarado
TEX Jose LeClerc Rafael Montero Emmanuel Clase Jesse Chavez
TOR Ken Giles Jordan Romano Derek Law
WSH Daniel Hudson Fernando Rodney Sean Doolittle

When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias

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I’m wondering if bass and magill have flipped in sea. I know magill’s back was bothering him early in the week, but since then he’s pitched the 7th and the 10th (following bass in the 9th) of a tie game. Though maybe none of that matters.