Bullpen Report: September 2, 2021

The 2021 version of Bullpen Report includes five different sections, 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



Injury News



Outlier Saves

Adbert Alzolay, CHC | RosterResource

When Alzolay was activated from the Injured List on Wednesday, it was reported that he’d be pitching out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season. The 26-year-old has surpassed 100 innings for the first time since 2017 and, therefore, the Cubs will likely be cautious with his workload. A piggy-back role, following Justin Steele or Keegan Thompson every four-to-six days seemed much more likely than a high-leverage, late-inning role. This was the case against the Twins in his first game as a reliever — he followed Steele after five innings — and he happened to finish off a 3-0 win with four scoreless innings to pick up his first career save.

Trevor Stephan, CLE | RosterResource

With closer Emmanuel Clase and setup man Bryan Shaw having pitched earlier in the game to preserve a 3-3 tie, it was Stephan who got the call after Cleveland took a 5-3 lead over the Royals in the 11th inning. The 25-year-old pitched a 1-2-3 inning, including back-to-back strikeouts of Adalberto Mondesi and Hunter Dozier to end the game, to pick up his first career save.

The Rule 5 pick, who was a starter in the minor leagues with the Yankees, has pitched almost exclusively in low-leverage situations in 2021. That could change down the stretch if Cleveland wants to get a better idea of how much he can help the bullpen in 2022. There’s a decent chance that he returns to a starting role in Triple-A, but his future could be in the bullpen. He has 62 strikeouts in 51 innings this season while averaging 96 MPH with his fastball and occasionally reaching the upper nineties.

Joe Kelly, LAD | RosterResource

Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen were both unavailable on Wednesday after pitching three of the previous four days, so it was Kelly who got the call to preserve a one-run, ninth inning lead over the Braves. While the 33-year-old has been terrific since a shaky start to the season, he walked three batters and allowed two runs in his previous outing. But he bounced back, quickly retiring the Braves on three groundouts to close out the 4-3 win and pick up his second save.


Committee Clarity

Giovanny Gallegos, STL | RosterResource

Since moving to a closer’s committee after an Alex Reyes blown save on Sunday, the Cardinals have turned to Gallegos for both of their save chances and he’s responded with a 1-2-3 inning to close out the Reds on each occasion. Reyes pitched in game two of Wednesday’s double-header and struck out the side on 13 pitches. While his team was losing 12-2 at the time, it was at least a step back in the right direction after losing the closer’s job.

David Robertson, TBR | RosterResource

It’s never easy to predict who gets a save chance for the Rays, but they’ve added a guy with 137 career saves to their bullpen. Whether they’ll use Robertson to close out games is anyone’s guess, but if his Rays’ debut — and also his first MLB game since April 2019 — is any indication, they won’t hesitate to use him in a high-leverage role. The 36-year-old pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts to preserve a 2-2 tie against the Red Sox on Wednesday. His fastball was in the 90-92 MPH range, same as it’s always been, so that’s a good sign that he still can still be as effective as he was prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2019.

Joe Barlow and Spencer Patton, TEX | RosterResource

After Barlow returned from the Injured List with a save on Monday, the Rangers went to Patton on Tuesday to close out the team’s second consecutive 4-3 win against the Rockies. Not using Barlow in back-to-back games immediately after he returned from a 10-day absence was understandable, so we couldn’t yet assume a co-closer situation. But after a disastrous outing from Barlow in Wednesday’s game — he allowed the tying and winning runs to score on a double after he walked the previous two hitters; three unearned runs followed after two errors — it could be much more likely that he does share save chances with the 33-year-old Patton, who has a 3.99 ERA, two saves, and seven holds in his first MLB season since 2016.


Losing A Grip


Click HERE to view the full Closer Depth Chart.


newest oldest most voted

Finnegan is on the paternity leave list. He should be back by Friday