Bullpen Report: September 24, 2021

NEW FEATURE ALERT! We have added an upgraded version of RosterResource’s Closer Depth Chart to FanGraphs. Read more about it here.

We will always include a link to the full Closer Depth Chart at the bottom of the Bullpen Report each day. It’s also accessible from the RosterResource drop-down menu and from any RosterResource page. Please let us know what you think.

  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).

Notable Workloads

Tyler Wells, BAL: Three of last four days; 12 pitches on Thursday. | RosterResource

Co-closer Cole Sulser threw 22 pitches to get five outs on Thursday, so both Oriole closers could be out of commission Friday. In that scenario, it’s open season for Baltimore, with Conner Greene, Dillon Tate and Marcos Diplán the best options. Those three are all righties, so if a matchup with a lefty presents itself, Fernando Abad could swoop in for a save.

Emmanuel Clase, CLE: Three of last four days; 21 pitches on Thursday. | RosterResource

Nick Wittgren and Bryan Shaw should both be available for a save chance on Friday if Clase isn’t.

Raisel Iglesias, LAA: 23 pitches on Thursday; 15 pitches on Wednesday. | RosterResource

It would be a third straight day for Mike Mayers on Friday, so he might not be available. That would make Steve Cishek the top closing option.

Paul Sewald, SEA: Three of last four days; 14 pitches on Thursday. Diego Castillo, SEA: Three of last four days; 15 pitches on Thursday.  | RosterResource

Chances are, at least one of Sewald and Castillo will be good to go on Friday. But if not, Drew Steckenrider is a more than capable closer, having earned 11 saves on the year. Casey Sadler is also a possibility.

Kyle Finnegan, WSN: 24 pitches on Thursday. | RosterResource

Co-closer Tanner Rainey has been lights-out since coming back up from AAA, though he’s worked four of the last five days, including 17 pitches Thursday. That’d leave Andres Machado as the top option to close.

Injury News

Garrett Whitlock, BOS: Placed on 10-Day IL (strained pectoral) on Tuesday (backdated to Monday). | RosterResource

Losing Whitlock is a huge blow for the Red Sox; while he’s only recorded a couple saves, it’s hard to argue he’s been anything but their most dependable reliever. Going multiple innings more often than not, Whitlock has pitched 72.1 frames in just 45 appearances, and he’s struck out 27% of opponents while walking a measly 6%. He’s doing all this as not just a rookie but as a Rule 5 pick, plucked from the rival Yankees in December.

The Red Sox had been going with a committee approach in the ninth even with Whitlock healthy, so that’ll continue without him. Matt Barnes, Adam Ottavino, Hansel Robles, Garrett Richards and Josh Taylor are all potential closers until Whitlock is back. He’s not expected to miss more than the minimum ten days.

Outlier Saves

Ralph Garza Jr., MIN | RosterResource

Garza Jr. was brought into a tough situation in the eighth, tasked with retiring George Springer with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth. Since the tying run was on deck at the time, it remained a save opportunity for Garza when he stayed in the game for the ninth. Ultimately, Garza Jr. retired all four men he faced to earn his first career save. It was well-earned, considering those four batters were Springer, Marcus Semien, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette.

J.B. Wendelken, ARI | RosterResource

Wednesday was a tough day for Tyler Clippard, who threw 22 pitches and surrendered a home run to Freddie Freeman, with his three runs allowed raising his injury-ravaged season’s ERA to 3.98. That put the veteran righty out of commission for Thursday, leaving Noé Ramirez and J.B. Wendelken to pitch the last two innings. Both were excellent, with Ramirez striking out all three batters he faced before Wendelken retired all three batters faced on balls in the air. For Wendelken, a midseason waiver claim from the A’s, it was his second save of the year.

Blake Treinen, LAD | RosterResource

As they did on Tuesday, the Dodgers used Kenley Jansen in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, so he wasn’t around to be used when a save chance rolled around in the tenth. That left Jansen’s top setup man, Treinen, as the closer of the day. Things didn’t go great for Treinen, walking Trevor Story with one out to put runners on the corners for the dangerous C.J. Cron. Cron rolled over a 2-0 cutter, however, and the Dodgers turned a nifty double play to end the game.

For Treinen, it was his sixth save of the season when filling in for the veteran Jansen, who has 34. It’s worth noting that Jansen is a free agent at the conclusion of the Dodgers’ season (whenever that may be), which would leave Treinen penciled in as the closer for 2022 at the beginning of the offseason.

Committee Clarity


Losing A Grip


Click HERE for the full Closer Depth Chart.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 9/24/2021

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Joseph Meyermember
9 months ago

Kittredge is on the IL