Reliever Roundup: April 13, 2024

Below you’ll find a roundup of notable reliever-related news from April 6-12 , organized by team (not every team will have notes).

You can also view the Closer Depth Chart for a full picture of bullpen hierarchies.

American League

Chicago White Sox

John Brebbia’s injury has cleared the way for Michael Kopech to be the undisputed closer. Pedro Grifol would ideally like to use him in one-inning stints but he’s often had to be deployed as a fireman as the White Sox try to eke out some wins.

Kansas City Royals

Will Smith continues to get hit around, and James McArthur has put his early-season struggles behind him. It sure looks like the latter is the closer and the former may pitch in lower leverage—as he did Friday—to work out the kinks.

Los Angeles Angels

Robert Stephenson is set to start a rehab assignment Sunday; Carlos Estévez is expected to remain the closer but Estévez, Stephenson, and Matt Moore should form a good back-end troika once Stephenson is ready for his Angels debut.

Minnesota Twins

Jhoan Duran threw a bullpen session on Friday and will throw another before hopefully departing on a rehab assignment within the week. The Twins have a staggering seven relievers on the IL, and getting their closer back will go a long way towards idealizing the full-strength bullpen that was projected as the league’s best before all the injuries hit.

Oakland Athletics

Still no back-to-backs for Mason Miller, and frankly I’m not sure he’ll ever be green-lit for pitching on consecutive days this year. That makes earnings saves hard to line up, but pitch for pitch he looks like the most dominant arm in baseball.

Tampa Bay Rays

Since getting destroyed in Colorado and blaming the baseballs from the humidor, Pete Fairbanks looks back on track. His command will always come and go but the stuff looks great and his velocity is normal for him.

Texas Rangers

José Leclerc pitched in lower leverage on Friday and while he didn’t give up any runs, his command is still erratic. My guess is he’ll stay there for a bit, with David Robertson and Kirby Yates handling the eighth and ninth.

Toronto Blue Jays

Chad Green, Trevor Richards, and Yimi García have all performed admirably as substitutes, but it’s great for the Blue Jays that Erik Swanson and Jordan Romano both started rehab assignments on Friday. Romano should regain his closing role right away, with Swanson helping set him up.

National League

Cincinnati Reds

Alexis Díaz hasn’t looked quite right—and really he hasn’t since the first half of last year—but there’s no inkling that he’ll be moved out of the closer’s role. Lucas Sims and Fernando Cruz are the only Reds relievers pitching particularly well anyway.

Colorado Rockies

The ninth is an absolute mess for Colorado, with Jake Bird recording their only save of the season and presumed co-closers Justin Lawrence and Tyler Kinley both pitching terribly. Keep an eye on Nick Mears, who throws hard and—although he’s got control issues—has allowed just two earned runs in 6.1 innings thus far.

Miami Marlins

I’m starting to get concerned with Tanner Scott, whose control has been awful. He’s walked 30% of the batters he’s faced (nine out of 20), landing just 53% of his pitches for strikes. But he’s been effectively wild, keeping runs off the board so far. It probably helps his case that the Marlins aren’t going anywhere and Anthony Bender isn’t exactly pushing for saves.

Philadelphia Phillies

As has been the case with Rob Thomson’s bullpens, a flexible closer-by-committee situation is brewing. José Alvarado, Jeff Hoffman, and Gregory Soto have all recorded saves, and Seranthony Domínguez may get more leverage if he can shake off the early-season rust. Matt Strahm and Yunior Marte have both pitched excellently as well.

Pittsburgh Pirates

I’m really not liking what I’m seeing with David Bednar, whose command just looks off, with a lot of misses high and to the glove side. Fortunately, the stuff looks just fine and Derek Shelton gave him a vote of confidence, even with Aroldis Chapman starting his Pirates tenure incredibly well.

St. Louis Cardinals

Not sure how long it’ll last, but it’s interesting to see Ryan Helsley transforming into a workhorse in the early going, pitching in eight of the Cardinals’ first 14 games. Him being more available than in years past will limit save chances for Giovanny Gallegos and JoJo Romero.

Washington Nationals

Similarly to Bednar, Kyle Finnegan just doesn’t look quite right, and his top setup man (Hunter Harvey) is pitching quite well. Still, there’s no sign of a change in the offing.






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1 month ago

Hmmmm, I have both Finnegan and Harvey, and am trying to decide whether to drop one of them for Yates or Robertson

Master Live 013member
1 month ago
Reply to  CozySlik

Depends on your overall bullpen situation (what other closers do you own?), but I would drop Finnegan and pick up Robertson (veteran with plenty of closing experience and that might tip the scale with Bruce Bochy).