Bullpen roles are more or less steady now, but there are always players bubbling with potential. That's why it's important to stay on top of the latest closer developments.
Over his last six appearances, Mark Melancon posted three disaster games, leading to 10 runs and 13 baserunners over 1.1 innings. He delivered his sixth and seventh saves in eight tries in his three appearances. Melancon already has five losses with 25 baserunners allowed over 11.2 innings. Ian Kennedy has three saves in four opportunities, but he has already issued nine walks over 15.2 innings. Joe Mantiply (0.66 ERA and 0.73 WHIP) and Kyle Nelson (1.23 ERA and 0.75 WHIP) have pitched well enough in this bullpen to be in consideration for saves.
The stellar ride of Kenley Jansen continued over his previous five appearances (one run over 5.2 innings with two wins, one save, and seven strikeouts). He has one blown save in 10 chances with strength in his ERA (2.70 ERA) and 22 strikeouts over 16.2 innings. Jansen regained his lost command (four walks), pointing to a special season.
Jorge Lopez extended his scoreless streak to 15.2 innings with 15 strikeouts, three wins, three saves, and one blown save. He is 4-for-5 closing games. However, Lopez still needs to clean up his command (10 walks over 18 innings) to keep the nine-inning job long term. Felix Bautista looked close-worthy when he picked up a pair of saves when filling in for Lopez last week. He has a 2.35 ERA over his previous 7.2 with nine strikeouts.
Boston Red Sox
The ninth inning has been a problem for most of the season for the Red Sox. After earning a save on April 13th, Hansel Robles went 33 days before delivering his second save. He blew two saves while adding five holds over this downturn. From April 29th to May 10th, Robles pitched 4.1 shaky innings (four runs, four hits, and four hits with one strikeout). His ERA (2.51) and WHIP (1.05) are favorable, but he doesn't have the command to have long-term success in one-run games. John Schreiber has closing experience in the minors (34 saves). Since his callup in late April, he pitched 7.1 shutout innings with no walks, seven strikeouts, and one save. This season, Matt Strahm has been Boston's top reliever (2.13 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 14 strikeouts, and one save over 12.2 innings).
David Robertson hasn't pitched since May 7th due to a Covid-19 issue. The Cubs activated him from the injured list on Wednesday. He converted all five of his saves on the mound with a 1.50 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 12 innings. Rowan Wick has a save in three of his past four appearances while allowing one run over his last 14 innings with 18 strikeouts.
Chicago White Sox
Liam Hendriks continues to be up and down on the year. Most of his underlying signs suggest he'll be fine over the long haul. He is 11-for-14 in save conversions with success in strikeouts (27 over 17.1 innings) and command (five walks). Kendall Graveman had his worst showing of the season on May 16th (three runs and four baserunners over one inning). He has two failed saves in four tries.
The last save for the Reds came from the right arm of Alexis Diaz. He extended his shutout run to nine innings with two hits, six walks, and 13 strikeouts. Diaz offers a mid-90s fastball while having a history of below-par command. Cincinnati should give him the ninth-inning role going forward. Art Warren looked better over his last 5.2 innings (3.18 ERA), leading to two wins and a blown save. I don't view him as closer-worthy at this point of the season. Jeff Hoffman threw the ball well over his previous 17 innings (1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts).
Emmanuel Clase allowed a run in three straight games, but two of those failures were unearned. He is 7-for-9 closing games with a 3.14 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 14.1 innings. Trevor Stephan continues to pitch at a high level (1.69 ERA over 16 innings with 16 strikeouts).
The fun ride of Daniel Bard ended over his previous four matchups (four runs, eight baserunners, and one home run over 3.1 innings with six strikeouts), leading to two losses, a save, and one blown save. He has 10 saves in 12 tries with a fading ERA (3.77). With seven base runners and three strikeouts, Alex Colome hasn't allowed a run over his last 3.2 innings. Tyler Kinley lowered his ERA to 0.63 after tossing 6.1 scoreless innings with no walks and four strikeouts.
Gregory Soto has six saves in seven chances. However, he has yet to figure out how to throw more strikes (eight walks over 11.1 innings). Over his last 3.1 innings, he allowed three runs and 11 baserunners with four strikeouts. Michael Fulmer didn't look healthy over his previous five appearances (six runs, 14 baserunners, and one home run over five innings with three strikeouts). Joe Jimenez has a 1.69 ERA over his last 5.1 innings with no walks and four strikeouts.
Since returning from the injured list on May 5th, Ryan Pressly has only pitched in three games (two runs, three baserunners, and one home run over three innings). On the year, he has four saves in his six opportunities. In May, Rafael Montero has yet to allow a run over 6.1 innings with two strikeouts, two saves, and two holds. Hector Neris saw his 9.2 inning shutout streak end on May 16th when he gave up three runs, four baserunners, and one home run over one inning.
Kansas City Royals
After earning one save in April, Scott Barlow has a 1.00 ERA and six strikeouts over nine innings in May while securing three saves in four tries. However, he struggled on May 16th (one run, two baserunners, and one home run over 1.2 innings), ending his 7.1 inning shutout streak. In late April and early May, Josh Staumont struggled over six innings (6.00 ERA and 1.67 WHIP with two blown saves), pushing him away from the ninth inning. His arm did look better over his last three appearances (no runs over 2.2 innings with three strikeouts).
Los Angeles Angels
Over his last two games, Raisel Iglesias suffered two blown saves in his 10 chances. He allowed four runs, four baserunners, and two home runs over one inning. Over his previous 10.2 innings, he posted a 1.69 ERA, 15 strikeouts, and seven saves.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Craig Kimbrel struggled in his last two save conversions (three runs, four baserunners, and one home run over two innings with five strikeouts). He remains perfect in his seven chances, but Kimbrel allowed three runs and 10 baserunners over 5.2 innings in May. Daniel Hudson regressed over his past seven innings (four runs, nine baserunners, and one home run with seven strikeouts and three losses).
Since returning from the injured list, Dylan Floro blew up in his first two appearances (five runs, seven baserunners, and one home run over two innings with no strikeouts). However, he did look better in his last two outings (two shutout innings). After blowing his second save in eight opportunities on May 4th, Anthony Bender pitched better in a setup role over his next 4.2 innings (one run and nine baserunners with five strikeouts). He is trending back toward saves, but Bender needs to clean up his WHIP (1.57). Anthony Bass has been sharp over his first 17 games (1.62 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 16.2 innings).
Josh Hader delivered a save in all 14 appearances while allowing only two hits with no runs and 21 strikeouts. As a result, Hader has been well worth his draft value at this point of the season. Devin Williams regains his form over his last 11 innings of work (2.45 ERA, 19 strikeouts, two wins, and two saves).
In May, the Twins gave Jhoan Duran two successful save chances in six outings. His arm looked electric over his previous 11.2 innings (one and nine baserunners with 16 strikeouts). The ninth inning in Minnesota should shift to him on more nights as the season moves on. Emilio Pagan keeps his name in the closing conservation over the past month (0.93 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 9.2 innings), leading to five saves in six chances. However, his ability to hold off Duran falls on his questionable command (10 walks) and battles with home runs (2).
New York Mets
The Mets are rising, and their star closer has been in elite form over his first 16 games. He is 9-for-10 in save conversions with an edge in ERA (1.69), WHIP (0.88), and strikeouts (30) over 16 innings. With two saves, Seth Lugo allowed four runs and 13 baserunners over his previous 10.2 innings.
New York Yankees
Despite converting all nine of his saves, Aroldis Chapman appears to have job-loss risk. He allowed a run in each of his past four games (four runs, nine baserunners, and one home run over 3.1 innings with four strikeouts). On the year, Chapman issued nine walks over 13.2 innings. Clay Holmes has been exceptional over his first 20.1 innings (0.44 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 19 strikeouts) while picking up four wins and three saves. He should be roster in all leagues.
Dany Jimenez has yet to blow the league in the game, leading to a win, seven saves, and one hold. He has a 0.59 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 15.1 innings. A.J. Puk improved his scoreless streak to 13.1 innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts. However, the A's still haven't given him a closing opportunity.
May has led to two disaster showings (five runs and seven baserunners over 1.2 innings) for Corey Knebel, leading to two blown saves. He didn't allow a run over his other 5.1 innings, with five strikeouts and four saves. Knebel had eight saves in 10 tries. Brad Hand issued six walks over his last 4.2 innings, but he continues to have a favorable ERA (1.80). Seranthony Dominguez moved to next in line for saves after pitching well over his previous 8.1 innings (1.08 ERA and 12 strikeouts).
The Pirates have to be ecstatic with the development of David Bednar as this closer in May. He picked up six saves over 10.1 innings with one run, three hits, no walks, and 13 strikeouts. Bednar remains perfect in his eight save tries with an impressive ERA (0.90), WHIP (0.60) and strikeouts (27).
San Diego Padres
Taylor Rogers remains tied with Josh Hader for the major league lead in saves (14). He allowed one run and nine baserunners over 16 innings with 18 strikeouts. His only blown save came on April 18th. Luis Garcia has a 1.86 ERA and nine strikes over his previous 9.2 innings, leading to five holds.
Coming into 2022, the Mariners looked to have the deepest bullpen in baseball. Unfortunately, about a quarter into the year, there is no clarity or consistency in the closing role. Paul Sewald has two wins, a loss, one save, and one blown save in May while allowing one run over 12.2 innings with 13 strikeouts. Andres Munez has been erratic over his last 4.2 innings (three runs, 11 baserunners, and one home run over 3.2 innings with six strikeouts), removing him from closing consideration. Ken Giles remains on the injured list with no innings pitched at any level.
San Francisco Giants
Over 15 games, Camilo Doval delivered seven saves in eight opportunities with a 2.30 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 15.2 innings. He hasn't allowed a run or hit over his last four innings, with four walks, five strikeouts, and three saves.
St. Louis Cardinals
Since his disaster game (four runs and four baserunners over two-thirds of an inning), Giovanny Gallegos tossed six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and three saves. He is 7-for-8 in save tries, with some work still needed in ERA (3.46) and WHIP (1.23). Ryan Helsley has two wins, and a save over four games in May while not allowing a run over 6.1 innings with 11 strikeouts. He has yet to allow a run over 12.2 innings with two walks and 23 strikeouts.
Tampa Bay Rays
Andrew Kittredge took on water over his last five appearances (four runs, eight baserunners, and three home runs over 5.2 innings), leading to two blown saves in three chances. Over his 15 games, he has three wins, five saves, and two blown saves. Brooks Raley has a 1.50 ERA and seven strikeouts over six innings with a win, two saves, and a blown save. Jason Adam moved closer to saves after dominating over his first 15.1 innings with Tampa (1.17 ERA and 20 strikeouts). The Rays give him his first save chance over the past week. J.P. Feyereisen hasn't allowed a run over 17.1 innings with 17 strikeouts and four holds.
Joe Barlow improved his shutout run to 10.1 innings with two hits, four walks, and 10 strikeouts while converting all seven saves. He lowered his ERA to 1.35 over 13.1 innings with 15 strikeouts. Matt Bush blew his second save in three tries on Wednesday when he allowed two runs and three baserunners over one innings with two strikeouts against the Angels. His downside has been four home runs over 14.1 innings.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays appeared to lose Jordan Romano over the weekend with an illness (stomach infection), but he avoided the injured list. He is 12-for-14 in save conversions with regression in his stats over the previous 3.1 innings (8.10 ERA and 2.40 WHIP). Yimi Garcia saved 15 games last year, pointing to him filling in at closer for the Blue Jays if Romano misses more time. He threw the ball better over his previous 4.2 innings (1.93 ERA and two strikeouts).
Tanner Rainey hasn't recorded a save since April 19th while blowing two games. He struggled in his past three appearances (four runs and seven baserunners over 2.2 innings with five strikeouts. His ERA rose to 3.38 while having a poor WHIP (1.41). His closing days appear to be over. Kyle Finnegan hasn't allowed a run over his last 4.2 innings with no walks and six strikeouts, pointing to him getting his first save chance soon. Carl Edwards pitched well over his previous 5.1 innings (no runs, one hit, and three strikeouts). The Nationals may give him a chance at the ninth inning as well.
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