There's been a bunch of closer turnover since last week. Let's see how the depth chart has played out.
Since May 18th, Mark Melancon has regained his rhythm over 16 appearances. He posted a 3.07 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 14.2 innings with 11 strikeouts, three wins, four saves, and one blown lead, upping his season total to 11 closed wins in 13 chances.
Ian Kennedy also picked up the pace over his last nine innings (3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 10 strikeouts). Joe Mantiply saw his 16.1 inning shutout streak end on June 25th when he allowed three runs, three baserunners, and one home run over 1.1 innings against the Tigers.
Kenley Jansen stumbled twice over the past week, leading to three runs, four baserunners, and a home run over three innings. Nevertheless, he secured two of his three save tries, giving him 20 saves in 24 opportunities on the year. Unfortunately, the Braves placed him on the injured list with an irregular heartbeat. They hope he returns in a couple of weeks.
Atlanta gave their first save chance without Jansen to A.J. Minter, who lived up to the tacks by tossing a clean inning with one strikeout. He struggled a bit over his previous five outings (three runs, six baserunners, and one home run over 4.1 innings with seven strikeouts). Overall, Minter has been sensational in 2022 (1.64 ERA and 0.79 WHIP over 33 innings with 44 strikeouts).
Will Smith has plenty of closing experience, and his left arm has looked better over the past three weeks (one run over 9.1 innings with 10 strikeouts). The Braves gave him a successful save opportunity on Wednesday night, giving him potentially a split role until Jansen returns.
Jorge Lopez is the waiver wire gift that keeps on giving in June. He improved his scoreless run to 17 innings, allowing only six hits and one walk with 16 strikeouts and nine saves. The growth in his command is well above expectations when considering his previous major league resume. Lopez is 13-for-15 in save situations with no home runs allowed over 36 innings.
Felix Bautista gave a run on June 28th over one-third of an inning, ending his shutout string at 14.2 innings with 16 strikeouts, three wins, and eight holds.
Boston Red Sox
Over the past 17 days, Tanner Houck picked up six saves with two runs allowed over 6.2 innings, highlighted by no walks and nine strikeouts. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the trip to Toronto, and it already cost Boston a potential win when Tanner Danish and Hansel Robles blew a two-run lead on Tuesday night. Houck has a 0.87 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over his previous 20.2 innings with 24 strikeouts.
Matt Strahm lost momentum over his last 9.1 innings, leading to seven runs, 19 baserunners, and one home run with 11 strikeouts. He has three saves, two blown saves, and nine holds on the year.
In June, John Schreiber tossed 11 shutout innings with 14 strikeouts and nine holds.
David Robertson delivered a win, a save, and a blown save over the past week while allowing a run over 3.1 innings with four strikeouts. He has nine saves in 12 closing chances with strength in his ERA (1.86) and WHIP (0.93).
The second-best arm in this bullpen continues to be Scott Effross (2.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 32 innings with 41 strikeouts). He has some closing experience in the minors, but his low 90s fastball does lower his ceiling and expectations as a ninth-inning arm.
Chicago White Sox
Liam Hendriks threw in the bullpen earlier in the week. The White Sox have him penciled in to pitch a simulated game on Friday, hoping he will return to the majors sometime next week. Hendriks is riding a 10.1 inning scoreless streak with 14 strikeouts and seven saves.
Kendall Graveman made only one appearance since June 21st, ending with his third save in seven opportunities. He has a 0.87 ERA and 1.55 WHIP over his last 10.1 innings with 14 strikeouts.
The Reds' closing role landed in Hunter Strickland's hands over the previous week. He delivered a pair of saves, giving him 4.2 shutout innings over his last five appearances with five strikeouts and three saves. Strickland has a 4.91 ERA and 1.71 WHIP for the season, suggesting trouble is around almost every corner.
Jeff Hoffman landed on the Covid-19 list over the past week. He pitched poorly in his two outings (three runs, six baserunners, and one home run over 2.2 innings with three strikeouts). Hoffman continues to battle his command (13 walks over his previous 15.1 innings), keeping him from reaching the ninth inning, even on a team with disaster behind almost bullpen corners.
Emmanuel Clase extended his shutout streak to 18 innings with 10 baserunners, 21 strikeouts, and 11 saves. He is 18-for-20 closing games with an edge in ERA (1.36), WHIP (0.77), and 35 strikeouts over 32.1 innings.
After tossing 20 scoreless innings with minimal baserunners (10) and 27 strikeouts, Eli Morgan tripped up over his last three appearances (five runs, six baserunners, and two home runs over 2.2 innings with three strikeouts). He has yet to record a save while giving the lead three times with six holds.
Trading in major league baseball hasn’t heated up yet, but many contending teams will be looking to improve this bullpen depth over the next month. Daniel Bard has 15 saves in his 17 chances with only one run allowed over his last 16.1 innings with 17 strikeouts. His success, age (37), and contract (one-year deal for $4.4) puts him on the prime trade list.
Alex Colome has pitched much better since May 11th (0.92 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 13 strikeouts over 19.2 innings). His arm isn’t high enough for another team to chase down in the trade market despite being on a one-year deal, suggesting that Colome would make more sense as the Rockies' closer over the season's final two months.
Jake Bird has the fastball (mid-90s) and higher ceiling, making him a potential closer late in the season. After posting a 2.77 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 34 strikeouts over 26 innings at AAA, he allowed a run over seven innings in the majors with six strikeouts.
Over 11.1 innings in June, Gregory Soto gave up four runs and 10 baserunners with 14 strikeouts, six saves, and one blown save. He is 15-for-17 finishing games.
Michael Fulmer improved his shutout string to 13 innings with three hits, 17 strikeouts, and nine holds. The Tigers have given him three save chances this season (one successful).
The Yankees spanked Ryan Pressly for four runs, five baserunners, and one home run over one-third of an inning, leading to his third failed save in 19 opportunities. His ERA (3.86) and WHIP (1.24) must be cleaned up if Pressly is going to be a fantasy asset in all areas.
Rafael Montero hasn’t allowed a run over his previous five innings with five strikeouts, one save, and four holds. He remains the insurance card in the ninth inning for the Astros.
Kansas City Royals
In June, Scott Barlow posted a 2.84 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over 12.2 innings with 15 strikeouts, five saves, and one blown lead. He has been successful in 10 of his 12 tries.
Other than seven walks over 11 innings this month, Dylan Coleman’s arm looks to be on the improve. He has a 1.64 ERA with 10 strikeouts and three holds over this span.
Los Angeles Angels
Raisel Iglesias dominated his last six shutout innings with one walk, 11 strikeouts, and three saves. He lowered his ERA to 3.62 with 40 strikeouts over 27.1 innings while going 15-for-18 in save conversions.
Over his previous five innings, Ryan Tepera didn’t give up a run with four strikeouts and two holds.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Craig Kimbrel allowed at least a hit in eight straight games and 11 of his previous 12 appearances, leading to a disaster ERA (5.25) and WHIP (18.3). He did secure a save in four of his six chances, pushing his season total to 13 saves in 15 opportunities.
With Daniel Hudson out for the year with an elbow injury, Brusdar Graterol looks poised to deliver critical innings down the stretch. He has a 1.63 ERA over his last 11 innings with no walks, 10 strikeouts, one save, and two holds.
Tanner Scott enters the last day of June with a 2.53 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts over 10.2 innings for the month. Over this span, he picked up three wins, one loss, six saves, and one blown lead. His overall ERA (4.34) and WHIP (1.31) need plenty of work if Scott expects to keep the ball long-term.
Miami hopes to have Anthony Bender back some. He has yet to begin a rehab assignment while doing some work in the bullpen over the past couple of weeks.
Josh Hader has a save in his last six appearances (1.50 ERA over six innings with 11 strikeouts). He leads the majors with 24 saves in 25 chances with only three runs allowed over 24.2 innings with 41 strikeouts.
The electric ride for Devin Williams continued over the past week (1.2 shutout innings with four strikeouts). Since May 13th, he tossed 18.2 scoreless innings with only 11 baserunners, 30 strikeouts, three saves, and 11 holds.
Any chance for Emilio Pagan earning saves for the Twins most likely ended over the last 10 days. He gave up nine runs, 10 baserunners, and one home run over his previous 3.2 innings with five strikeouts, two blown saves, and three holds. Pagan is 9-for-14 when asked to preserve a win.
Despite only one save since May 24th, Jhoan Duran looks locked and loaded to be an impact closing arm over the second half of the season. He posted a 1.42 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in June over 12.2 innings with 14 strikeouts, one save, and one blown lead. Duran’s shutout streak sits at 9.1 innings with 10 strikeouts.
New York Mets
Edwin Diaz dominated over his past 11.2 innings, leading to a 0.77 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 25 strikeouts, and six saves. He picked up 16 saves in his 19 chances with an impressive 49 strikeouts over 30.1 innings pitched in 2022.
Since the start of May, Adam Ottavino posted a 2.18 ERA and 0.87 WHIP over 20.2 innings with 23 strikeouts and eight holds. However, he remains behind Seth Lugo as the handcuff for Diaz.
New York Yankees
For six weeks as the New York’s closer, Clay Holmes allowed one run over 18.1 innings with 20 strikeouts while converting 12 of his 13 closing opportunities. He has a measly 0.25 ERA and 0.67 WHIP over his last 36 innings with 38 strikeouts.
The Yankees expect Aroldis Chapman back this weekend after throwing the ball well over his three innings in the minors (no runs, one hit, and four strikeouts). He has not pitched in a major league game since May 22nd. Even with the appearance of some sketchy stats (3.86 ERA and 1.64 WHIP over 14 innings) with New York, Chapman didn’t blow a save in his nine trips to the mound. As a result, the Yankees should play matchups in the ninth inning going forward.
The A’s turned to Lou Trivino to finish games over the previous week. He stretched his shutout string to 4.2 innings with eight baserunners, seven strikeouts, and two saves. His longevity keeping the job seems risky based on his overall stats in June (7.00 ERA and 2.33 WHIP over nine innings with 13 strikeouts).
A.J. Puk continued to fade as his chance to pitch later in games looked to be on the rise. Over his last 7.2 innings, he allowed six runs, 14 baserunners with seven strikeouts, three hit batters, three wild pitches, and two blown leads.
When Trivino fails, the next possible option to close for Oakland appears to be Domingo Acevedo. He tossed six shutout innings with no walks and eight strikeouts over the second half of June.
Seranthony Dominguez only pitched one inning over the past week, which ended in him securing his second save in three ties. He has a 0.49 ERA and 24 strikeouts over his previous 18.1 innings.
Since his demotion, Corey Knebel tossed 3.2 no-hit shutout innings with two strikeouts and two holds. Even success, I don’t see him moving back to the ninth inning unless Dominguez shows he can’t handle the job.
A back issue and potentially a high workload led to David Bednar sitting out the last four days. His arm started to bleed back stats over his previous 11.1 innings (3.97 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with 18 strikeouts, two saves, and three blown leads). Bednar will be a popular option for other major league teams to acquire over the next month. He is 11-for-14 closing out wins.
Yerry De Los Santos faded over the past week (two runs and six baserunners over 3.2 innings with two strikeouts). However, he still has a chance to be a dark horse for saves if Pittsburgh moves Bednar at the trade deadline.
San Diego Padres
Over 9.2 innings in June, Taylor Rogers had a poor ERA (5.99), but his WHIP (0.99) suggested he was a bit unlucky. He converted only five of his last eight chances for saves while going 22-for-26 on the season.
Luis Garcia looked shaky over his previous 7.1 innings (7.36 ERA and 1.50 WHIP with 10 strikeouts and three saves), leading to Nabil Crismatt pushing past him on the Padres’ bullpen depth chart (2.13 ERA in June over 12.2 innings with nine strikeouts).
San Francisco Giants
Over the season's first three months, Camilo Doval has 12 saves in his 14 tries with a 2.97 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 33.1 innings. He has a 2.70 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in June over 13.1 innings with 15 strikeouts and four saves.
Jake McGee hasn’t pitched in a game since June 24th. He struggled in his previous two outings (four runs and five baserunners over 1.1 innings with one strikeout). The Giants gave him two chances (1-for-2) to close since returning from the injured list in late May.
The closing coin flip in Seattle landed on Paul Sewald over the previous week (three saves over three no-hit innings with no walks and four strikeouts). He now has seven saves in his nine opportunities with an improving ERA (2.60) and WHIP (0.72).
Diego Castillo used June as a correction month for his stats. He posted a 0.82 ERA and 0.27 WHIP over 11 innings with 14 strikeouts, four wins, and two saves. Since May 9th, Castillo lowered his ERA from 9.28 to 4.67.
Over his first three innings back in the majors, Ken Giles didn’t give up a run or hit with three walks and five strikeouts. His fastball came in at 94.7 MPH.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals gave Ryan Helsley their last two closing chances. He looked electric in his first successful try (no runs over in innings with three strikeouts), but the Marlins beat him the next night for two runs, three baserunners, and one home run over one inning with three more strikeouts. In June, he has a 1.50 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 17 strikeouts over 12.0 innings while converting three of his five closing gigs.
Giovanny Gallegos struggled in one of his nine outings in June, leading to a 1.59 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 11.1 innings with 14 strikeouts and two wins. He is 9-for-13 when asked to close out games (1-for-3 since May 21st).
Tampa Bay Rays
Colin Poche struggled in two of his last three games (three runs, four baserunners, and two home runs over 2.2 innings with two strikeouts), putting him at risk of securing many more saves. Over his previous 11 innings, he has a 3.27 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with three home runs, six walks, nine strikeouts, five saves, and one blown lead.
The call to pitch in the ninth inning has yet to come for Jason Adam despite a 1.47 ERA and 0.72 WHIP over 30.2 innings with 33 strikeouts. He allowed three runs, five baserunners, and one home run over his last four innings with three strikeouts.
Brooks Raley extended his shutout run to 10 innings with three hits, three walks, and 14 strikeouts, putting him back in the save conversation for the Rays. When asked to close, he has four successful tries and one failure.
The Rangers needed Joe Barlow to pitch in only one game over the last week, leading to a clean inning in a win. He enters the final day of the month with a 5.63 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over eight innings in June with four strikeouts, four saves, and two blown leads. Barlow has 13 successful saves in his 15 opportunities.
Brock Burke allowed only two runs over his previous 25 innings with 20 strikeouts, one blown save, and three holds.
Toronto Blue Jays
Saves have been challenging to come by for Jordan Romano in June. He made seven appearances for the month, resulting in one save and one blown save over 7.2 innings with 11 baserunners, six walks, and six strikeouts. Despite converting 17 of his 20 save chances, Romano potentially looks to have an underlying injury. I would be looking to buy his handcuff if I had him on my roster.
Adam Cimber appears next in line for saves for the Blue Jays. Unfortunately, his arm showed regression over 9.1 innings in June (eight runs, 17 baserunners, and seven strikeouts). Max Castillo put his name on their bullpen map this week when he whiffed seven batters over four innings. He had a 0.66 ERA at AAA over 27.1 innings with 29 strikeouts while working as a starter on most days.
Tanner Rainey has a save in four straight appearances with no runs allowed over four innings. He has a 3.72 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in June with 12 strikeouts, six saves, and one blown save. Rainey is 11-for-14 in closing situations.
Over his last 6.2 innings, Kyle Finnegan lost momentum toward the ninth inning by allowing five runs, 10 baserunners, and three home runs. He blew the lead in two of his three opportunities over this span.