With more shifting roles across the league, it’s important to stay on top of the latest developments.
Mark Melancon landed on the injury report on April 29th with a Covid-19 issue. He tossed six shutout innings over his previous six games with no walks, three strikeouts, and four saves. Melancon has yet to blow a lead in a game this year. Ian Kennedy recorded three saves over the past week while looking better over his past seven innings (1.29 ERA and six strikeouts). However, his command (seven walks over 12 innings) has been a problem in multiple games this year. Arizona expects Melancon back on the field over the next week.
After getting drilled in his first game (three runs and four baserunners over one inning), Kenley Jansen has been electric over his next nine innings (no runs, one hit, one walk, and 12 strikeouts). His improvement led to seven successful save conversions. undefined threw the ball better over the last two weeks (1.50 ERA over six innings with two walks and five strikeouts).
A month into the baseball season, Jorge Lopez has been a nice find for fantasy managers in the free-agent pool. He extended his scoreless streak to 10 innings with four baserunners allowed and 12 strikeouts. Over this span, Lopez picked up two wins and three saves while upping his season total to four saves. Felix Bautista has a 2.25 ERA and seven strikeouts over his previous eight innings, pushing him closer to the next in line for saves in Baltimore.
Boston Red Sox
The top closing option for Boston remains a mystery a month into the season. Hansel Robles appears to be the top option based on his stats (1.24 ERA, 10 strikeouts, and one save over 10.1 innings), but his only save came on April 13th. A Trevor Story error cost him in one game, and he failed to close out a potential win on April 29th and May 5th when the manager gave him the hook with two outs in the ninth in a save situation.
Jake Diekman has a 4.15 ERA and 1.73 WHIP over 8.2 innings while walking seven batters. Matt Barnes looks to a lost soul based on his crooked stats over his previous 6.1 innings (eight runs and 13 baserunners).
If Boston decides to call up Brandon Walter (1.17 ERA with 29 strikeouts and no walks over 23 innings at AA), Garrett Whitlock should stabilize the ninth inning for Boston.
Over the past two weeks, David Robertson had a win and a save. He has yet to give up a run with no hits allowed over his last 10 innings. Robertson is 5-for-5 in save tries. Mychal Givens struggled over the past week (two runs and nine baserunners over 2.2 innings with four strikeouts). Rowan Wick pushed his scoreless string to 8.0 innings with 11 strikeouts, a win, and a save.
Chicago White Sox
The Liam Hendriks scare lasted a week after getting lit up on april 24th (two runs, four baserunners, and a home run over 1.1 innings). After sitting out for five days, they looked sharp over his last four innings (no runs or hits with five strikeouts and three saves). Hendriks has seven saves in eight chances with work to do on his ERA (3.97) and WHIP (1.50). Kendall Graveman pitched well over his last four games (no runs over five innings with no walks, seven strikeouts, and one save).
Since returning from the injured list, Lucas Sims has a 15.75 ERA and 1.75 WHIP over 4.0 innings with a save and two strikeouts. However, he appears to be pitching through an injury, pointing to another trip on the injured list. Alexis Diaz is also a dark horse for saves in Cincinnati’s bullpen after starting the year with a 0.77 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 11.2 innings.
Emmanuel Clase is 4-for-5 in save conversions despite an underperforming ERA (4.32) and WHIP (1.20). He tossed 3.2 shutout innings with four strikeouts and two saves over his previous four outings. On Wednesday, Trevor Stephan saw his 10.2 innings shutout streak end when they allowed two runs and five baserunners over two-thirds of an inning.
Daniel Bard has been one of the better values this season. He has a 2.00 ERA with no walks, 13 strikeouts, and seven saves over nine innings. His only failure came on April 11th when Bard served up a game-tying home run that earned him a win. In three tries, Alex Colome has two saves, but 14 baserunners have reached base over 7.2 innings.
Gregory Soto has four saves in his five closing chances with success in his ERA (1.13). He upped his shutout run to seven innings with three walks and seven strikeouts. Michael Fulmer pushed his scoreless streak to 10.1 innings with three hits, eight strikeouts, a win, and a save.
The Astros turned to Rafael Montero in their last two save chances. He converted both wins (one run and four baserunners over two innings) despite some trouble. He had a 0.87 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP over 10.1 innings with 15 strikeouts. Hector Neris looks closer-worthy based on his first 12 innings (one run, seven baserunners, and 12 strikeouts), but Houston hasn’t given him a save opportunity with Ryan Pressly on the injured list. The Astros expect Pressly back this weekend after tossing a clean inning at AAA on Tuesday night. He is 3-for-4 in save tries.
Kansas City Royals
After securing back-to-back saves, Josh Staumont blew the lead in two games with a 6.75 ERA and six strikeouts over four innings. As a result, they should no longer be considered the Royals’ top choice to pitch in the ninth inning. Scott Barlow threw the ball well over his past nine innings, leading to a 0.89 ERA with eight strikeouts, a win, a save, and a blown save. Taylor Clarke entered into the closing conservation for Kansas City after shining over his previous 9.1 (no runs, no walks, and nine strikeouts) while also recording a save.
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Los Angeles Angels
Raisel Iglesias remains perfect in his six save situations. However, he saw his 7.1 innings scoreless streak run end on May 1st after allowing two runs and four baserunners over one-third of an inning. Ryan Tepera hasn’t allowed a run over his last 11 innings (two hits and nine strikeouts).
Los Angeles Dodgers
Over seven appearances, Craig Kimbrel converted all five of his saves. He extended his shutout streak to 5.2 innings with four strikeouts. Daniel Hudson has a 1.17 ERA and 10 strikeouts over 7.2 innings.
Entering last week, Anthony Bender had an 8.31 ERA and three strikeouts over 4.1 innings while converting two of his three saves. Unfortunately, they also had a minor hip issue, leading to a benchmarking or release in many formats. Bender secured four saves with no runs allowed over four innings with three strikeouts. They surrendered a pair of runs this week in a blown save on Wednesday afternoon. Cole Sulser hasn’t allowed a run or hit over his previous seven innings with seven strikeouts, but he did issue six walks.
Josh Hader is 10-for-10 in save chances, with no runs and two hits allowed over 9.1 innings while recording 15 saves. He hasn’t pitched since April 27th due to back spasms. Over the last week, Devin Williams picked up a pair of saves, improving his scoreless streak to 6.1 innings with nine strikeouts.
The Twins finally awarded Jhoan Duran a chance to close the game, and he responded with a perfect inning with one strikeout. Over his last six innings, Duran tossed six shutout innings with two hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts. He is on a path to being an impact relieving arm for the remainder of 2022. Command has been an issue for Emilio Pagan over his last 3.2 innings (six walks) while posting a 2.45 ERA with two saves in three tries.
New York Mets
Edwin Diaz secured a save with no runs allowed over four innings with seven strikeouts in his past four appearances. He looks on his way to an exceptional year, highlighted by his ERA (1.64), WHIP (0.91), and 19 strikeouts over 11 innings. Seth Lugo pushed his shutout run to six innings with three strikeouts.
New York Yankees
Aroldis Chapman hasn’t allowed a run over 9.1 innings with 11 strikeouts, leading to six successful saves. However, his command (seven walks) remains a concern. Clay Holmes extended his scoreless streak to 12.1 innings with 13 strikeouts, two wins, and two saves.
Dany Jimenez pitched in a setup role in his last outing, but they may have gained more momentum to close for the A’s after Lou Trivino blew up (four runs and five baserunners over two-thirds of an inning). His struggle came on the heels of a disastrous showing in the minors (five runs, five hits, and one home run over one inning) after missing a couple of weeks with Covid-19. Jimenez is 4-for-4 in save conversations with no runs allowed over 10 innings.
Over nine appearances, Corey Knebel has a 0.96 ERA and eight strikeouts over 9.1 innings while delivering a win in all four of his save chances. Brad Hand allowed two runs over 6.1 innings with eight strikeouts, and one save.
The Pirates still won’t commit to it David Bednar as their full-time closer. A month into the season, he has three saves over his 10 appearances with a 0.86 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 11.2 innings. Chris Stratton lost momentum over his past four games (four runs and 10 baserunners over 4.2 innings with five strikeouts). Wil Crowe continues to pitch at a higher level than expected (1.08 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 16.2 innings), putting him in the closer conversation.
San Diego Padres
Taylor Rogers matched Josh Hader with his 10th save in as many chances on Wednesday afternoon. He hasn’t allowed a run over 10.2 innings with 10 strikeouts. Robert Suarez has a 2.35 ERA and 10 strikeouts over his last 7.2 innings.
Finding rhythm in each relieving role for the Mariners has been the only guess over the season’s first month. Andres Munoz appears to have the highest ceiling, but he has yet to pitch in back-to-back games. Over his last seven innings, Munoz has a 1.29 ERA with two walks, 13 strikeouts, and one save. Paul Sewald remains a live option, but he did miss some time with Covid-19. Sewald has been perfect through his first five innings with five strikeouts.
San Francisco Giants
Camilo Doval improved his shutout streak to 9.1 innings with 14 strikeouts and four saves. His only closing failure came in his first appearance of the season. Jake McGee pitched poorly over his previous three games (four runs and six baserunners over three innings). His last save came on April 20th.
St. Louis Cardinals
A disaster showing on April 25th (four runs and four hits over two-third innings) created a hole in his ERA (5.63) and WHIP (1.38) over eight innings for Giovanny Gallegos. He is 5-for-6 in save conversions. In his bad inning, the Cardinals’ defense did let him down. The new hot toy out of the bullpen is Ryan Helsley. His right arm has been sensational over his first 8.1 innings (no runs, one hit, no walks, and 16 strikeouts). Helsley brings a triple-digit fastball while showing growth in his command. They should be rostered in all formats.
Tampa Bay Rays
Over 10 games, Andrew Kittredge has a pair of wins and four saves with a 1.46 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 12.1 innings. Ryan Thompson hasn’t allowed a run or hit over his last 6.1 innings with three strikeouts and two saves.
Joe Barlow has a save in his previous three appearances. He hasn’t allowed a run or hit over his last five innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts. Matt Bush struggled in two of his past four outings (three runs, three baserunners, and two home runs over 3.1 innings), pushing him further away from his own consideration.
Toronto Blue Jays
The major league is the leader over the first month of the season Jordan Romano. He is 12-for-13 with a 1.35 ERA and 15 strikeouts over 13.1 innings. Tim Mayza has a 0.93 ERA and 10 strikeouts over 9.2 innings.
Tim Rainey hasn’t allowed a run over seven innings with seven strikeouts and three saves. His last chance to secure a win came on April 19th. Victor Arano struggled on May 1st (four runs and four baserunners over one-third of an inning), which came after nine shutout innings with 13 strikeouts.
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