The special ride of Brad Brach appears to be over after allowing five runs, and nine baserunners over his last 2.1 innings leading to a pair of blown saves and two home runs allowed. His arm has been a disaster since April 28th (3-for-6 in save chances with a 10.13 ERA and 2.00 WHIP). Baltimore pitched him in the 7th on May 16, so he’s lost the 9th inning gig for now. On the year, Brad has been successful in 8 of his 11 saves chances. Darren O’Day has been the better arm since April 13th (three runs and ten baserunners allowed over 12.2 innings with 13 Ks). He pitched in the 8th inning on the 16th when the Orioles were trailing by a run. I believe O’Day gets the next save chance. Mychal Givens has been a disaster as well over his last six games (7.71 ERA and 1.57 WHIP). Baltimore slipped to 16th in the major in bullpen ERA (4.09) after 37 games with 11 wins, seven losses, and 15 saves.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox remain 4th in baseball in bullpen ERA (2.90) after 38 games with seven wins, two losses, and 12 saves. Craig Kimbrel has been electric over his last 8.2 innings (no runs, two hits, no walks, and 17 Ks), which led to a win and six saves. He still hasn’t allowed a hit to a right-hand batter over 30 at bats. Craig is 12-for-13 in save opportunities. Heath Hembree lost his rhythm over his last 4.1 innings (seven runs and 12 baserunners). Joe Kelly extended his shutout streak to 5.2 innings with one walk and five Ks. Boston needs another righty in the bullpen. Tyler Thornburg continues to battle a right shoulder issue, and I doubt he pitches in 2017. Carson Smith is trending in the right direction, but he looks to be a month way from returning.
New York Yankees
After a great start to the season, the Yankees lost a key player over the last week. Aroldis Chapman will miss at least a month with a left shoulder issue. He struggled in back-to-back outings (four runs and eight baserunners over 1.1 innings) leading to his first blown save in eight tries. Dellin Betances is set to take over the 9th inning after extending his scoreless streak to 10.2 innings with 21 Ks. His only risk will come from his command (nine walks over 12 innings). In 2016, Dellin did have risk on the road (4.74 ERA with all five of his home runs allowed over 38 innings). Tyler Clippard has closing experience while pitching at a high level over his last 10.2 innings (no runs and 13 Ks). Jon Holder adds length to this bullpen (one run over 8.2 innings with eight Ks). New York sits second in the majors in bullpen ERA (2.39) after 35 games with eight wins, three losses, and eight saves.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays moved to 13th in the league in bullpen ERA (4.01) after 42 games with seven wins, ten losses, and 11 saves. Alex Colome is 10-for-12 in save conversions with no runs allowed over his last six innings with eight Ks. Danny Farquhar continues to reinvent his career with Tampa (no runs and three hits over his last eight innings with seven Ks). Lefty Jose Alvarado packs a high 90s fastball leading to him extending his shutout streak to 6.1 innings with two Ks. His arm has elite upside if he can keep the walks under control. He’s making the jump from AA to the majors.
Toronto Blue Jays
Roberto Osuna saw his nine-inning scoreless streak end while pitching in a non-save situation on May 16th (one run and two hits over one-third of an inning). He’s converted his last four save chances while being 5-for-8 on the season. Joe Smith is off to a nice start in 2017 (2.89 ERA with 26 Ks over 18.2 innings). He did have his worst outing of the year on May 16th (two runs and three baserunners over two-thirds of an innings). He remains next in line for saves. Jason Grilli is trending back in the right directing after improving his scoreless streak to 3.2 innings with four Ks, but he did allow six baserunners. The Blue Jays are 19th in bullpen ERA (4.20) after 38 games with nine wins, eight losses, and eight saves.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox remain 3rd in bullpen ERA (2.47) after 37 games with eight wins, two losses, and five saves. David Robertson struggled in two of his last five outings (four runs and 11 baserunners over 6.1 innings with no Ks). David has been successful in five of his six save chances. The hot run of Tommy Kahnle (nine shutout innings with 18 Ks) ended over the last week when he allowed a home run in two straight games. Tommy walked three batters over his last six innings after showing growth in this area over his first nine innings (one walk). Anthony Swarzak still hasn’t allowed a run over 19.2 innings with 22 Ks.
Cody Allen has yet to blow a save in 10 chances, but he did allow a run in two of his last three games. Over his last 5.2 innings, he walked six batters. Andrew Miller allowed his first run of the season in his last outing on May 16th ending his 17.1 inning shutout streak. Bryan Shaw improved his scoreless streak to 12 innings, but he’s allowed six hits and eight walks over this span. The Indians held onto the top spot in bullpen ERA (1.93) after 37 games with five wins, one loss, and 11 saves.
Thanks to the struggles in the bullpen by the Seattle Mariners, the Tigers moved up one spot to 29th in bullpen ERA (5.40) after 37 games with four wins, eight losses, and ten saves. After converting his first save chance (one perfect inning with three Ks), Justin Wilson coughed up the lead vs. the Orioles when he allowed a game-tying home run. His 2017 resume (1.59 ERA and 0.53 WHIP) still looks to offer upside. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Detroit release Francisco Rodriguez after polluting the teams’ ERA and WHIP (13 runs and 37 baserunners over 14.1 innings). He has a loss in five of his last ten appearances. Alex Wilson has 8.1 shutout innings with five Ks over his last nine games.
Kelvin Herrera is 8-for-9 in save conversions, but he did struggle in two of his last five games (three runs, seven baserunners, and two HRs over five innings). Joakim Soria looks poised to get traded if the Royals fall out of contention. Over his last six innings, he allowed one run with nine Ks. Since being called back from AAA, Matt Strahm allowed two runs and nine baserunners over 11 innings with 16 Ks. Kansas City ranks 22nd in bullpen ERA (4.75) after 38 games with six wins, eight losses, and eight saves.
The Twins are just ahead of the Royals in bullpen ERA (4.72 – 21st) after 34 games with four wins, eight losses, and 11 saves. After looking to have risk last week (four runs and nine baserunners over three innings), Brandon Kintzler tossed 3.2 shutout innings in his last three games leading to three save conversions. Brandon is 10-for-11 in save chances. Tyler Duffey started to take on water over a couple of weeks (four runs, seven baserunners, and two home runs over six innings with six Ks). Over his last 5.2 innings, Taylor Rogers allowed a run and five hits with five Ks.
Ken Giles allowed a run in two of his last five outings (two runs and eight baserunners over 4.1 innings) leading to a blown save, a win, and three saves. Ken has been successful in 10 of his 11 save chances. Will Harris blew in his last outing (three runs and three baserunners over one-third of an inning) on May 14th. Chris Devenski struggled in three of his last seven outings (six runs and 11 baserunners over nine innings with 16 Ks). Michael Feliz allowed one run over his last 10.2 innings with 18 Ks. The Astros slid to eighth in bullpen ERA (3.34) after 39 games with nine wins, five losses, and 13 saves.
Los Angeles Angels
LA fell to 17th in bullpen ERA (4.14) after 42 games with ten wins, eight losses, and 12 saves. After allowing a run in three of his last seven games, Bud Norris picked up three saves, two losses, a win, and a blown save. Since taking over the closing job on April 22nd, Norris has a 2.13 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with 17 Ks over 12.2 innings leading to eight saves in nine chances. Blake Parker hasn’t allowed a run over his last 5.1 innings with six Ks. After Norris pitched in three straight games, David Hernandez had a chance to earn a save on May 16th. Unfortunately, he allowed three runs and four baserunners while failing to record an out. Prior that outing, he allowed one run over 10.1 innings with 10 Ks.
Santiago Casilla struggled in his last two games (five runs and five baserunners over 1.1 innings), which led to a blown save. Over his last 12 games, Casilla allowed nine runs and 16 baserunners over 11.1 innings with eight Ks. He’s converted six of eight saves, but his job remains at risk. Ryan Madson has been the better arm in 2017 (2.35 ERA with 16 Ks over 15.1 innings), but he did allow a run in his last two outing covering two innings. Liam Hendrick saw his 11-inning shutout streak end on May 13th when he allowed a run and two baserunners over two-thirds of an inning. He struggled in his next game as well (one run and three baserunners in one inning). The A’s fell to 24th in bullpen ERA (4.79) after 39 games with five wins, seven losses, and eight saves.
2017 has been a rough year for the Mariners’ pitching staff. Their bullpen blew up over the last couple of weeks leading to them fading to last in the majors in bullpen ERA (5.45) after 40 games with eight wins, ten losses, and eight saves. Edwin Diaz has been removed temporarily from the closing role after allowing a run or more in four of his last seven outings (five runs and nine baserunners over 5.1 innings with eight Ks). In his last game, Edwin walked four batters leading to him getting an early hook. He has seven saves in nine chances with his struggles tied to his command (10 walks over 15.1 innings). After pitching six innings in the minors (two runs and ten baserunners), the Mariners gave Steve Cichek a save chance on May 16th when he proceeded to allow three runs, three baserunners, and a home run over one-third of an inning to blow the game. His arm doesn’t look ready to pitch late in games. Tony Zych picked up a save in relief of Diaz on May 15th. Over his last five games, Zych allowed a run and eight baserunners over four innings with four Ks.
Matt Bush finally had some save chances over the last week. He pitched six shutout innings with six strikeouts, a win, and three saves in his last six games. He’s been successful in all four save opportunities since pitching in the 9th with no runs allowed over his last ten innings with 11 Ks. Over his last 5.1 innings, Sam Dyson has a 1.69 ERA and 1.50 WHIP to improve his 10.66 ERA slightly. Jeremy Jeffress is trying to rebuild his season by tossing four shutout innings with only one K. The Rangers are 25th in bullpen ERA (5.01) after 39 games with nine wins, eight losses, and six saves.