After blowing back-to-back saves on May 10th and May 16th when he allowed four runs and six base runners over 1.1 innings, Brad Brach hasn’t allowed a run or hit over six innings with eight Ks, a win, and three saves. He’s now 11-for-14 in save conversions. Zach Britton continues to throw on the side with no new setbacks. Baltimore hopes to have him back in early July. Darren O’Day allow a run in two of his last three outing plus five combined base runners over three innings of work. Over his last 12 innings, Darren has a 2.25 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Mychal Givens pitched at high level over his last 5.2 innings (no runs and nine Ks). Baltimore ranks 14th in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.94) after 56 games with 14 wins, eight losses, and 18 saves.
Boston Red Sox
The bullpen (4th in ERA – 3.02) remains a strong part of the Red Sox success in 2017. After 56 games, their relievers have eight wins, five losses, and 18 saves. Craig Kimbrel has been extended over one inning in three of his last four outings, which just shows Boston still needs another arm to step up and provide stable success in front of him. During this period, Craig allowed a run and two hits over five innings with 13 Ks. Unfortunately, he issued three walks, which is something that hasn’t been a problem in 2017 (five walks and 53 Ks over 26.2 innings). Kimbrel allowed his first hit to a right-handed batter last week to raise his BAA vs. righties to 0.041. He’s been successful in 17 of his 18 save chances. Joe Kelly has been electric over his last 12 innings (no runs and 13 Ks) while has average fastball sits just below triple digits (99.2). Matt Barnes allowed three runs and five base runners over his last 3.2 innings. Heath Hembree is trending back up over the last two weeks (two runs over nine innings with no walks and eight Ks.
New York Yankees
Dellin Betances extended his shutout streak to 17 innings with only six hits allowed and 32 strikeouts. He’s yet to blow a save in five chances since taking over the 9th inning on May 17th. New York hopes Aroldis Chapman will be ready for a rehab assignment next week after doing tossing a couple of bullpen sessions. Tyler Clippard has a 1.88 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over 24 innings in 2017, but his game did fade over the last couple of weeks (three runs and nine base runners over 7.1 innings with nine Ks). Chad Green is fighting a battle between greatness and a ticket to AAA. He dominated the Royals on May 18th (no runs over three innings with six Ks) while struggling on May 28th and June 1st (three runs, five base runners, and two HRs over four innings with four Ks). On Tuesday night, he gave the Yankees a great window to make a run at the Red Sox when he pitched 3.1 perfect innings with five Ks. New York is neck and neck with the Red Sox in bullpen ERA (2.99 – 3rd) after 54 games with eight wins, six losses, and 14 saves.
Tampa Bay Rays
As expected, Tampa drifted downward to 19th in bullpen ERA (4.11) after 60 games with 11 wins, 13 losses, and 17 saves. Alex Colome converted his last 10 saves with a 1.26 ERA and 15 Ks over 14.1 innings. On the year, Alex is 15-for-17 in save opportunities. Danny Farquhar turned into wood tick over the last week when he allowed seven runs and nine base runners over 2.2 innings with four Ks. His failure puts his job at risk. Tommy Hunter moves up a notch after six shutout innings with eight strikeouts over his last four games. Jose Alvarado only has six Ks over 12.2 innings in the majors in 2017 despite an elite fastball (98.5) and success in his ERA (1.54) over his last 12 games.
Toronto Blue Jays
Roberto Osuna has been one of better closers in baseball since May 3rd (1.08 ERA with 23 Ks and two walks over 16.2 innings) leading to 10 straight save conversions plus a win. Osuna improves his save record in 2017 to 13-for-16. Joe Smith threw the ball great over his last five innings (no runs and eight Ks). Ryan Tepera saw his 19-inning scoreless run end on May 30th when he allowed a run and three base runners over one inning of work. Over his last four games, Ryan allowed two runs and eight base runners over 3.1 innings which included four walks. The Blue Jays moved to 13th in bullpen ERA (3.90) after 57 games with 14 wins, 10 losses, and 16 saves.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox slipped to seventh in bullpen ERA (3.43) after 56 games with 11 wins, five losses, and only nine saves. David Robertson blew up on June 4th when he allowed three runs and two base runners over two-thirds of an innings to take a loss. Over his last 12 games covering 13.2 innings, David has a 4.61 ERA with 16 Ks, three wins, two losses, four saves, and a blown save. Robertson has been successful in nine of his 10 save chances. Tommy Kahnle allowed a run and three base runners in his last game on June 6th to end is string of 8.2 shutout innings with 14 Ks. The thought of Anthony Swarzak pitching in the 9th crashed and burned over the last two weeks or so (eight runs and 18 base runners over 6.2 innings). Nate Jones had a setback last week putting his return to the majors on hold. His chance at pitching in the 9th loses more light with each day on the DL and each inning pitched by Kahnle.
Over the last nine games, Cody Allen allowed 12 hits and three walks over 8.2 innings leading to a poor ERA (5.19) and WHIP (1.73). During his rough ride, Allen has a blown save, two losses, and six saves. Cody is still 14-for-15 in save chances with risk in his WHIP (1.43). His job will be at risk with more crooked numbers posted. Andrew Miller deserves to pitch in the closing role based on his success over the last three seasons, 18-8 with a 1.82 ERA, 49 saves and 326 Ks over 198.1 innings. This season, Miller has allowed only one run over 27.1 innings with 40 Ks and three wins. Bryan Shaw tossed 3.1 shutout innings over his last four games with six strikeouts. Cleveland remains on top of the bullpen ERA rankings (2.45 – 1st) after 54 games with seven wins, three losses, and 15 saves.
On the positive side, the Tigers climbed to 25th in bullpen ERA (4.68) after 56 games with eight wins, nine losses, and 14 saves. Justin Wilson threw three shutout innings with a win, two saves, and two Ks over the last week after getting ripped in his previous four games (five runs and nine base runners over 4.1 innings with seven Ks). Justin has been successful in four of his five save opportunities since taking over the closing job. The overachieving Alex Wilson showed regression over his last six innings (four runs and seven base runners over seven innings with four Ks). Alex remains next in line for saves in Detroit. Shane Greene remains an option late in games after allowing two runs over his last 11.2 innings with 15 Ks.
Kansas City Royals
If I was a contending team in the majors, I wouldn’t trust Kelvin Herrera in the 9th inning. Over his last 12 innings, Herrera allowed eight runs and 19 base runners with 17 Ks while earning seven saves in eight chances. Kelvin is 12-for-14 in save conversions. His arm would have more value in a setup role in my opinion. Mike Minor allowed two runs and 13 base runners over his last 17.1 innings with 22 Ks. He may be closer to the 9th inning than a closing role. Joakim Soria allowed six runs and eight base runners over his last 1.1 innings to pitch his way out of save contention and a viable job on another contender. Kansas City sits 23rd in bullpen ERA (4.55) after 56 games with nine wins, 10 losses, and 12 saves.
It didn’t take long for the Twins to plummet to 30th in the majors in bullpen ERA (5.32) after 52 games. Their relievers have seven wins, seven losses, and 16 saves. Brandon Kintzler remans the top option in the 9th despite a couple of rocky patches. Over his last 11.1 innings, he has a 2.38 ERA with seven of eight save conversions and 10 Ks. On the year, Kintzler is 15-for-17 in save chances. Just when Tyler Duffey looked poised to move closer to the 9th inning, the Astros drilled him for four runs and five base runners while Duffey failed to record an out on May 31st. He did rebound to pitch two shutout innings with two Ks in his next two games. Taylor Rogers has a 1.93 ERA over his last 9.1 innings with six strikeouts.
Ken Giles has job loss risk after allowing four runs and six base runners over his last three innings in June with four Ks. He blew his second save in 17 tries on June 6th when he served up a two-run homer. Will Harris pitched great over his last 7.2 innings (one runs and two hits with 11 Ks) to remain next in line. Chris Devenski extended his scoreless streak to seven innings with seven Ks. Houston did drop a couple of spots to eighth in bullpen ERA (3.55) after 58 games with 14 wins, seven losses, and 19 saves.
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Los Angeles Angels
The Angels moved to 11th in bullpen ERA (3.79) after 61 games with 11 wins, nine losses, and 15 saves. Bud Norris continues to earn saves much longer than most Fantasy owners expected due to the slow recovery by Cameron Bedrosian. Since taking over the closing role on April 18th, Norris has a 1.80 ERA over 20 innings with 27 Ks and 11 converted saves in 12 chances. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last four innings with five Ks. Bedrosian allowed two runs and three base runners in his two innings of work at High A leading to him needing more time to return to the majors. Cam may need another week or two of work with LA before pitching in the 9th. Blake Parker improved his shutout run to 14.1 innings with 18 Ks to put his name close to saves. Anyone dreaming of Huston Street closing again in the majors is off their rocker. He had a setback in his rehab as a result of a right triceps issue.
Just when I was ready to shovel another load of sand on Santiago Casilla, he pitched three shutout innings with four Ks leading to three converted saves. Santiago is now 10-for-12 in save tries. Over his last 7.1 innings, he has a 7.36 ERA and 1.91 WHIP with seven Ks so his job remains at risk. Ryan Madson took one to the Jimmies last week when he allowed three runs and three base runners over two-thirds of an inning in a loss to the Nationals. Despite his bad game, Ryan has a 3.24 ERA over his last 8.1 innings with only three hits allowed and seven Ks. Liam Hendriks saw his 6.1 inning scoreless streak end on June 5th when he allowed a home run to Toronto. Oakland fell to 28th in bullpen ERA (4.91) after 58 games with seven wins, eight losses, and 12 saves.
The Mainers moved up a couple of spots in bullpen ERA (4.54) after 58 games with nine wins, 11 losses, and 10 saves. Edwin Diaz pitched better over his last seven innings (one run with nine Ks and two saves). Diaz has been successful in nine of his 11 save opportunities. Tony Zych hasn’t allowed a run in his last 3.2 innings with four Ks. Steve Cishek looked better over his last four games (no runs over 4.2 innings with three Ks).
The Rangers cut bait with Sam Dyson last week he was lit up over his last three games in May (five runs and 12 base runners over 2.1 innings). Matt Bush has his 15-inning shutout streak snapped on May 31st when he served up a game tying home run with two outs in the 9th to blow his first save in seven chances. After getting five days off, Bush struggled in a non-save situation vs. the Mets when he allowed three runs, five base runners, and two home runs. This fade may point to a possible underlying injury so insurance is a must this week. Over his last 12.2 innings, Keone Kela allowed two runs and five hits with 17 strikeouts to put himself next in line for saves. Jose Leclerc returned from the DL on June 3rd after missing nearly a month. He pitched a shutout inning with a K in his first appearance. Texas pushed up to 27th in bullpen ERA (4.80) after 57 games with 11 wins, 11 losses, and nine saves.