Welcome to the SCFE Week 6 Bullpen Briefs. This will be a reoccurring article focusing on all the happenings in bullpens around the league. While we all know there are some studs that may not lose their respective roles. There are plenty more that will be ripe for the taking.
And this won’t just be for the coveted closer roles. This will focus on setup men shifting. As well as letting people know who the next guy is that could get a lot of holds for them. Keeping an eye here can also help you know who to make that speculative add to your roster before the change is made.
This week, a trade could already be brewing in the Midwest. New York getting their closer back, and a pitcher to keep an eye on in the Motor City.
If you want to see who to start at pitching or hitting this week, we got you covered. Scott Guthrie handles our Pitching Planner. And as far as hitting goes, Aaron Hinckley writes our Hitting Planner.
So as we look to the second week of May, who are some of the guys you need to be looking at? Let’s dive in!
Week 6 Bullpen Briefs
**Updated May 4
Kelvin Herrera, RP, Kansas City Royals
Not officially out of the ninth inning role yet, Kelvin Herrera makes this list because the Royals are the second worst team in baseball with a 9-18 record. Barely better than the hapless Toronto Blue Jays in the standings. So the question is, how long will the Royals hang onto, who is perceived to be, an elite type closer? While he hasn’t been great this year so far, he has one win, with three saves. In 10 innings pitched, Herrera has a 2.70 ERA with seven strikeouts and two walks. The team may not want to move the 27-year-old, but at the rate they’re going, it won’t take to the trade deadline to know they will not be in contention.
As I said prior to the season, Herrera and David Robertson were two closers I believed would be moved by the deadline. Unfortunately for the White Sox, they are better than expected during their rebuild, and the Royals could beat them to the trade market. Keep an eye on this situation, as well as setup man Joakim Soria. If the Royals want to hold onto Herrera, Soria also has been a closer during his time in the league. Although he would not bring back the haul Herrera would since he is not a free agent until after the 2018 season.
I look for the Nationals to try and strike a deal before the bidding gets out of control. They already gave up a haul for Adam Eaton, who is now out for the season. And it would do them well to get someone in the ninth and let the other guys fill in as necessary in the seventh and eighth inning.
Joakim Soria, RP, Kansas City Royals
Much like Herrera is not out, Joakim Soria is not in, yet. This is more of a speculative play, since Herrera has more value to a contender than his current team. He definitely holds more value than Soria; it just depends on what teams will want to pay. Soria was having a great stretch to the start of the season. Until two games ago, he had not given up a run. Then last Friday happened.
He ended up blowing a save in an unusual circumstance. C.B. Bucknor took a foul ball off of Miguel Sano’s bat and had to be removed from the game. After the delay, Sano roped a double to plate two runs. Soria eventually took the loss in that game. In his 11.2 innings pitched, Soria is 1-1, with two holds and two blown saves. He has 2.31 ERA with 15 strikeouts and seven walks. If Herrera is traded, the Royals will go with Soria in the ninth, so keep monitoring this situation.
Jeurys Familia, RP, New York Mets
The Mets have had their pitching problems, but hopefully they won’t have a problem at closer. Jeurys Familia has earned the teams last two saves, but has not been officially named the closer. Even still, Addison Reed is doing nothing to help his name to be thrown into the ring.
In his last two appearances, Familia has posted a 0.00 ERA, with one hit given up, two strikeouts and zero walks. As Reed is scuffling to a 3.86 ERA, 14 hits in 14 innings, including four home runs and a loss. The best thing Reed has going so far is his sparkling 18:0 K/BB ratio. I don’t see it being much longer before Terry Collins names Familia the closer. But unless something changes in New York, Familia may not get as many save chances as originally thought.
These guys will be getting Holds and the occasional save opportunity for your team. Some will even luck into a few Wins.
- Adam Ottavino, COL: 11 Holds, 2.08 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 15 K, 8 BB, 0 SV
- Corey Knebel, MIL: 9 Holds, 1.26 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 19 K, 7 BB, 0 SV
- Joaquin Benoit, PHI: 7 Holds, 2.63 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 14 K, 7 BB, 1 SV
- Matt Bowman, STL: 7 Holds, 3.95 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 12 K, 3 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
- Mike Dunn, COL: 7 Holds, 1.13 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 10 K, 2 BB, 0 SV, 2 W
- Heath Hembree, BOS: 7 Holds, 1.23 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 17 K, 5 BB, 0 SV
- Daniel Hudson, PIT: 7 Holds, 8.49 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 11 K, 5 BB, 0 SV
- Filipe Rivero, PIT: 7 Holds, 0.56 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 15 K, 4 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
- Carlos Torres, MIL: 7 Holds, 3.71 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 11 K, 9 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
- Brad Brach, BAL: 6 Holds, 1.69 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 17 K, 6 BB, 5 SV
- Jorge De La Rosa, ARI: 6 Holds, 2.31 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 13 K, 3 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
- Ryan Dull, OAK: 6 Holds, 4.22 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 11 K, 5 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
- Luke Gregerson, HOU: 6 Holds, 8.49 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 11 K, 5 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
- Andrew Miller, CLE: 6 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 20 K, 4 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
- Taylor Rogers, MIN: 6 Holds, 4.15 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 7 K, 4 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
- Justin Wilson, DET: 6 Holds, 1.54 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 19 K, 4 BB, 1 SV, 1 W
- Jose Alvarez, LAA: 6 Holds, 1.64 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, 9 K, 2 BB, 1 SV
- Luis Avilan, LAD: 5 Holds, 1.93 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 10 K, 4 BB, 0 SV
- Matt Belisle, MIN: 5 Holds, 5.40 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 11 K, 7 BB, 0 SV
- Dellin Betances, NYY: 5 Holds, 0.93 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 17 K, 6 BB, 0 SV, 3 W
Keep an eye on…
Justin Wilson, RP, Detroit Tigers
Francisco Rodriguez pitched consecutive scoreless innings for the first time this season. He does have seven saves on the season with 12 strikeouts and three walks. He also has a 5.06 ERA and two blown saves in his 10.2 innings pitched. Not what you typically want in your closer.
Justin Wilson has been markedly better, even though he took a loss against the White Sox on April 29. He came into a tie game and gave up two runs for the loss. Even still, Wilson has a 1.54 ERA with six holds, 19 strikeouts and four walks in 11.2 innings pitched. Brad Ausmus has come out and said that a change is not imminent. But did say Rodriguez does need to start pitching like he did last year.
So there are your Week 6 Bullpen Briefs, and the pitchers to keep an eye on moving forward. Be sure and check back to get the low down on the next batch of relievers to snag.
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