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Brad Brach isn’t going away without a fight for the closing job. He extended his shutout streak to 11.1 innings with two hits and 11 strikeouts. After going over two weeks without a save chance, Brach picked up a pair of saves over the last week. He’s now 13-for-16 in save conversions. Zach Britton tossed one shutout inning at Low A ball on June 20th with no hits, one walk, and a K. The Orioles expect to have him back by the first week in July. Mychal Givens has a 0.71 ERA over his last 12.2 innings with 14 Ks. Baltimore ranks 17th in bullpen ERA (4.29) after 70 games with 16 wins, eight losses, and 20 saves.
Boston Red Sox
With the Red Sox moving into sole possession of first place for the first time in 2017, thanks to the Yankees losing seven straight games, they now have the second-best bullpen ERA (2.84) in the majors after 69 games with 13 wins, six losses, and 21 saves. The electric ride of Craig Kimbrel added another week to his elite 2017 resume (0.85 ERA and 0.44 WHIP over 31.7 innings with 59 Ks and five walks). Kimbrel has allowed one run and five hits with 42 Ks over his last 22.2 innings and 14 consecutive converted saves. Kimbrel has been successful in 20 of his 21 save chances. Joe Kelly improved his scoreless run to 16.2 innings with 18 Ks. Matt Barnes struggled with the long ball early in the season (three HRs over a six-game stretch in late April and early May) leading to a disaster run (11.12 ERA over 5.2 innings). Barnes has a 2.20 ERA over his last 16.1 innings with 25 strikeouts and has officially bounced back.
New York Yankees
Aroldis Chapman returned form the DL on June 18th when he threw a perfect inning with one strikeout. He missed nearly five weeks of the season with New York holding their position without him on the roster. The long losing streak led to Dellin Betances sitting on the bench for the last five days. His only appearance over the last week came in June 15th (1.7 shutout innings with two walks and three Ks). Betances hasn’t allowed a run over his 20.1 innings with seven hits, 13 walks, and 40 Ks while converting all six save opportunities. Tyler Clippard struggled over his last seven games (six runs, 10 base runners, and three home runs over 5.2 innings). The Yankees slipped to fourth in bullpen ERA (3.20) after 67 games with 10 wins, 11 losses, and 15 saves.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays sit 18th in bullpen ERA (4.33) after 74 games with 13 wins, 17 losses, and 22 saves. Alex Colome has not looked right over his last seven games (four runs and 14 base runners over eight innings), but he only blew one save in seven chances. Colome is 20-for-23 in save conversions. Tommy Hunter struggled over his last three innings (three runs and six base runners). The hard throwing Jose Alvarado lost his way over the last 10 days (five runs and 10 base runners over three innings with five strikeouts).
Toronto Blue Jays
Roberto Osuna has been perfect over his last 4.1 innings with five Ks and four saves. Over his last 22 innings, he has a 1.23 ERA with 30 Ks and 17 straight save conversions. Osuna has been successful in 18 of his 21 save chances. Joe Smith was placed on the DL with shoulder injury after allowing three runs and four base runners over one inning of work. Ryan Tepera moves up a notch after his high level of success over his last 26.1 innings (0.68 ERA with 30 strikeouts). After a slow start to the season (5.40 ERA over 13.1 innings from May 8th to June 2nd), Danny Barnes pitched great over the last two weeks (no runs and one hit over 7.2 innings with 10 Ks). The Blue Jays climbed to 10th in bullpen ERA (3.75) after 68 games with 17 wins, 10 losses, and 21 saves.
Chicago White Sox
The White Six slipped one spot in bullpen ERA (3.64 – 8th) after 69 games with 13 wins, six losses, and 11 saves. David Robertson allowed a run and two hits over two innings over the last week with a pair of strikeouts and a save. He’s 11-for-12 in saves tries. Tommy Kahnle has a 0.59 ERA over his last 15.1 innings with two walks and 24 Ks. He looks poised to pitch in the ninth inning at some point in 2017. Anthony Swarzak shouldn’t be in the majors after his poor month (11 runs and 30 base runners over 13.1 innings), but he still has a 3.00 ERA and 1.09 WHIP after his hot start to the year (no runs over 19.2 innings with 22 Ks).
Despite converting 15 of his 16 save chances while tossing 6.1 shutout innings with five Ks in his last five games, Cody Allen has been demoted to a setup role in his last two games. Andrew Miller was crushed by the Dodgers in back-to-back games (five runs, six base runners, and two HRs over 2.1 innings with two Ks), but he still earned his first save of the year on June 18th. Miller has the better arm, but Allen should continue to get the majority of saves. Bryan Shaw has been steady over his last 7.2 innings (three runs and nine base runners with six Ks). The Indians still have the best bullpen ERA (2.56) in baseball after 66 games with nine wins, six losses, and 17 saves.
The Tigers are 27th in bullpen ERA (4.96) after 69 games with nine wins, 14 losses, and 14 saves. Justin Wilson picked up a pair of losses and a win over his last three games when he allowed two runs and five base runners over 2.1 innings with two Ks. He doesn’t have a save chance since May 31st. Shane Greene has a 1.53 ERA over his last 17.2 innings with 20 Ks. Alex Wilson pitched his way out of save contention over the last three weeks (eight runs and 16 base runners over 7.2 innings with five Ks). After trending back in the right direction (one run over 6.1 innings with five Ks), Francisco Rodriguez struggled again in his last game (two runs, two hits, and a home run over two-thirds of an inning).
Kansas City Royals
Kelvin Herrera stabilized over his last 4.2 innings (no runs and three base runners with two Ks and three saves). This came after a poor 10-game stretch (10 runs and 20 base runners over 9.1 innings with 15 strikeouts). Kelvin has been successful in 16 of his 18 saves chances. Mike Minor walked a batter in four of his last five games covering 5.1 innings while allowing five hits, but he gave up only one run. Minor has a 1.19 ERA over his last 22.2 innings with 25 Ks. Joakim Soria is trending back up in his last 4.1 innings (one run and four hits with seven Ks). The Royals are 21st in bullpen ERA (4.49) after 69 games with 10 wins, 12 losses, and 16 saves.
The Twins remain last in the majors in bullpen ERA (5.25) after 65 games with seven wins, nine losses, and 19 saves. Brandon Kintzler is 18-for-21 in save conversions. He has a 5.79 ERA over his last 9.1 innings with seven Ks, six saves, and two blown saves. Taylor Rogers extended his shutout streak to 7.1 innings with three Ks. Tyler Duffey has been a disaster over his last nine innings (nine runs and 16 base runners with nine Ks). Alan Busenitz struggled in his first two games in the majors (two runs, seven base runners, and two HRs over 2.2 innings). He has a 2.15 ERA over 29.1 innings at AAA with 32 Ks.
Ken Giles tossed two shutout innings over the last week with two Ks and one save. He has been successful in 17-of-19 save tries with 34 Ks over 27.1 innings. Will Harris served up a home run on June 16th to the Red Sox ending his scoreless streak at six innings with no walks and 11 Ks. Chris Devenski didn’t allow a run over 2.2 innings with three Ks over the last week. The Astros still faded to 11th in bullpen ERA (3.85) after 71 games with 15 wins, 11 losses, and 21 saves.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels jumped to seventh in bullpen ERA (3.54) after 74 games with 15 wins, 10 losses, and 16 saves. Cameron Bedrosian returned form the DL on June 17th. He tossed two shutout innings with no hits allowed and three Ks in two games. He’ll move into the closing role with Bud Norris placed on the DL with a right knee injury. Blake Parker saw his 19.1 inning shutout streak end in his last outing on June 20th when he allowed a home run to the Yankees. David Hernandez extended his scoreless run to 10 innings with no walks and 13 Ks. He converted a save on June 14th.
Santiago Casilla blew his third save in 14 chances on June 15th when he allowed a run and three base runners to the Yankees. Over his last nine innings, Casilla gave up two runs and 13 base runners while converting five of his six saves. Sean Doolittle has been elite since returning from the DL (no runs and one hit over four innings with no walks and seven strikeouts). Doolittle has the best arm for the ninth inning if he can stay healthy. Over his five innings, Ryan Madson allowed a run and three hits with seven Ks. Oakland fell to 28th in bullpen ERA (5.01) after 71 games with nine wins, 11 losses, and 15 saves.
The Mariners moved to 19th in bullpen ERA (4.42) after 72 games with 13 wins, 12 losses, and 12 saves. Edwin Diaz has been dominating over his last 13.1 innings (0.68 ERA with 17 Ks and four saves). Diaz gas been successful in 11 of his 13 save tries. Steve Cishek has a 1.86 ERA over 9.2 innings since returning from the DL with seven Ks. Tony Zych has allowed one run over his last eight innings with six strikeouts.
The days of Matt Bush pitching in the 9th appear to be over. He struggled in his last seven games, which led to six runs and 16 base runners over 6.1 innings with six Ks, two saves, and two blown saves. I sense a DL stint due to a right shoulder injury. Matt is 8-for-11 in save chances. Keone Kela pitched great over his last five innings (no runs and two hits with eight Ks) to put himself in position to steal the closing job. Jose Leclerc has a 2.45 ERA over 7.1 innings with 16 strikeouts since returning from the DL. The Rangers pushed their way to 23rd in bullpen ERA (4.63) after 69 games with 10 wins, 12 losses, and 11 saves.