With another week in the books, here are the relievers I am looking to add and stream for the coming week.
Somewhat like Jake McGee last week, Kennedy seems to be establishing himself as the closer in Texas. Matt Bush has allowed three home runs in his three innings of work and the Rangers' youthful bullpen have been erratic. Given Kennedy’s stellar 2019 (3.41 ERA, 2.99 FIP) and the fact he’s already locked down two saves makes him the clear favorite to me. If he’s still available in any league where saves are consequential, he should be picked up immediately.
Knebel may be the beneficiary of Kenley Jansen’s struggles. He blew the save on Wednesday in a game where Knebel wiggled out of a jam earlier in the game. Even without taking over the closer role, Knebel figures to be one of Dave Roberts’ most trusted members of the bullpen and a good option for those in need of holds. Blake Treinen also represents competition for save opportunities in the scenario Kenley Jansen to pulled from the role.
The injury to Trevor Rosenthal has opened the door for relievers in the Athletics’ bullpen to grab more prominent roles. Jake Diekman is logically the favorite to pick up saves in Rosenthal’s absence, but Lou Trivino seems like another beneficiary of the unfortunate circumstance. Trivino has flashed upside on and off the past few seasons and is among the setup group in Oakland. The Athletics have not had a late-game lead to protect to this point in the season, so we have not had an opportunity to see what Bob Melvin’s ideal alignment is. For the upcoming week, the Athletics’ schedule eases up. They’ll be facing the Diamondbacks without Ketel Marte and the Detroit Tigers. This should line Oakland up for some wins and give us valuable information on whether Trivino is simply a holds option or a potential darkhorse closer.
The Royals’ closer situation became murkier on Monday when Jesse Hahn picked up his first save. It appears they are running a legitimate committee.
Tanner Rainey’s velocity was down in his season debut, averaging just 95 MPH on his fastball. He was the favorite to close with Brad Hand on the COVID list, but if he is not sitting 96+ he will likely struggle in whatever role he’s assigned. Keep an eye for his next outing.
In the same game, Sean Newcomb exhibited a huge increase in velocity. After averaging between 93 and 94 MPH on his fastball the prior two seasons Newcomb average 97 MPH on his fastball on Tuesday, locking down the save. Braves manager Brian Snitker remarked that Newcomb flashed closer stuff in the outing. It is way too early to be taking any action, but Newcomb is now worth keeping tabs on.
Nick Wittgren picked up the save on Wednesday with James Karinchak pitching the seventh and Emmanuel Clase pitching the eighth. There is still not much clarity but I would continue to hold Emmanuel Clase.
With Joakim Soria injured and Chris Devenski placed on the restricted list, Kevin Ginkel and Yoan Lopez could figure into the Diamondbacks’ closing plans. Stefan Crichton also remains a candidate.
Anthony Bass has blown each of his first two save opportunities on the season. His leash is shortening, and if the Marlins do decide to make a move at the end of the bullpen Yimi Garcia would be the favorite for saves with Dylan Floro and John Curtiss also being possibilities.