What’s poppin, Razzpimples? Bullpen update time!
Don’t forget, the Razzball Bullpen Chart is manned by yours truly and updated like every single second (not really, but I stay on top of thangs for the most part). Subscribers also get access to the incredibly handy Relievonator Game Log, which tracks every single relief appearance from the last 14 days, including what inning they were called upon and how many batters/pitches they faced/threw.
(No Player Rater updates this week, sorry. Had a lot of trouble for some reason, so I just gave up.)
Alrighty, let’s do it to it. (Note: Monday’s games do not factor in)
Kenley Jansen had one of the best weeks you could realistically hope for: 1 W, 3 SV, 5:1 K:BB, and 1 ER in 4 IP. Can’t really ask for much more than four positive decisions and great ratios/strikeouts. Man has been one of the greatest closers of our lifetime. Chris Martin is still having a dope 2023 and I feel like no one is noticing. Just a cool 21 SVHD, 1.37 ERA, and 1.04 WHIP for the grizzled vet. Josh Winckowski and John Schreiber remain in the holds mix, but this is definitely the Jansen+Martin show.
Evan Phillips was the only other 3 SV dude on the week. Remember when the Dodgers said they were gonna committee it up this year? And then they said Graterol was probably the favored guy? Yeah, me neither. Phillips too good I guess. His save total doesn’t keep pace with the guys in the 30 range, but overall you can’t deny Phillips is one of the better closers in the league.
Jason Foley gets headline treatment this time around, as it seems Alex Lange has fallen from grace. Ah well, that victory lap was fun while it lasted. Lange just has no control whatsoever these days, and it seems Foley is the favored option right now. Foley actually went on the bereavement list for a bit, only to come back and get a save right away. Jose Cisnero and Beau Brieske may get some looks here and there. Hell, maybe Lange gets another shot eventually, I dunno. All I’m saying is if Foley’s out there, give him a shot.
Emmanuel Clase had nice metrics this week (23.4 SwStr% and 34 CSW%) but still managed to picked up a loss and blown save (10.13 ERA, 2.25 WHIP). Cleveland is a great environment for save opportunities, so I saw no reason to think Clase would be anything other than the best fantasy RP in 2023. Alas, he’s flirting with being kicked out of the top 15 on the Player Rater despite all those saves he has.
Will Smith was once again leaned on in the ninth. Really thought he’d be sharing the gig with Aroldis Chapman. Might be a different story soon, however. Chapman has been stellar, recording all nine outs via the strikeout this week while allowing just one hit and no runs. Smith’s last few outings have been pretty rocky. Keep a close eye on thangs, folks!
David Robertson is finding a little groove in Miami finally. Picked up 2 SV this week, allowing no runs and striking out three in 2 IP. Good swing-and-miss stuff, too. Tanner Scott had one small blemish this week: one walk. Otherwise he was lights out. No hits, no runs, and 7 K in just 3 IP. Nasty 25.5 SwStr% and very good 33.3 CSW% as well.
Adbert Alzolay continues to break out, also nabbing 2 SV while striking out three in three scoreless innings.
Paul Sewald‘s first saves in Arizona took a little while, but he finally got a couple this past week. Don’t worry your sweet little brains about your Sewald shares.
Jordan Hicks is somewhat surprisingly the main Jordan Romano fill-in. Two saves for Hicks this week, but I’m not encouraged by his 1.71 WHIP in the process. I don’t really know why Erik Swanson (0.00 ERA, 0.25 WHIP this week) isn’t the guy, but whatevs. I’m just an English teacher who writes about bullpens on the side. Anywho, it’s a moot point cuz Romano is supposed to be activated today. I guess it’ll be interesting to see how Swanson and Hicks get deployed moving forward. I mean, surely it’s Hicks taking a back seat here, right? Gotta be. He’s so much more inconsistent than Swanson, who’s been arguably the best setup man since Opening Day.
Felix Bautista tarnished his owners with a 12.27 ERA and 2.45 WHIP this past week, though he did at least tally 1 W, 1 SV, and 6 K. I do sort of kind of just a little bit worry if fatigue will be an issue as we finish out this final month and a half or so of the season. Man has been used a lot. Obligatory Yennier Cano update: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K this week. Had 1 HLD. The quality ROS will not be what you got early in the year; however, the O’s seem dead-set on keeping him as the #1 setup man.
Giovanny Gallegos and JoJo Romero each collected 1 SV and 1 HLD this week. Neither is super reliable, though. What a bummer. I was really excited about this Cardinals pen and it’s turned into one of the messiest, ugliest situations in the entire league. Le sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Remember that time I sung Kyle Finnegan‘s praises to the moon, then he started off poorly, then he was good, then he turned into a fireman, then Harvey got hurt so he became closer again? Well I’m taking my roundabout victory lap now, nerds! Finnegan has soared all the way to NUMBER SIX on the 6×6 Player Rater (among RP, that is) and NUMBER TEN on the standard 5×5. His last month has seen him record 3 W, 7 SV, and 1 HLD while posting a 0.66 ERA and 0.44 WHIP. He’s K’d 16 and walked just one in that time. Straight up elite right now, y’all. I know he’ll come back down to earth. But, like, this is what I thought we’d get all year long (with not-so-elite ratios). Can you blame me for not predicting a long stretch of good health and good performance from Hunter Harvey??? Sure, yeah, the Statcast looks downright bad, but that’s largely in part due to earlier season struggles. He’s upped his splitter usage considerably throughout July and even more into August. Results are good. I think he’s in good shape to finish 2023 with a bang. That splitter has a 52.9% whiff rate on the year. That’s…fantastic.
Matt Moore was fantastic again, even if he only got 2 HLD to Jose Soriano‘s three. The overall quality between the two is night and day. Moore got injured for a little while, otherwise he’d probably be one of the tippity top fantasy holds guys around. ROS I think he will be. What’s not to like about his 18 HLD, 1.66 ERA, 0.89 WHIP? Only has 1 L to his name all year, with no blown saves. Doesn’t have elite K upside but does keep runners off the bases and runs off the board.
I specialize in bullpens, and I used to do some fantasy hockey as well here at Razzball. Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time of day.