Each weekend, we discuss the saves situations for each and every one of the 30 teams in the league, with a special emphasis on who is trending up and who is slipping.
This weekend, James Karinchak seems to be trending up, while there are two messy situations in Philadelphia and Cincinnati.
James Karinchak, Cleveland
Cleveland has the luxury to have two truly elite late-inning relievers in Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak. And just when we thought the former had seized the closer’s role for good, the latter has converted the last two save opportunities the team has produced, on June 20th and 24th.
Clase’s last save came on June 16th. He still has 11 on the season, but Karinchak is up to nine. Both are worthy plays for the ratios and strikeouts, but it appears they are sharing the role now.
Jose Alvarado, Philadelphia Phillies
Ok, let’s get the facts straight. On Thursday, manager Joe Girardi announced that he was moving away from Hector Neris in the ninth inning, and Jose Alvarado would get the first crack at the job. On Friday, Alvarado gets the save chance in the first game of a doubleheader and blows it, while Neris saves the second end of the DH.
Before Neris secured the SV, Archie Bradley had blown a chance in the seventh inning. On Saturday, Alvarado doesn’t pitch and there is a save chance. Guess who handled it? Neris. Guess how it ended? In a blown save.
The weekend has been wild in Philadelphia. If I were to guess, I would think the next save chance will go to Alvarado, but I wish you good luck trying to figure out this mess.
Jose Cisnero, Detroit Tigers
Jose Cisnero may not be a mainstream name yet, and he is actually no spring chicken, but he has been having a very good season and got another save, his third of the year, against a white-hot Houston Astros team on Saturday.
In 2021, Cisnero has a 3.00 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 33 innings, with 41 strikeouts. He has been especially dominant since May 13th, allowing a single earned run in 19 frames.
Gregory Soto, oddly, hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, and Michael Fulmer allowed three runs in an inning against the Astros on Saturday. Right now, it’s a three-headed committee, but Cisnero’s ninth-inning opportunities could increase in the short-term. Stay tuned.
Amir Garrett – Brad Brach, Cincinnati Reds
Lucas Sims had earned the closer role in Cincinnati, but he went down with an elbow injury and was placed on the injured list on Thursday.
That day, Amir Garrett pitched a scoreless seventh inning while Brad Brach nailed down the save (the since-injured Tejay Antone took care of the eighth). But on Saturday, it was Brach who was assigned the eighth and Garrett finished things off in the ninth for the save.
Garrett and Brach may share the closer role until one of the two establishes some separation, and both make for good waiver adds now that Antone and Sims appear likely to miss extended time.
Daniel Bard, Colorado Rockies
Just when it looked like Bard had turned his season around, he is now back to being a pumpkin. He has been scored upon on three of his last four games, and his season ERA is all the way up to 4.60 after the recent skid.
He will likely keep getting save chances given how lousy the Rockies’ alternatives are, but it has been a…rocky ride recently.
Situations to monitor:
Cole Sulser got a save on Friday, but Paul Fry is still in the mix and is the preferred option to close.
Taylor Rogers and Hansel Robles keep sharing save chances.
- New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman (secure)
- Baltimore Orioles: Paul Fry (first option), Cole Sulser, Tanner Scott
- Tampa Bay Rays: Diego Castillo (first option), JP Feyereisen, Pete Fairbanks, Jeffrey Springs
- Toronto Blue Jays: Jordan Romano (first option), Rafael Dolis
- Boston Red Sox: Matt Barnes (secure)
- Chicago White Sox: Liam Hendriks (secure)
- Minnesota Twins: Committee between Hansel Robles and Taylor Rogers
- Cleveland: Emmanuel Clase (first option), James Karinchak
- Detroit Tigers: Three-man committee: Gregory Soto, Michael Fulmer, and Jose Cisnero
- Kansas City Royals: Greg Holland (first option), Scott Barlow, Josh Staumont
- Houston Astros: Ryan Pressly (secure)
- Oakland Athletics: Committee between Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman
- Los Angeles Angels: Raisel Iglesias (secure)
- Seattle Mariners: Kendall Graveman (first option), Rafael Montero, Drew Steckenrider
- Texas Rangers: Ian Kennedy (secure)
- Atlanta Braves: Will Smith (secure), Chris Martin
- New York Mets: Edwin Diaz (secure)
- Philadelphia Phillies: Jose Alvarado (first option), Hector Neris, Connor Brogdon
- Washington Nationals: Brad Hand (secure)
- Miami Marlins: Yimi Garcia (first option), Dylan Floro, Anthony Bass
- Cincinnati Reds: Potential committee between Amir Garrett and Brad Brach
- St. Louis Cardinals: Alex Reyes (secure)
- Milwaukee Brewers: Josh Hader (secure)
- Chicago Cubs: Craig Kimbrel (secure)
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Richard Rodriguez (secure)
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Kenley Jansen (secure)
- San Diego Padres: Mark Melancon (secure)
- Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard (secure)
- San Francisco Giants: Committee between Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers
- Arizona Diamondbacks: Committee between Joakim Soria and Stefan Crichton