After struggling over a three-game stretch over the second half of April (three runs and seven baserunners over two innings), Brad Boxberger found his way over his last four innings (no runs and four saves). Boxberger is 10-for-10 in save conversions with a 2.08 ERA and 16 Ks over 13 innings. Archie Bradley pitched at a high level over his last 6.2 innings (no runs, two hits, and nine Ks) to remain next in line for saves. Yoshihisa Hirano has a 2.03 ERA over 13.1 innings on the year with 12 Ks and two walks.
Over his last eight innings, Arodys Vizcaino has a 1.13 ERA with eight Ks and four saves. Vizcaino has one blown save in five chances in 2018. A.J. Minter picked up his first major league save last week when he tossed 2.1 shutout innings with two Ks. Minter continues to battle walks (10) over his 13.2 innings of work to keep him away from the ninth inning. Dan Winkler extended his scoreless and hitless streak to six innings with ten Ks.
Darren O’Day has a 6.43 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over his last seven innings, but he did pick up a pair of saves with ten Ks. Brad Brach has been a disaster over the last four games (six runs and 11 baserunners over 3.1 innings) to remove himself from save consideration. Mychal Givens looks poised to be in the save conversion in Baltimore until Zach Britton returns from the DL. Over his last six innings, Givens allowed one run and three hits with ten Ks. Britton is close to beginning a rehab assignment, which puts him on track to return late in May.
Boston Red Sox
Twice over his last five games, Craig Kimbrel allowed a home run to lose a game and blow a save. Kimbrel is 7-for-8 in save conversions with a 1.42 ERA and 16 Ks over 12.2 innings. Joe Kelly didn’t allow a run over 11.1 innings in April with five hits, one walk, and ten Ks. Matt Barnes didn’t allow a run over his last 6.2 innings with two hits and 11 Ks.
Brandon Morrow remains perfect in 2018. He’s converted all seven of his saves with no runs allowed over ten innings with nine Ks. Carl Edwards sure looks the closing part over his first 13.2 innings. He has a 0.66 ERA with 23 Ks. His path to the ninth inning will require an injury. Steve Cishek picked up a save over the last week when Morrow and Edwards needed the night off. His ERA (2.70) looks reasonable, but he issued ten walks over 13.1 innings.
Chicago White Sox
The days of Joakim Soria pitching in the ninth look to be almost over. He has two blown saves in six chances with an unfavorable ERA (4.35) and WHIP (.145). Over his last 7.1 innings, Soria has a 2.45 ERA with eight Ks. Over his first 12 innings in 2018, Nate Jones has a 1.50 ERA with 14 Ks and a save. Juan Minaya returned from the minors last week. In his only appearance, Minaya allowed a run, a hit, four walks, and four Ks over two innings.
Raisel Iglesias struggled in two of his last three games (two runs and six baserunners over 2.2 innings with two Ks). Over the last 24 days, Iglesias only has two save chances resulting in one save. He has a 2.19 ERA over 12.1 innings on the year with 15 Ks. David Hernandez hasn’t been sharp in his first three games back in the majors (two runs and six baserunners over 3.1 innings with four Ks). Wandy Peralta struggled over his last five games (seven runs and ten baserunners over 4.2 innings) after starting the year with 9.2 shutout innings with ten walks and nine Ks. Amir Garrett has a 5.14 ERA over his last seven innings with six Ks.
With Andrew Miller on the DL with a hamstring injury, Cody Allen had a clear path for all saves in Cleveland. Unfortunately, Allen pitched poorly in his last two games (three runs and six baserunners over 1.2 innings with one strikeout and a win). On the year, Cody has five saves in as many opportunities. Nick Goody fell on his face in his last three appearances (six runs, 11 baserunners, and three HRs over three innings). Dan Otero has a 2.00 ERA and 0.67 WHIP over his last nine innings with no walks and ten Ks.
Wade Davis is 11-for-12 in save conversions with a 2.19 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 16 Ks over 12.1 innings. Jake McGee only pitched two-thirds of a shutout inning over the last week with a strikeout after getting lit up for four runs over one-third of an inning on April 23rd. Adam Ottavino remains one of the better setup men in 2018 over the first month of the year. Ottavino has a 0.53 ERA over 17 innings with four hits allowed and 31 Ks.
Over his last 6.1 innings, Shane Greene allowed five runs, ten baserunners, and three home runs leading to two blown saves in four chances. Joe Jiminez faded as well over his last five games when he allowed four runs and nine baserunners over 5.1 innings with five Ks. Daniel Stumpf improved his shutout runs to 6.2 innings with five Ks. Jimenez still looks like the long-term solution for saves in Detroit.
Ken Giles saw his seven shutout inning streak end on May 1st when he served up the game losing four runs in the 9th inning to the Yankees. Giles has three saves in 2018 with no walks and eight Ks over 10.1 innings. Chris Devenski hasn’t allowed a run over his last 10.1 innings with two walks and 12 Ks. Brad Peacock tossed four shutout innings with one hit and five Ks in his last four games.
Kansas City Royals
After starting the year with 9.2 shutout innings with five successful saves, Kelvin Herrera blew his first save on May 1st when he allowed a game-tying home run. Herrera did pick up the win. Over 10.2 innings, he has a 0.84 ERA with 12 Ks and no walks. Tim Hill struggled in two of his last three games (four runs and six hits over 2.2 innings with three Ks). Brad Keller has 2.70 ERA over his last 3.1 innings with two Ks.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels placed Keynan Middleton on the DL on Tuesday with an elbow issue. Over his last 5.1 innings, Middleton had a 5.06 ERA and 1.69 WHIP with eight Ks, two saves, and one blown save. Cam Bedrosian was trending up after tossing seven shutout innings with eight Ks, and a save, but he blew the lead in the 9th on May 1st after allowing two runs and three hits over one inning vs. the Orioles. Some LA reporters have been pinning for Justin Anderson to take over the 9th after tossing 8.2 shutout innings in the minors in 2018 with two hits, two walks, and 14 Ks. Anderson has a high 90s fastball, but walks have been his downfall in his early minor league career. I don’t trust his guile based on his wildness in the minors.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Even with four shutout innings over his last four games, Kenley Jansen still doesn’t look right. He allowed five baserunners over his recent span with six Ks and a save. On the year, Jansen has 5.06 ERA and 1.59 WHIP while allowing three HRs over 10.2 innings. Jos Fields struggled in his last two games (two runs, three hits, and two home runs over two innings). Pedro Baez may have an underlying injury after allowing five runs, seven hits, and six walks in his last 3.1 innings.
After posting an 8.44 ERA and 1.69 WHIP over his first 10.2 innings with two saves, Brad Ziegler pitched two shutout inning with a save and two Ks. Just when Kyle Barraclough was positioned to start earning saves, his command went in the wrong direction. Barraclough has a 1.80 ERA over his last five innings with seven Ks and a save, but he walked seven batters. Drew Steckenrider stands tall in the Marlins’ bullpen after allowing just two runs over his first 14.2 innings with 21 Ks. Steckenrider deserves the closing job in Miami.
The best reliever/closer in baseball over the first month of the season is Josh Hader. He allowed two runs and four hits over his first 18 innings with 39 Ks and four saves. The Brewers continue to use him over multiple innings, which gives him a chance at 100+ innings in 2018 with a run at 200+ Ks if he keeps up his electric K rate (19.5). Corey Knebel is trending toward a rehab assignment, but his role/opportunity won’t be the same when he returns. For now, Jeremy Jeffress and Jacob Barnes will get occasional save chances when Hader isn’t available. Jeffress extended his scoreless streak to 10.1 innings with three hits and ten Ks leading to a win and a save. Barnes has a 0.93 ERA over his last 9.2 innings with 12 Ks and a save, but he did allow 13 baserunners.
2018 started off similarly as 2017 for Fernando Rodney. He has poor ERA (4.66) and WHIP (1.86) over his first 9.2 innings while converting only three of his seven saves chances. Addison Reeds struggled in three of his last six games (four runs and ten baserunners over five innings with five Ks). Trevor Hildenberger pitched better over his last six games (two runs over 5.2 innings with one walk and six Ks).
New York Mets
Jeurys Familia lost his rhythm over his last 3.2 innings leading to three runs and six baserunners with two blown saves in three tries. Familia still has strength in his ERA (1.80) and WHIP (1.07) while converting nine of 12 saves. A.J. Ramos allowed two runs, two hits, and two walks over his last four innings with six Ks. Robert Gsellman didn’t allow a run over his last 4.2 innings with four Ks.
New York Yankees
Over his last seven innings, Aroldis Chapman hasn’t allowed a run with two hits, 13 Ks, and five saves. Chapman has six saves in six chances in 2018. David Robertson improved his scoreless run to 4.2 innings with no walks and six Ks. Dellin Betances pitched much better over his last 5.1 innings (no runs and 11 Ks).
Blake Treinen doesn’t have a save since April 18th. His last appearance came on April 24th after taking a batted ball off his leg. On the year, Treinen has three saves in five opportunities with a 1.50 ERA and 14 Ks over 12 innings. Santiago Casilla pitched up a save last week, but he allowed two runs and three baserunners over his last two innings. Yusmeiro Petit has a 1.35 ERA over his last 6.2 innings with no walks and seven Ks.
Hector Neris has a win and four saves over his last 6.1 innings with no runs allowed and eight Ks. Neris is 5-for-6 in save tries with an improving ERA (3.27). Tommy Hunter struggled in his two games in Miami over the last week (two runs and four baserunners over 1.2 innings with two Ks). Edubray Ramos has 0.73 ERA over his last 12.1 innings with 15 Ks.
Saves have been tough to come by for Felipe Vazquez over the last two weeks. His last save came on April 14th after converting all five chances to begin the month of April. Vazquez allowed a run and seven baserunners over his last 3.1 innings with three Ks. Michael Feliz has a 0.75 ERA over his last 12 innings with 15 Ks. George Kontos allowed a run and ten baserunners over his last eight innings with one strikeout. Kyle Crick is a much-improved pitcher after returning from the minors (1.42 ERA over 6.1 innings with one walk and ten Ks).
Brad Hand saw his 8.1 inning shutout run end on April 30th when he allowed three runs and four baserunners over 1.1 innings in his second blown save in nine chances. Hand has a 3.07 ERA over 14.2 innings with 21 Ks. Kirby Yates has a 1.04 ERA over 8.2 innings with nine Ks to remain next in line for saves. Craig Stammen is bleeding back his early edge over last 3.2 innings (five runs and 11 baserunners with four Ks).
San Francisco Giants
The last seven games have been productive for Hunter Strickland. He has five saves while allowing one run over 6.2 innings with eight Ks. Strickland moved to 7-for-9 in save chances. Tony Watson tossed six shutout innings with four Ks over his last six games. Sam Dyson is trending forward after posting 6.1 shutout innings with two Ks.
Edwin Diaz doesn’t have a Josh Hader resume in 2018, but he’s pitched extremely well. He’s converted all 12 of his saves while allowing only two hits over 15.1 innings with 29 Ks. Juan Nicasio found his form over his last seven innings (no runs, two hits, and eight Ks). James Pazos improved his scoreless run to 8.2 innings with no walks and nine Ks.
St. Louis Cardinals
Bud Norris will remain the closer in St. Louis with Greg Holland struggling to make an impact late in games. Norris threw three shutout innings over the last week with two Ks and a win. Bud hasn’t failed to convert a save in five chances. Holland blew up over his last one inning of work (three runs and six baserunners) leading to a blown save in two games. Dominic Leone has a 1.13 ERA over his last eight innings with seven Ks.
Tampa Bay Rays
Despite pitching better over his last seven innings (two runs, ten baserunners, and nine Ks), Alex Colome remains at risk for saves in Tampa. He has a 6.00 ERA and 2.17 WHIP over 12 innings with five saves in seven opportunities. Jose Alvarado battled his way through his first major league save on April 30th. Alvarado didn’t allow a run over his last four innings with three Ks. Jonny Venters made his way back to the majors after missing five seasons. In his first three games, Venters threw 2.2 shutout innings with one K.
Keone Kela had a save in four straight games with no runs allowed over 3.1 innings before serving up a game-tying grand slam vs. the Indians on May 1st. His ERA fell to 6.30 with a poor WHIP (1.60). Kela technically hasn’t blown a save in six chances. Alex Claudio pitched better over his last five innings (one run), but he allowed eight baserunners with no Ks. Jose Leclerc should be next in line for saves after tossing eight shutout innings with one hit, three walks, and nine Ks.
Toronto Blue Jays
Roberto Osuna is 8-for-9 in save tries with a 2.03 ERA and 11 Ks over 13.1 innings. Over his last four innings, Osuna allowed three runs and ten baserunners leading to two saves and a blown save. Seung Hwan Oh has a 1.17 ERA over his last 7.2 innings with ten Ks to lower his ERA to 2.19 on the year. Ryan Tepera hasn’t allowed a run over his last 5.2 innings with no walks and six Ks.
Over his last 11 innings, Sean Doolittle has a 0.45 ERA with three hits allowed, 19 Ks, and three saves. He’s perfect in his five saves chances. Brandon Kinztler improved his shutout streak to 11 innings with 11 Ks. Ryan Madson allowed a run over his last 3.2 innings with one K, but he still has plenty of work to do to correct his 5.79 ERA.