The A’s and Blue Jays keep on making us guess as to who is next in line to close out their next win, and the Giants announced that they might be moving towards using a bullpen by committee approach, and then didn’t. That’s just some of what we’re covering in this week’s Bullpen Report.

Weekly Save Leaders

Jake McGee , Giants, 3

Giants manager Gabe Kapler caused quite a stir among fantasy baseball managers who roster McGee last week, when he suggested that Tyler Rogers would begin to see more work in the ninth inning. At that point, McGee had given up five runs over his last 2.2 IP, including two home runs. Since then, McGee hasn’t given up a run and has recorded saves in his last three appearances, giving him ten on the season. Kapler has always been a proponent of using a committee approach in managing his bullpens. Rogers’ groundball and soft contact inducing style of pitching presents a sharp contrast to McGee’s approach of relying on his mid-90mph fastball to generate swings and misses. At least for now, McGee’s role seems secure. Rogers will receive opportunities to close out games but for the short term, he’ll be best utilized as a pitcher who can help protect your fantasy team’s ratios and as a big-time contributor in leagues that track holds. As of Wednesday, Rogers led the big leagues with ten holds.

Edwin Díaz , Mets 2

Diaz gave fantasy baseball managers a scare when he was lifted from his Sunday May 2nd appearance due to back tightness. Thankfully, the back issue doesn’t appear to be a long-term problem, and he’s rebounded nicely since that night. In his last three appearances Diaz has pitched 3.2 scoreless innings and picked up two saves over the past week, giving him a total of five on the season. Statistically, Diaz hasn’t been as dominant this season as compared to last. He’s pitching to a 3.14 ERA as compared to his 1.75 ERA in 2020. Diaz’s velocity on his fastball has increased by just over one mile per hour this season and he’s throwing it more, but ironically hitters are having greater success against it. Last season opposing batters had a .231 BAA his fastball. This season that BAA has increased to .290.

Raisel Iglesias , Angels, 2

Iglesias had himself a good week, posting back-to-back-to-back scoreless appearances and picking up two saves as well. He’s converted six of his eight save opportunities but has had a bit of an uneven season. Iglesias has made some changes to his repertoire that should help him the rest of the way. With opposing batters feasting on his fastball (.421 BAA), Iglesias has increased his usage of his changeup (.200 BAA, 49 Whiff %) by 11% compared to last season. His 3.73 xERA suggests that Diaz has pitched much better than his 5.54 ERA and that more consistent production may be on the way.

Jake Diekman , Athletics, 2

Diekman has had himself a week! He’s collected a win, a hold and two saves. He now has five saves on the season and despite the A’s still likely utilizing a committee approach to their bullpen, Diekman seems to be temporarily separating himself from Lou Trivino . Diekman has converted the A’s last two save opportunities. Trivino leads the team with six saves and held the lead which allowed Diekman to pick up his most recent save. It’s obvious that A’s manager Bob Melvin doesn’t care about your fantasy team.

Ryan Pressly , Astros, 2

Pressly converted both of his save opportunities last week, and all six of his save chances on the season. He has a stellar 18:3 K:BB ratio and is inducing ground balls at the highest rate of his career (64.3%). Not surprisingly, his fly ball rate is at a career low 14.3%, and Pressly has yet to give up a home run in 14 appearances this season.

Yimi García and Aroldis Chapman also saved two games in the past week.

Weekly Holds Leaders

Tyler Chatwood , Blue Jays, 3

With their bullpen having been decimated by injuries, the Blue Jays have turned to Chatwood to help bridge the gap from their starting pitcher to whoever is deemed their closer for the day. On Wednesday night that closer was A.J. Cole. Chatwood has been successful in his role, registering three holds last week and seven on the season. Chatwood, who pitched to a 5.30 ERA last season with a 1.661 WHIP, has rebounded nicely in 2021. He enters Thursday’s action with a 0.68 ERA. Chatwood’s resurgence can be attributed in part to him using his cutter more (48.2% usage, 48% Whiff %), and the fact that he’s cut his walk rate by more than half this season.

Twelve pitchers registered two holds last week. The following are a couple that we haven’t yet covered in this column.

Tony Watson , Angels, 2

Watson picked up two holds over the past week, giving him three in his last three appearances. He has a wealth of experience in pitching in a setup role, (2.77 career ERA across 11 seasons) and he gives the Angels an experienced arm who they can occasionally use in the ninth inning to close out a game if Rasiel Iglesias or Mike Mayers (who also had two holds last week) are unavailable.

Aaron Bummer , White Sox, 2

Bummer, who is considered the next man up in Chicago’s bullpen, had two holds last week, as did fellow reliever Codi Heuer. Bummer, who got off to a bit of a shaky start this season (six walks and six hits allowed in his first 5.1 IP), has struck out nine and walked none in his last six scoreless appearances.

More Bullpen News


Daniel Bard is quickly losing his grip on the Rockies’ closers role, if he hasn’t lost the job already.  He had a brutal stretch of three games from April 21st to May 2nd in which he gave up six earned runs in 2.1 IP. Bard then picked up his third save of the season on May 5th despite giving up a run, but he surrendered the lead on Wednesday by giving up three hits and an earned run in 1.2 IP. With an ERA that sits at 7.11 it seems it’s only a matter of time before Mychal Givens is anointed the team’s new closer.


Despite the occasional rumor to the contrary, Kenley Jansen is not going to lose his closer gig with the Dodgers. His average velocity may not be what it used to be, and he has walked more batters this season than usual (14 BB in 15.1 IP), but the Dodgers know that if they carefully manage his usage, he is still one of the better relievers in the game. Don’t expect the Dodgers to use Jansen in back-to-back games anytime soon. He’s converted six of his eight save opportunities and both of his blown saves occurred when he pitched on consecutive days.


Brad Hand had another shaky outing on Wednesday. He’s given up four earned runs in 2.1 IP over his last three appearances. He has also taken a loss and blown two save opportunities as well during that stretch. Hand has had issues with his control, walking seven batters in 12.1 IP this season. He believes his issue is mechanical and in a recent outing Nationals manager Dave Martinez noticed that Hand was “a little shorter on his delivery”. It appears that Martinez is sticking with his closer for now, but we all know that can change quickly. Daniel Hudson would be the next man up.

Closer Grid