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Welcome to the SCFE Week 8 Bullpen Briefs. This will be a reoccurring article focusing on all the happenings in bullpens around the league. While we all know there are some studs that may not lose their respective roles. There are plenty more that will be ripe for the taking.

And this won’t just be for the coveted closer roles. This will focus on setup men shifting. As well as letting people know who the next guy is that could get a lot of holds for them. Keeping an eye here can also help you know who to make that speculative add to your roster before the change is made.

This week, New York loses another closer. Milwaukee makes a change, a ninth inning shakeup in the Pacific Northwest and a guy to keep an eye on in the Charm City.

If you want to see who to start at pitching or hitting this week, we got you covered. Scott Guthrie handles our Pitching Planner. And as far as hitting goes, Aaron Hinckley writes our Hitting Planner.

So as we look to the fourth week of May, who are some of the guys you need to be looking at? Let’s dive in!

Week 8 Bullpen Briefs

**Updated May 18


Who’s Out?

Aroldis Chapman, RP, New York Yankees

The Yankees placed elite closer Aroldis Chapman (shoulder) on the 10-day disabled list with left rotator cuff inflammation. That designation is not correct as he will probably miss a month. The Yankees will be careful bringing Chapman back after he signed an $86 million contract.

Even though he converted seven save chances this season, his velocity is down a bit. Even with that, he is still firing 98 mph fastballs. But watching him pitch, he just hasn’t been as sharp as he usually is. Once Chapman comes back, he will get back to closing games for a surprisingly good Yankees team to date.

Neftali Feliz, RP, Milwaukee Brewers


Manager Craig Counsell made the move to take Neftali Feliz out of the closer role. While he has only blown one save this year, he just hasn’t been the closer the Brewers would like to handle the ninth inning duties. So far on the season, Feliz has a 6.35 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 13 strikeouts and nine walks. He has saved eight games, but has been inconsistent overall. At this juncture he is just giving up too many hits. I can see Counsell moving him back to the ninth at some point in time, trying to raise his value for a trade in July.

Edwin Diaz, RP, Seattle Mariners

The Mariners have demoted closer Edwin Diaz. Scott Servais said that this will be a temporary move for the 23-year-old. He’s notched seven saves, and blown two so far this season. Right now they just want Diaz to work on his mechanics before slotting him back into the ninth inning.

Diaz came in Monday to record a hold, but he also allowed two runs on no hits, walked four and struck out zero. Right now Servais will play matchups for the ninth, but there is one pitcher I believe is better for the role while Diaz is out.


Who’s In?

Dellin Betances, RP, New York Yankees


Look whose back in the closer role. Dellin Betances is taking over closing duties for the Yankees. This offseason, Betances lost his arbitration for $5 million, but was awarded $3 million for his efforts. The famous line from Randy Levine, President of the Yankees was, “It’s like me saying, ‘I’m not the president of the Yankees; I’m an astronaut.’ No, I’m not an astronaut, and Dellin Betances is not a closer.”

Obviously now, Levine is Betances biggest backer, hoping he can shut the door on teams until Chapman returns. In 2016, after Chapman was traded, Betances had 12 saves in 24 appearances, two blown saves, 38 strikeouts and 15 walks. Betances is an elite reliever, even when Chapman returns.

Corey Knebel, RP, Milwaukee Brewers


Since being named closer, Corey Knebel has converted all three save opportunities. In his last four games, Knebel has a 0.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, nine strikeouts and four walks. Even before taking over the ninth, Knebel was a very good relief pitcher, notching 11 holds with 29 strikeouts and eight walks. While the Brewers may not get a ton of save chances the rest of the season, a closer is a closer and he is a must-own for anyone chasing saves.

Tony Zych, RP, Seattle Mariners


With Edwin Diaz being demoted, I believe Tony Zych will secure the closer role. After Edwin could not get the save on Monday, Zych came in to record his first career save. Zych’s competition includes James Pazos, a 30-year-old Steve Cishek, who is recently back from hip surgery, Nick Vincent and Marc Rzepczynski.

Scott Servais could go with a committee, but I believe they should stick with one guy until he proves he isn’t up to the task, or Diaz returns to form. While this is a short term solution, just like Knebel in Milwaukee, saves are saves. For right now, I believe Zych should be the guy.



Holds Candidates

These guys will be getting Holds and the occasional save opportunity for your team. Some will even luck into a few Wins.

  • Adam Ottavino, COL: 13 Holds, 3.24 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 17 K, 11 BB, 0 SV
  • Corey Knebel, MIL: 11 Holds, 0.82 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 38 K, 12 BB, 3 SV
  • Filipe Rivero, PIT: 10 Holds, 0.82 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 23 K, 4 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
  • Taylor Rogers, MIN: 10 Holds, 3.75 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 10 K, 4 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
  • Matt Bowman, STL: 9 Holds, 3.06 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 15 K, 3 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
  • Ryan Dull, OAK: 9 Holds, 6.75 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 16 K, 9 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
  • Mike Dunn, COL: 9 Holds, 2.92 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 15 K, 5 BB, 0 SV, 2 W
  • Heath Hembree, BOS: 9 Holds, 3.86 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 21 K, 5 BB, 0 SV
  • Matt Belisle, MIN: 8 Holds, 8.36 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 12 K, 11 BB, 0 SV
  • Danny Farquhar, TB: 8 Holds, 3.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 15 K, 9 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
  • Mychal Givens, BAL: 8 Holds, 3.32 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 19 K, 9 BB, 0 SV, 3 W
  • Daniel Hudson, PIT: 8 Holds, 6.88 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 17 K, 8 BB, 0 SV
  • Andrew Miller, CLE: 8 Holds, 0.47 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 26 K, 5 BB, 0 SV, 2 W
  • Carlos Torres, MIL: 8 Holds, 3.04 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 19 K, 11 BB, 0 SV, 2 W
  • Justin Wilson, DET: 8 Holds, 1.50 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 30 K, 5 BB, 3 SV, 1 W
  • Joaquin Benoit, PHI: 7 Holds, 4.76 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 16 K, 12 BB, 1 SV, 1 W
  • Luke Gregerson, HOU: 7 Holds, 6.89 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 17 K, 5 BB, 0 SV, 1 W
  • Will Harris, HOU: 7 Holds, 2.55 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 16 K, 2 BB, 1 SV, 1 W
  • Hector Rondon, CHC: 7 Holds, 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 17 K, 6 BB, 0 SV
  • Bryan Shaw, CLE: 7 Holds, 1.89 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 17 K, 10 BB, 1 SV, 1 W

Keep an eye on…

Darren O’Day, RP, Baltimore Orioles


With Brad Brach’s latest implosion (2 APP, 1.1 IP, 2 BS, 27.00 ERA, 4.50 WHIP, 1 K and 1 BB), Darren O’Day could see some more opportunities in the ninth. Zach Britton is going to be out for an extended period. And while Brach did well in his last stint as closer, his leash could be a little shorter the way he is pitching now.

In O’Day’s last outing, back from arm fatigue, he pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and zero walks. And with the Orioles trying to keep pace with the upstart Yankees, they need to have a reliable closer.


So there are your Week 8 Bullpen Briefs, and the pitchers to keep an eye on moving forward. Be sure and check back to get the low down on the next batch of relievers to snag.

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