Month in Review for Relievers: Results of Interest and Trends through the End of April

Remembering the sample size this season remains small, with only a month-plus of results in the rearview mirror, it helps to review how relievers performed, which will be the process for today’s post. Using underlying metrics and hard statistical data, we try to remain ahead of the curve in the ever-changing world of high-leverage events.

Team Saves

  • 2024: 248 saves recorded between March and April
  • 2023: 210 saves recorded between March and April

Blown Saves

  • 2024: 132 blown saves between March and April
  • 2023: 118 blown saves between March and April

Save Opportunities

  • 2024: 380 save chances between March and April
  • 2023: 328 save chances between March and April

As one can observe, there’s been more saves recorded, and save opportunities provided, over the first month-plus of this season compared with last year’s results. This coincides with offense on the decline, illustrated by runs scored:

  • 2024: 3,408 runs scored between March and April
  • 2023: 3, 744 runs scored between March and April

Before delving into individual performances, there’s a small difference between the numbers of pitchers recording at least one save with 72 through the end of April this year and 69 with one through this same timeframe last season. Despite the rise in save chances, the distribution has remained mostly stable.

Individual Results and Trends

At the end of April, there were four relievers with at least eight saves without suffering a blown one:

  • Robert Suarez (SDP) – 10 saves
  • Jason Foley (DET) – 9 saves
  • Mason Miller (OAK) – 8 saves
  • Evan Phillips (LAD) – 8 saves

Not only has Miller been terrific as his team’s closer, he’s also the only qualified reliever at the end of April with a K-BB percentage greater than 20, a swinging strike rate above 15 percent, a strike percentage over 65 percent, and a contact rate allowed below 65 percent. He finished with a 47.1 K-BB percentage, a 22.4 swinging strike percentage, a 68.7 strike percentage, and a 58.4 percent contact rate allowed, just dominant.

These relievers qualified for three of the four categories described above:


Shifting gears, here were the SOLDS (saves plus holds) at the conclusion of April:


These relievers have the most SOLDS without suffering a blown save, knock on wood:


For those who play in leagues with holds as a separate category, here are the leaders from March and April in them:


Two key indicators for sustained success by relievers are K-BB percentage and swinging strike rate. Leaders from each category are as follows:


Strikeouts and WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) should also be monitored closely by fantasy managers. Here are the leaders in these categories during the first month-plus this season:


It’s been a great first-month providing information for the Closer Monkey community. More volatility lies on the horizon, so stay safe and be well until these situations arise.

Statistical Credits: