Analysis, Trends, and Ramblings: Edwin Díaz’s pending return, Trade Deadline Prep, and more

Because this post may take a few different turns, it may not fall under a categorical listing used previously this season. It will, however, delve into a few tangible topics before fantasy baseball’s next scoring period.

Edwin Díaz (NYM)

  • Bad luck or bad results in 2024?
  • May be activated on Wednesday (June 12) or Thursday (June 13)

Although his placement on the 15-day injured list was labeled right shoulder impingement, it’s possible the team felt the reliever needed a mental reset. Through 20 appearances, he owned a 1-1 record with five saves, four blown saves, a 5.40 ERA, and a 1.25 WHIP over 20 innings.

Although his ERA sits above five, in comparison to relievers with at least five saves this season, Díaz has the largest disparity between his ERA and SIERA:


While this can be encouraging, he’s suffered more blown saves in 2024 than in 2022. In fact, his leverage trends resemble the 2021 iteration of the closer than his potential outlier season from 2022:


During a postgame interview following his rehab outing on Thursday with the Brooklyn Cyclones, he mentioned his slider “felt great” and his fastball had “more life” than previous games this season. Fantasy managers hope this will be true next week. Here are his splits by pitch from his last two active seasons:


Improved location with his four-seam fastball and more whiffs from his slider will determine if he can migrate his ERA toward his SIERA. Expecting a full repeat of his dominant 2022 season was unrealistic. However, based on the analytical data, expecting better results upon his return may be warranted. Reports had his fastball between 96-to-98 m.p.h. If his whiff rates rise with the slider, he may find past form, just not the 2022 version.

Trade Deadline Preparations

Pending Free Agents in 2025 on Potential “Sellers”

  • Tanner Scott (MIA)
  • Kenley Jansen (BOS)
  • Carlos Estévez (LAA)
  • Luis García (LAA)
  • Matt Moore (LAA)
  • Aroldis Chapman (PIT)
  • Jalen Beeks (COL)
  • Jake Diekman (NYM)
  • Adam Ottavino (NYM)

Players with Arbitration Remaining or Options on Potential “Sellers”

  • Michael Kopech (CWS) – 1 year of control left (Free Agent in 2026)
  • John Brebbia (CWS) – Mutual Option

Relievers on Bubble Teams (Deciding between selling or contending)

  • Yimi García (TOR) – pending free agent
  • Ryan Pressly (HOU) – mutual option with an opt-out based on appearances
  • Kirby Yates (TEX) – pending free agent
  • David Robertson (TEX) – mutual option
  • José Leclerc (TEX) – pending free agent
  • Trevor Richards (TOR) – pending free agent

Dynasty Dive Bar

Logan Evans (SEA)

He’s stopped starting games and is now focusing on being a reliever for a potential promotion before the All-Star break. It’s the same path Matt Brash undertook and confirmed by the general manager:

He’s produced 48 strikeouts through 53.1 innings at Double-A, but his stuff will play up as a reliever.

Ben Joyce (LAA)

One cannot overlook seeing the three relievers currently listed in our site’s bullpen hierarchy as pending free agents and not think Joyce could receive save chances in the second half. There are still concerns about his command and durability, but his remaining appearances before the All-Star break may determine his upside from a fantasy perspective.

During his season debut, he worked around a lead-off single by Fernando Tatis Jr. and a wild pitch by retiring the next three batters for his first hold. His four-seam fastball averaged 101.8 m.p.h. and produced four whiffs among his 17 pitches (23.5 SwStr%).

Andrew Walters (CLE)

It’s almost a spoil of riches for the Guardians, especially since Emmanuel Clase remains under contract through 2028. But Walters dominated Double-A competition, posting 38 strikeouts against eight walks with a 1.050 WHIP over 20 innings. He was recently promoted to Triple-A and could be a leverage factor in the second half. Here is a glimpse of his four-seam fastball, courtesy of Thomas Nestico.

More Rest for Romano?

Within an update on’s roster notes and injury tab, this blurb regarding Jordan Romano should not be ignored:

He’s only made three appearances this year on zero days’ rest and was working with reduced velocity before landing on the injured list for a second time this season. Having his workload managed would cap his save upside after his return, and if Toronto falls from contention, he could be shut down again in the second half. It’s fluid until more is revealed about his timeline for a return.

Thanks for being a part of the Closer Monkey community. Stay safe and be well.

Monkey Bytes; June 7

Thursday’s 10-game slate provided five relievers wins and seven saves. Ryne Stanek filled in affably for Andrés Muñoz preserving a combined shutout. Colorado deployed a match-up based approach indicating saves will be shared moving forward. It feels right a reliever nicknamed “The General” closed out a win on D-Day and Yimi García hung on for his fourth save despite serving up a two-run home run.

If interested, our merchandise store features Closer Monkey fueled by Recon sweatshirts, tri-blend long-sleeve hoodies, and T-shirts in two colors. You can visit the online store through this LINK. It closes on Friday, June 14.

Edwin Díaz made his first rehab outing at High-A with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He worked a scoreless innings, giving up a triple and striking out two. He will make a second appearance on Sunday and could be activated as soon as next Wednesday.

Our condensed and full-game recaps cover all of yesterday’s high-leverage events of interest.

Closer CliffsNotes

American League

(RP | CLE): Entering the top of the eighth, with the game tied, Hunter Gaddis gave up a two-out double by Adam Frazier and a go-ahead RBI single by Kyle Isbel, resulting in his second loss.

Hierarchy remains: Emmanuel Clase | Hunter Gaddis | Cade Smith

(RP | KCR): Entering with a one-run lead, James McArthur faced the top of Cleveland’s lineup and retired them in order, securing his 12th save. 

(RP | NYY): Finishing a sweep of the Twins, Clay Holmes allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout during a scoreless ninth, securing his 18th save. 

(RP | SEA): Through his first 338 major league appearances, Ryne Stanek recorded four saves. With Seattle, he’s matched this total in his 26th outing. He fired a clean bottom of the ninth, preserving a combined shutout for his fourth save. 

(RP | TOR): With a three-run lead in the ninth, Yimi García held on for his fourth save. After recording two outs, he hit Austin Hays with a pitch and gave up a pinch-hit, two-run home run by Ryan O’Hearn before a game-ending strikeout. 

National League

(RP | ARI): Extending his scoreless streak to ten games, Paul Sewald recorded his seventh save with a scoreless ninth. He allowed a walk and recorded a strikeout during a one-run win over the Padres. 

(RP | ATL): Taking over with a three-run lead, Raisel Iglesias retired the side in Washington, securing his 16th save. 

(RP | CIN): In a non-save outing, Alexis Díaz finished a four-run win over the Cubs with a scoreless ninth, allowing a walk and recording three strikeouts. 

(RP | COL)Entering with two outs in the ninth, Tyler Kinley issued a walk then produced a game-ending strikeout for his third save while preserving a one-run win in St. Louis. 

(RP | LAD)Entering in the fourth inning, Michael Grove logged two scoreless frames, allowing a hit and striking out three, collecting his third win. 

(RP | SDP): Taking over a tied game in the top of the seventh, Jeremiah Estrada suffered his first loss. He allowed a double by Corbin Carroll, followed by an RBI single by Ketel Marte, ceding the lead. He also issued a walk and recorded a strikeout during his one-third inning. 

Hierarchy remains: Robert Suarez | Jeremiah Estrada | Yuki Matsui

(RP | WSH): Summoned into a tied contest, Hunter Harvey recorded two quick outs, then the wheels came off. He gave up a double by Ozzie Albies, a go-ahead RBI single by Austin Riley, and a three-run home run by Marcell Ozuna. As a result, he suffered his second loss, allowing four hits and three earned runs.

Hierarchy Remains: Kyle Finnegan | Hunter Harvey | Dylan Floro

Vulture Save Options for Friday, June 7

  • Chad Green (TOR): Yimi García has appeared in two straight, leaving Green in the catbird’s seat for the vulture save today.
  • Nick Mears (COL): If the Rockies can hang onto a lead tonight, it should be Mears receiving the save chance. Beeks (back-to-back), Kinley (three-in-a-row), and Vodnik (back-to-back) should be unavailable.

Vulture Save Options for Saturday, June 8

  • Justin Martinez (ARI): If Sewald pitches tonight, it will be back-to-back outings and three in four days.
  • Pierce Johnson (ATL): If Iglesias pitches on Friday, he will get Saturday off after working on consecutive days.
  • Lucas Sims (CIN): Cruz has pitched the previous three days and if Díaz pitches tonight, he will need Saturday off as well.
  • Nick Anderson (KCR): If McArthur pitches on Friday it will be two straight appearances.

American League – Full Recaps

Kansas City Royals – A salute to “The General,James McArthur nailed down his 12th save by retiring the side against the top of the Guardians lineup, preserving a one-run win. He threw 10 pitches (70 Strike%) without a whiff. This marks consecutive clean appearances in June and his first save since May 18. John Schreiber tossed a clean eighth, striking out one for his 14th save. Sam Long collected his first win despite issuing two walks and recorded a strikeout in a scoreless seventh. Angel Zerpa worked a scoreless sixth, issuing a walk and striking out one. Will Smith logged 1.1 clean frames, striking out two.

Hierarchy remains: James McArthur | John Schreiber | Chris Stratton

New York Yankees – Preserving a sweep of the Twins, Clay Holmes locked down his 18th save, navigating around a one-out single by Willi Castro for a scoreless ninth. He threw 22 pitches (16 strikes – 72.7 Strike%) and produced five whiffs (22.7 SwStr%) while striking out one in his outing. Over his last seven appearances, he’s converted five of six save opportunities through 6.2 scoreless frames. Tommy Kahnle secured his third hold, working around a hit and a walk while striking out two in a scoreless eighth. Luke Weaver stranded a runner in the sixth and logged 1.1 scoreless frames, yielding a hit and striking out one. He was awarded his fourth win as a result. Victor González gets credit for his third hold. He issued a walk during two-thirds scoreless in the sixth.

Hierarchy remains: Clay Holmes | Luke Weaver | Tommy Kahnle

Seattle Mariners – Shutting the door on his fourth save and preserving a combined shutout, Ryne Stanek retired the side against the A’s 1-2-3 batters. He threw 15 pitches (66.7 Strike%) and induced one whiff. He’s been scoreless in nine of his last 10 appearances with 11 strikeouts against one walk over 9.2 innings and a 0.515 WHIP. Mike Baumann notched his third hold, working a clean eighth and striking out one. Austin Voth secured his third hold, turning in a clean seventh with one strikeout.

Per manager Scott Servais, he’s optimistic Andrés Muñoz will be ready to pitch in Kansas City this weekend. 

Hierarchy remains: Andrés Muñoz | Ryne Stanek | Tayler Saucedo

Toronto Blue Jays – With two outs, Yimi García hit Austin Hays with a pitch, then allowed a two-run, pinch-hit home run by Ryan O’Hearn before producing a game-ending strikeout of Kyle Stowers. He preserved a one-run win and recorded his fourth save. However, he allowed a hit and two earned with two strikeouts on 18 pitches (11 strikes – 61.1 Strike%) with four whiffs (22.2 SwStr%). Following a career-best 16-game scoreless streak from April 10 to May 26, he’s allowed a run in three of his last six, including multiple runs in two. Zach Pop gave up a walk and a two-run home run by Adley Rutschman in the eighth. Nate Pearson fired a clean seventh, striking out one.

Hierarchy remains: Yimi García | Chad Green | Nate Pearson

National League – Full Recaps

Arizona Diamondbacks – Securing his seventh save, Paul Sewald worked around a two-out walk with a game-ending strikeout, preserving a one-run win. He threw 14 pitches (8 strikes – 57.1 Strike%) without recording a whiff. He’s been scoreless in his last 10 outings, converting all seven save chances with 10 strikeouts versus two walks. Ryan Thompson navigated around a hit and a walk for a scoreless eighth and his eighth hold. Kevin Ginkel collected his fifth win and third in as many outings, logging 1.1 scoreless frames and giving up a hit. Joe Mantiply tossed 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and striking out one.

Hierarchy remains: Paul Sewald | Ryan Thompson | Joe Mantiply

Atlanta Braves – Capping a three-run rally in the eighth, Raisel Iglesias retired the Nationals 4-5-6 lineup pocket, locking down his 16th save. He threw nine pitches (77.8 Strike%) and induced one whiff. He’s converted his last eight save opportunities and been scoreless in six of seven appearances with five strikeouts against zero walks. Joe Jiménez notched his 13th hold, firing a clean eighth and striking out one. Aaron Bummer retired three batters in the seventh, recording a strikeout. He collected his second win courtesy of his team’s multiple-run top of the eighth.

Hierarchy remains: Raisel Iglesias | Joe Jiménez | Pierce Johnson

Cincinnati RedsFinishing a four-run win over the Cubs, Alexis Díaz tossed a scoreless top of the ninth. He issued a walk and recorded three strikeouts on 18 pitches (55.6 Strike%) while generating five whiffs (27.8 SwStr%). He’s been scoreless in six of his last seven outings with a 1.04 WHIP and nine strikeouts versus four walks over 6.2 innings. Sam Moll turned in a clean eighth, striking out one. Fernando Cruz took over with a runner on in the seventh and two outs. After a stolen base and a wild pitch, he retired Seiya Suzuki via strikeout, stranding the runner at third for his 11th hold. He leads all relievers with 53 strikeouts this season.

Hierarchy remains: Alexis Díaz | Lucas Sims| Fernando Cruz

Colorado Rockies – Bud Black’s wheel of high-leverage fortunes fell upon Tyler Kinley in St. Louis. He earned his third save, preserving a one-run win despite allowing a single by Paul Goldschmidt by recording a game-ending strikeout of Nolan Gorman. He was lined up against the right-handed 3-4-5 lineup pocket featuring Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Jalen Beeks fired 1.2 clean frames, recording two strikeouts for his third hold. He threw 21 pitches (13 strikes – 61.9 Strike%) and produced four whiffs (19 SwStr%). Victor Vodnik extended his scoreless streak to six with 1.1 scoreless innings but issued two walks. He did strand two runners in the sixth for Matt Carasiti.

Hierarchy remains: *Jalen Beeks | *Tyler Kinley | Victor Vodnik

*= closer-by-committee (match-up-based)

Los Angeles Dodgers – Putting the bow on a four-run win over Pittsburgh, Alex Vesia fired a clean bottom of the ninth and struck out the side. Evan Phillips made his first appearance in five days and struggled. He allowed four hits, including a three-run home run by Oneil Cruz, and recorded a strikeout. This represents his first outing, which allowed multiple runs all season. Blake Treinen tossed a scoreless seventh, giving up a hit and striking out three. Daniel Hudson turned in a scoreless sixth, yielding a hit and striking out two. Michael Grove collected his third win, logging two scoreless frames. He gave up a hit and recorded three strikeouts.

Hierarchy remains: Evan Phillips | Blake Treinen | Daniel Hudson

Closer Monkey’s filthy outing of the day goes to Alexis Díaz. He recorded all three outs in a non-save appearance via strikeout, video courtesy of the Pitching Ninja.

Thanks for being a part of the Closer Monkey community. Stay safe and be well.

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