Monkey Bytes: June 15

Friday night full slates produce a bounty of high-leverage events. Three relievers recorded wins and there were nine saves yesterday, including the first by Seranthony Domínguez in the bottom of the 11th against the Orioles.

Three Takeaways

  • An adjusted hierarchy for Seattle: Lined up against the top of Texas’ batting order, Andrés Muñoz appeared on consecutive days for the first time since his back soreness surfaced in the eighth inning. He pitched during the highest-leveraged moment, not reserved for the save chance. This has transitioned the bullpen hierarchy into a shared save situation with Muńoz representing the HLR (highest-leveraged reliever) and the preferred save share. However, those with Ryne Stanek can leave him in their lineups since he’s firmly affixed in the late-innings with three saves since June 6.
  • Dodgers workload management: Not only will Los Angeles incorporate a six-man rotation, but it’s also preparing its bullpen for the transition by managing workloads. Over the last seven days, only three relievers have appeared on consecutive days, and last night, Evan Phillips was not used in the ninth inning with a one-run lead with Dave Roberts opting for Alex Vesia instead:
  • Edwin Díaz surging: Pitching on consecutive days did not affect the Mets’ closer. He recorded his sixth save of the season and first since May 6 with a scoreless ninth, allowing a hit and striking out two. Fantasy managers should note the clear delineation of his velocity since his return from the injured list:

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

Closer CliffsNotes

American League

(RP | BAL): Following a rain delay, Jacob Webb took over in the top of the 11th. He issued an intentional walk to Bryce Harper and gave up a two-RBI double by Alec Bohm, resulting in his fourth loss. 

(RP | CLE): Recording his American League-leading 21st save, Emmanuel Clase tossed a clean ninth and recorded a strikeout, preserving a two-run win over Toronto. 

(RP | KCR): During a tied game in the bottom of the eighth, Will Smith was summoned to face the Dodgers’ 9-1-2 lineup pocket. He allowed a one-out single by Mookie Betts, committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, induced a Shohei Ohtani pop-out, and then allowed a go-ahead RBI single by Freddie Freeman. Smith suffered his third loss, allowing the unearned run on two hits and striking out one during his two-thirds of an inning.

Hierarchy remains: James McArthur | John Schreiber | Nick Anderson

(RP | LAA): Shutting the door on his 11th save, Carlos Estévez retired the side in the bottom of the ninth and struck out one preserving a win in San Francisco. 

(RP | MIN): Recording his first multiple-inning outing this year, Jhoan Durán collected his second win on a walk-off rally in the bottom of the tenth. He tossed two scoreless frames, issuing a walk and striking out one. 

(RP | OAK): Scott Alexander suffered his second loss allowing a lead-off RBI single in the bottom of the tenth, scoring the “place” runner. 

(RP | SEA): Protecting a one-run lead, Ryne Stanek recorded his sixth save, navigating around a hit for a scoreless ninth against Texas. 

National League

(RP | ATL): Taking over with two runners on and two outs, Raisel Iglesias recorded his 18th save, inducing a game-ending groundout during his team’s four-run win against Tampa Bay. 

(RP | CHC)Entering a tied game in the top of the eighth, Hayden Wesneski suffered his fourth loss allowing a go-ahead solo home run (Pedro Pagés). 

Hierarchy remains: Héctor Neris | Mark Leiter Jr. | Hayden Wesneski

(RP | CIN): Holding on for his 15th save during an eventful bottom of the ninth in Milwaukee, Alexis Díaz gave up three hits, two runs (one earned), and a walk while preserving a one-run victory. 

(RP | LAD)Filling in capably for his closer, Alex Vesia notched his third save tossing a scoreless top of the ninth, allowing a hit while preserving a one-run win over the Royals.

(RP | NYM): Rewarding his manager’s faith, Edwin Díaz secured his sixth save, working around a lead-off hit for a scoreless ninth while recording two strikeouts, preserving a one-run over the Padres. 

(RP | PHI): Handed a two-run lead in the bottom of the 11th, Seranthony Domínguez shut the door on his first save, retiring the side and striking out two in Baltimore. 

(RP | PIT): In a non-save appearance, David Bednar finished the win in Colorado despite allowing a solo home run by Charlie Blackmon. He’s given up a solo home run in two straight appearances. 

(RP | STL): Working around two, two-outs walks, Ryan Helsley secured his MLB-leading 23rd save, preserving a combined shutout and recording two strikeouts. 

Vulture Save Options for Saturday, June 15

  • Reed Garrett (NYM): Díaz has pitched on consecutive days.
  • Andrew Kittredge (STL): Helsley has appeared three times in the last four days and thrown 57 pitches. He should be unavailable this afternoon.
  • Dany Jiménez (OAK): He’s today’s high-risk option. He may get the vulture save with Miller logging 1.2 innings last night, but Jiménez remains a volatile reliever for fantasy purposes.

Vulture Save Options for Sunday, June 16

  • Lucas Sims (CIN): He faltered in his previous chance, but if Díaz pitches today, he will get Sunday off.
  • Ryan Pressly (HOU): If Hader pitches today, it will be Pressly on Sunday.
  • Matt Moore (LAA): If Estévez pitches today, he will have worked in two straight.
  • Jeff Hoffman (PHI): If Alvarado pitches today, it would put Hoffman atop the hierarchy on Sunday.

American League – Full Recaps

Baltimore Orioles – Tasked with the top of the 11th, Jacob Webb suffered his fourth loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on a two-RBI double by Alec Bohm following an intentional walk to Bryce Harper, and struck out one. Cionel Pérez let one of three inherited runners score, giving up a hit during his one-third of the tenth. Yennier Cano gave up a hit, an unearned run, and a walk while striking out one on two-thirds of the tenth. Craig Kimbrel kept the game tied with a scoreless ninth, yielding a hit (Bohm) and striking out one. Keegan Akin fired three clean frames and recorded four strikeouts.

Hierarchy remains: Craig Kimbrel | Yennier Cano | Cionel Pérez

Cleveland GuardiansNailing down his American League-leading 21st save, Emmanuel Clase fired a clean bottom of the ninth and recorded a strikeout. He threw nine pitches (77.8 Strike%) and induced one whiff. He’s converted eight straight saves since May 20 with 11 strikeouts against one walk through 10 innings. Hunter Gaddis tossed a scoreless eighth, striking out one for his 14th hold. Sam Hentges notched his sixth hold, striking out his only batter faced in the seventh and stranded a runner. Scott Barlow issued a walk and struck out one over two-thirds scoreless in the seventh, securing his 16th hold. Cade Smith secured his sixth hold, working a clean sixth and striking out one.

Hierarchy remains: Emmanuel Clase | Hunter Gaddis | Scott Barlow

Los Angeles Angels – Locking down his 11th save, Carlos Estévez fired a clean bottom of the ninth and recorded a strikeout while preserving a two-run win in San Francisco. He faced the 5-6-7 lineup pocket, throwing 17 pitches (12 strikes – 70.6 Strike%) and induced two whiffs. He owns a modest five-game scoreless streak and has converted all four save chances with three strikeouts versus zero walks. Roansy Contreras let both inherited runners score, allowing two hits and an earned run on his ledger, serving up a three-run home run by Heliot Ramos during his two-thirds of the eighth. Adam Cimber turned in a rough outing. He gave up three hits and four earned runs over one-third of the eighth. Ben Joyce logged 1.2 scoreless frames, issuing two walks and striking out one.

Hierarchy remains: Carlos Estévez | Luis García | Matt Moore

Minnesota Twins – Logging an extended outing, Jhoan Durán allowed a walk in a scoreless ninth, keeping the game tied. Then he returned and tossed a clean tenth, recording a strikeout. He collected his second win courtesy of a walk-off in the bottom of the inning. His final line was two scoreless innings, giving up a walk and striking out one. He threw 20 pitches (65 Strike%) and produced three whiffs (15 SwStr%). This marked his first multi-inning outing and third consecutive scoreless outing. Josh Staumont gave up a walk during a scoreless eighth. Griffin Jax allowed a hit and an earned run while striking out one in the seventh. Cole Sands tossed two clean frames, striking out three.

Hierarchy remains: Jhoan Durán | Griffin Jax | Caleb Thielbar

Oakland A’s -Suffering his second loss, Scott Alexander took over in the bottom of the tenth and allowed a walk-off RBI single by Max Kepler, his only batter faced. Mason Miller was tagged with his second blown save, letting one of two inherited runners score in the eighth. He entered with three runners on and one out, giving up an RBI walk and retired the next two batters. He threw 20 pitches (65 Strike%) and induced three whiffs (15 SwStr%) during his 1.2 scoreless innings, issuing a walk and striking out one. Lucas Erceg gave up an unearned run on a hit batter, a walk, and a player reaching on an error during his one-third of the eighth for his ninth hold. Dany Jiménez tossed a clean seventh for his fourth hold.

Adjusted Hierarchy: Mason Miller | Lucas Erceg | Dany Jiménez

Seattle Mariners – Taking over the ninth with a one-run lead, Ryne Stanek secured his sixth save despite allowing a one-out double by Wyatt Langford, inducing a pop-out and a game-ending groundout. He’s been scoreless in eight of his last nine outings, converting four of five save chances with two holds while posting a 9:4 K:BB over 8.2 innings. Andrés Muñoz appeared on consecutive days but was used as the HLR, facing the top of Texas’ lineup. He notched his sixth hold, issuing Corey Seager a walk and recording all three outs via strikeout. He threw 19 pitches (11 strikes – 57.9 Strike%) and generated six whiffs (31.6 SwStr%). I love the results, not the usage pattern. Mike Baumann tossed a clean seventh and struck out one for his fifth hold.

Updated Hierarchy: *Andrés Muñoz (HLR/PSS) | *Ryne Stanek | Tayler Saucedo

*= An HLR/PSS means he’s the preferred save option but will be used at the highest-leverage moment in games when necessary. 

National League – Full Recaps

Atlanta Braves – Forced into action in the top of the ninth with two runners on and two outs, Raisel Iglesias induced a game-ending groundout for his 18th save. He’s converted 10 consecutive save chances since May 7 with eight strikeouts and a 0.73 WHIP over 12.1 innings. Dylan Lee made the mess, allowing two hits, an earned run, and a walk while striking out one in two-thirds of the ninth. Jesse Chavez tossed a scoreless eighth, yielding a hit and striking out one. 

Hierarchy remains: Raisel Iglesias | Joe Jiménez | Pierce Johnson

Cincinnati Reds Hanging on for his 15th save, Alexis Díaz allowed three hits, two runs (one earned), and a walk in the bottom of the ninth, preserving a one-run win. His outing began with back-to-back singles and an error by Elly De La Cruz loading the bases. After inducing a lineout, Díaz issued an RBI walk, which scored a run, and then gave up an RBI single with a runner thrown out at home for the second out. With runners on second and third, he induced a pop-up on a bunt attempt, finishing the contest. Fernando Cruz gave up two hits and struck out one during a scoreless eighth for his 13th hold. Justin Wilson worked a scoreless seventh, giving up a walk and striking out two for his seventh hold.

Hierarchy remains: Alexis Díaz | Lucas Sims| Fernando Cruz

Los Angeles Dodgers – With the game tied at the top of the eighth, Daniel Hudson took the baton from Gavin Stone and fired a clean inning, recording a strikeout. He threw nine pitches (77.8 Strike%) and induced one whiff while facing the 9-1-2 lineup pocket of the Royals’, featuring Bobby Witt Jr. In the ninth, Alex Vesia sealed the one-run win, working around a two-out single by Nelson Velázquez for his third save in a workload management usage pattern. Since May 3, Vesia has logged 15 appearances, giving up one earned run with 24 strikeouts against three walks across 16.2 innings. After this outing, he has converted three of four save chances with a hold.

Hierarchy remains: Evan Phillips | Blake Treinen | Daniel Hudson

New York Mets – Securing his sixth save, Edwin Díaz navigated around a lead-off single by Jurickson Profar with a groundout and two strikeouts during a scoreless ninth, preserving a one-run win. He threw 21 pitches (66.7 Strike%) and produced four whiffs (19 SwStr%). He’s appeared on consecutive days, posting a win and a save off the injured list. Sean Reid-Foley notched his fourth hold with a clean eighth and struck out one. Jake Diekman was credited with his sixth hold, walking one during one-third of the seventh. Adam Ottavino logged 1.2 clean frames and recorded two strikeouts for his 12th hold.

Hierarchy remains: Edwin Díaz | Reed Garrett | Adam Ottavino

Philadelphia Phillies – Capping a two-run win in extra-innings after a prolonged rain delay, Seranthony Domínguez fired a clean bottom of the 11th, striking out two for his first save. He threw 11 pitches (63.6 Strike%) and induced two whiffs (18.2 SwStr%). Orion Kerkering was one out removed from his first career save, then uncorked a wild pitch, scoring the game-tying run. He suffered his second blown save and collected his second win after giving up an unearned run, a walk, and a hit batter with two strikeouts in the tenth. José Alvarado retired the side in the ninth, keeping the game tied. Matt Strahm was tagged with his second blown save and lost his 27-game scoreless streak, serving up a game-tying solo shot by Anthony Santander. Jeff Hoffman stranded two runners while issuing a walk, striking out one in one-third of the seventh.

Hierarchy remains: *José Alvarado | *Jeff Hoffman | Orion Kerkering

*= floating closer

Pittsburgh Pirates – Closing a win in Colorado in a non-save capacity, David Bednar allowed a solo home run (Charlie Blackmon) and recorded a strikeout in an eventual three-run win. He threw 14 pitches (85.7 Strike%) and produced three whiffs (21.4 SwStr%). He’s allowed a home run in his last two outings. Aroldis Chapman gave up two walks and recorded three strikeouts in a scoreless eighth. Colin Holderman tossed a scoreless seventh, issuing a walk for his 11th hold. Luis L. Ortiz collected his third win, giving up seven hits and an earned run while striking out three as the “bulk follower.”

Hierarchy remains: David Bednar | Colin Holderman | Aroldis Chapman

St. Louis Cardinals – After recording two quick outs in the top of the ninth, Ryan Helsley walked Seiya Suzuki and Iah Happ before producing a game-ending strikeout for his MLB-leading 23rd save. He threw 19 pitches (11 strikes – 57.9 Strike%) and recorded four whiffs (21.1 SwStr%). He’s been scoreless in five of six appearances this month, with 10 strikeouts against four walks over six innings. JoJo Romero retired his only batter, pinch-hitter Patrick Wisdom, stranding a runner in the eighth for his 20th hold. Ryan Fernandez secured his third hold, allowing a hit and recording two outs in the eighth.

Hierarchy remains: Ryan Helsley | JoJo Romero | Andrew Kittredge

Closer Monkey’s filthy Pitch of the Day Goes This Curve by Jhoan Durán – video courtesy of the Pitching Ninja.

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