Monkey Bytes: June 16

First and foremost, Happy Father’s Day to my Dad and all those who have the honor of being fathers.

Saturday’s slate could be considered one rife with lost opportunities. Craig Kimbrel, Kyle Finnegan, and Reed Garrett warmed up for a potential save chance until their respective teams scored runs in the eighth. Because of this, there were only four saves in the 14 games. This slate yielded only four reliever wins, with two planned “bulk outings.”

Three Takeaways

  • An evolving Carlos Estévez: Appearing for a second straight game, the Angels’ closer recorded his 12th save and sixth straight without allowing a hit or a walk. He’s only produced five strikeouts over his last six innings, but he’s produced a 68.1 strike percentage and 13.9 percent swinging strike rate with a slight tweak in his pitch usage patterns:
  • Sleepless for saves in Seattle? Fantasy managers must weigh the lingering back issues affecting Andrés Muñoz and his recent usage patterns. Will this be a short-term circumstance based on the team’s focus on wins, or will he continue to be used as the highest-leveraged reliever (HLR) until the All-Star break? These last two weeks of June may be pivotal to determining his role for the remainder of the season.
  • Devin Williams update: Finding updates about Milwaukee’s injured closer have been few and far between. However, this may change soon:

Our condensed and full-game recaps cover Saturday’s high-leverage events of interest. Also, a bonus last 30-day update will appear at the bottom of the post with leaderboards for saves, holds, SOLDS, K-BB percentage, and swinging strike rates.

Closer CliffsNotes

American League

(RP | BAL): After warming up for the save, Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth despite his team opening a four-run lead. He worked a scoreless appearance, issuing a lead-off walk and then striking out the next three batters against the Phillies’ 6-7-8 lineup pocket. He threw 16 pitches (11 strikes – 68.8 Strike%) and produced three whiffs (18.8 SwStr%). He owns a five-game scoreless streak and has been scoreless in 13 of his last 14.

Hierarchy remains: Craig Kimbrel | Yennier Cano | Cionel Pérez

(RP | BOS): Taking over in the top of the eighth with two runners on and two outs, Kenley Jansen retired all four batters faced and closed out a win over the Yankees while recording his 11th save. 

(RP | LAA): Locking down his 12th save, Carlos Estévez retired the side in the bottom of the ninth and recorded two strikeouts, preserving a one-run win. 

(RP | SEA): Inheriting a bases-loaded situation in the top of the ninth, Ryne Stanek let two of three inherited runners score on a single, then recorded a game-ending groundout by Corey Seager for his seventh save. 

(RP | TOR): Working as the “bulk follower,” Bowden Francis took over in the fourth and logged four scoreless innings, scattering four hits and striking out two for his third win.

Hierarchy remains: Yimi García | Chad Green | Nate Pearson

National League

(RP | LAD)Not only did Blake Treinen allow his first runs of the season, he served up a go-ahead grand slam after issuing three walks and recorded a strikeout during his two-thirds of the sixth. He suffered his first loss and first blown save as a result. He threw 39 pitches (22 strikes – 56.4 Strike%) and induced three whiffs.

Hierarchy remains: Evan Phillips | Blake Treinen | Daniel Hudson

(RP | MIL): Hanging on for his 12th save, Trevor Megill issued a lead-off walk and gave up an RBI double before recording the last three outs against the Reds. 

(RP | SFG): Ryan Walker suffered his third loss, allowing a one-out walk, a stolen base with a throwing error, and an RBI single, putting an unearned run on his ledger.

Hierarchy remains: Camilo Doval | Tyler Rogers | Ryan Walker

(RP | WSH): In a non-save outing, Kyle Finnegan allowed a hit during a scoreless ninth, preserving a combined shutout against Miami. 

Vulture Save Options for Sunday, June 16

  • Yennier Cano (BAL): Kimbrel has appeared in back-to-back contests, which puts Cano atop the hierarchy. The only caveat is that Cionel Pérez could be used against left-handed hitters in a save situation (Kyle Schwarber; Bryce Harper).
  • Luis García (LAA): Estévez has pitched in two straight, and although García has struggled, Ron Washington has previously trusted him as an ancillary option.
  • Josh Staumont (MIN): He’s rising in the leverage ladder, and those looking for a deep league “Hail Mary” save could receive one if the Twins can sweep the A’s. This requires Griffin Jax and Jhoan Durán pitching in Game 1.

Vulture Save Options for Monday, June 17

  • Chris Martin (BOS): If Jansen pitches on Sunday and Martin’s activated, he could get a vulture save in his first game back. If not, Greg Weissert could be the beneficiary.
  • Reed Garrett (NYM): If Edwin Díaz pitches on Sunday, it will be three outings in four days, putting Garrett in line for the save chance on Monday.

American League – Full Recaps

Boston Red SoxBetween 2022 and 2023, Kenley Jansen recorded a multi-inning outing two times, once each season. Jansen has recorded at least four outs for the second time in his last three appearances. Securing his 11th save, he stranded two runners in the eighth and retired all four batters faced. He threw 12 pitches (83.3 Strike%) and produced one whiff. Greg Weissert was credited with his third hold, giving up a hit, an earned run, and two walks while striking out one in two-thirds of the eighth. Brennan Bernardino stranded a runner and retired his only batter for his fourth hold in the seventh. Justin Slaten collected his fourth win, logging 2.2 innings. He gave up two hits, including a solo home run by Juan Soto, and two walks while striking out three.

Chris Martin will make a rehab outing on Sunday and could be activated for next scoring period. For now: 

Hierarchy remains: Kenley Jansen | Justin Slaten | Greg Weissert

Los Angeles Angels – Save number 12 for Carlos Estévez. He fired a clean bottom of the ninth and recorded two strikeouts, preserving a one-run win over the Giants. He threw 12 pitches (7 strikes – 58.3 Strike%) and produced two whiffs (16.7 SwStr%). He’s converted five straight saves over six clean innings with five strikeouts. Luis García notched his seventh hold, retiring the side and striking out two in the eighth. Hunter Strickland allowed a hit and struck out one in a scoreless seventh for his fourth hold. Matt Moore collected his third win, tossing a scoreless sixth, yielding a hit.

Hierarchy remains: Carlos Estévez | Luis García | Matt Moore

Seattle Mariners – Pressed into action and inheriting a bases-loaded situation in the ninth, Ryne Stanek allowed a two-RBI single by Marcus Semien before inducing a game-ending groundout by Corey Seager for his seventh save. He threw 10 pitches (60 Strike%) and induced one whiff. Not only has he appeared in two straight games, but he warmed up twice, making him unavailable on Sunday. He’s converted three straight saves and been scoreless in nine of his last 10 with two wins, five saves in six chances, and two holds. Eduard Bazardo created the traffic, giving up four hits, four earned runs, and a walk over two-thirds of the ninth. Tayler Saucedo stranded a runner by producing an inning-ending double play groundout on one pitch. Trent Thornton received credit for his ninth hold, yielding a hit and striking out one over 1.1 scoreless innings.

Hierarchy remain: *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

Milwaukee Brewers – Although he did not preserve the shutout, Trevor Megill recorded his 12th save during a two-run win over the Reds. He committed a leverage no-no, issuing Elly De La Cruz a lead-off walk, who promptly stole second and scored on an RBI double by Jeimer Candelario. However, Megill bore down with two groundouts and a game-ending flyout. He threw 11 pitches (6 strikes – 54.5 Strike%) and induced one whiff. This snapped his five-game scoreless streak, but he’s converted six straight saves since May 21 with 11 strikeouts against three walks across his last 7.1 innings. Bryan Hudson nailed down his tenth hold with two clean frames, striking out two. He’s been scoreless in 11 of his last 12 contests, recording two wins and seven holds in eight chances with a 24:2 K:BB over 18.2 innings.

Hierarchy remains: Trevor Megill | Joel Payamps | Bryan Hudson

Washington Nationals – Preparing for a save chance with a two-run lead, Kyle Finnegan logged a non-save outing after his teammates scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth. He gave up a two-out triple by Jake Burger before inducing a game-ending Jesús Sánchez groundout. Finnegan threw nine pitches (88.9 Strike%) without a whiff. Through seven outings in June, he’s collected a win while converting four saves with eight strikeouts against zero walks across 7.1 innings. Hunter Harvey worked into then out of trouble for a scoreless eighth and his MLB-leading 21st hold. He allowed two hits and a walk while recording three strikeouts during his “Houdini.” Dylan Floro retired the side and recorded a strikeout in the seventh for his eighth hold.

Hierarchy Remains: Kyle Finnegan | Hunter Harvey | Dylan Floro

Closer Monkey’s filthy pitch of the day goes to this sweeper by Bryan Hudson – video courtesy of the Pitching Ninja.

Last 30 Days Leaderboards (through games played on June 15)





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