Monkey Bytes: July 7

Saturday’s slate provided a bit of everything from a fantasy perspective. Nine relievers recorded a win, though two were accompanied by a blown save. Nine saves were secured, three were a reliever’s first of the season, and two were career firsts. Baseball-Reference identifies a blowout as a game decided by five runs or more, and there were five such occasions in this slate. It also featured four one-run contests, two two-run games, and one reached extra-innings.

Edwin Díaz returned from suspension and recorded a save with a restructured hierarchy. Jason Foley struggled again, and the Dodgers played match-ups in the late innings, all covered in today’s takeaways.

Three Takeaways

  • Mets adjusted hierarchy: With Díaz back, the Mets did not option José Buttó; rather, he pitched 1.2 innings and collected the win over the Nationals on Saturday. Those in leagues with holds as a separate category, or SOLDS should note that Dedniel Núñez operated as the set-up reliever in the eighth. He retired the side and struck out one on eight pitches. His stock goes up in these formats if he’s shifting into one-inning outings ahead of his team’s closer.
  • Foley’s role moving forward: One day removed from a shaky save, Jason Foley was removed during Saturday’s save opportunity with a runner on and two outs, with a left-handed hitter on deck. Andrew Chafin recorded the one-out save, striking out the pinch-hitter. It’s not solely this isolated event affecting Foley’s status atop the bullpen hierarchy; he’s allowed at least a run in four straight games. His struggles align with his team’s drop in the standings, but one cannot ignore the low volume of his performance and the risk he poses to a fantasy team’s ratio statistics. This is illustrated by his results before and after May.:


  • Dodgers play match-ups on Saturday: In the eighth inning, with a one-run lead and Milwaukee’s 2-3-4 lineup pocket batting, Dave Roberts summoned Evan Phillips, his highest-leveraged reliever (HLR). This usually works out for Los Angeles, but Phillips’ struggles with left-handed hitters continued, and he allowed a game-tying home run against Christian Yelich. After the Dodgers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the inning, Alex Vesia recorded his fifth save, and third since June 14. He’s not taking over the primary save share, but for those in deeper leagues, or even those in 12-team formats, he may be worth streaming through the All-Star break. His three saves in this timeframe ties Jhoan Durán, Kirby Yates, and James McArthur.

Closer CliffsNotes

American League

Boston Red SoxForced into action in the bottom of the fourth, Brennan Bernardino stranded a runner on a lineout. Things did not go as smoothly in the fifth, putting a second loss on his ledger. He allowed consecutive one-out singles and was replaced by Greg Weissert.

  • Weissert let both inherited runners score, giving up two hits, four earned runs, and two walks over one-third of the fifth, resulting in his third blown save.
  • Chase Anderson also allowed two inherited runners to score. He logged 3.1 innings, giving up five hits and five earned runs while striking out three.

Hierarchy remains: Kenley Jansen | Justin Slaten | Greg Weissert

Chicago White SoxSuffering his ninth loss while logging three innings, Michael Soroka allowed four hits, including Dane Myers’ go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. He also issued a walk and recorded four strikeouts in his outing.

Hierarchy remains: Michael Kopech | John Brebbia | Tanner Banks

Cleveland GuardiansSecuring his American League-leading 26th save, Emmanuel Clase navigated around a two-out walk for a scoreless ninth, preserving a one-run win over the Giants. He threw 20 pitches (65 Strike%) and induced one whiff. He’s converted his last 13 save opportunities and been scoreless over his last nine appearances.

  • Hunter Gaddis notched his 17th hold, firing a clean top of the eighth and striking out two.
  • Sam Hentges let his only inherited runner score on Michael Conforto’s RBI double and recorded two outs in the seventh for his ninth hold.
  • Pedro Avila collected his third win, giving up a hit and an earned run with two strikeouts over 1.1 innings. 

Hierarchy remains: Emmanuel Clase | Hunter Gaddis | Scott Barlow

Detroit Tigers – Summoned with a runner on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Chafin recorded his first save on a game-ending Santiago Espinal strikeout. He’s been scoreless over his last seven appearances, posting 11 strikeouts against zero walks.

  • Jason Foley allowed two hits, including Spencer Steer’s solo home run during two-thirds of the ninth for his fourth hold. He’s given up at least a run in four consecutive appearances. He would land on the “hot seat,” but there’s no clear choice to replace him in this bullpen based on recent performances.
  • Shelby Miller logged two scoreless frames, yielding a hit and striking out three while collecting his fifth win.
  • Tyler Holton worked 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two.

Hierarchy remains: Jason Foley | Tyler Holton | Will Vest

New York Yankees – Taking over in the top of the fifth with one out, Tim Hill logged 2.2 clean frames and recorded a strikeout while collecting his second win. He threw 32 pitches (62.5 Strike%) and induced one whiff.

  • Josh Maciejewski finished the lopsided 10-run victory with two scoreless innings, yielding a hit and striking out four.

Hierarchy remains: Clay Holmes | Luke Weaver | Michael Tonkin

Texas Rangers – Preserving a one-run lead, Kirby Yates retired the side in the top of the ninth while recording his 13th save. He threw 10 pitches (60 Strike%) without a whiff, appearing for a second straight day. He owns a six-game scoreless streak and has converted his three saves with 10 strikeouts versus one walk over his last six innings.

  • David Robertson secured his 18th hold, firing a clean eighth.
  • Jonathan Hernández was awarded his second win. He stranded a runner and retired Richie Palacios on a groundout, his only batter faced. 

Hierarchy remains: Kirby Yates | David Robertson | José Leclerc

Toronto Blue Jays – Hanging on for his fourth save, Chad Green allowed Luke Raley’s solo home run and recorded two strikeouts during his 1.1 inning-outing in Seattle. He threw 27 pitches (20 strikes – 74.1 Strike%) and induced three whiffs. This snapped his nine-game scoreless streak but he’s converted two saves in his last three appearances.

  • Brendon Little gave up a hit and struck out one during two-thirds of the eighth for his second hold.
  • Trevor Richards was credited with his seventh hold despite allowing three hits and three earned runs in a combined inning. He faced three batters in the eighth, giving up two singles and a three-run home run by Mitch Haniger.

Hierarchy remains: Chad Green | Trevor Richards | Nate Pearson

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks – Taking over a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the tenth, Humberto Castellanos recorded a strikeout of Ha-Seong Kim, then induced a game-ending flyout by Kyle Higashioka for his first major league save.

  • Thyago Vieira opened the tenth with a three-run lead, allowing a lead-off walk, an RBI double by Donovan Solano, and a walk before retiring a batter via strikeout before being lifted.
  • Ryan Thompson collected his fourth win and fourth blown save, permitting his only inherited runner to score on Kim’s RBI double in the eighth, tying the game. Thompson logged 1.1 scoreless frames, yielding only one hit.
  • Bryce Jarvis was credited with his third hold, giving up a hit, an earned run, and striking out two during a combined inning.
  • Joe Mantiply gave up four hits and two earned runs over two-thirds of the seventh for his seventh hold.
  • Kevin Ginkel fired 1.2 clean innings and recorded four strikeouts.

Hierarchy remains: Paul Sewald | Ryan Thompson | Kevin Ginkel

Cincinnati Reds Taking over with a two-run lead in the top of the eighth, Fernando Cruz suffered his sixth loss and third blown save. He allowed a one-out double, followed by a two-run home run, issued a walk, and was replaced after one-third of an inning. He finished with two hits, three earned runs, and a walk.

  • Sam Moll walked a batter upon entry, then gave up a go-ahead RBI double with the run charged to Cruz. He finished with a hit, two earned runs, and a walk over his one-third of the eighth.
  • Lucas Sims let his only inherited runner score, giving up a hit and a walk during his one-third of the eighth.
  • These three gave up five earned runs in the eventual loss. 

Hierarchy remains: Alexis Díaz | Fernando Cruz | Sam Moll

Colorado Rockies – Navigating around a one-out single and a two-out walk, Victor Vodnik recorded his first major league save with a scoreless ninth, preserving a two-run win over the Royals. He threw 18 pitches (66.7 Strike%) and induced two whiffs while striking out one in his outing. He owns a modest six-game scoreless streak with eight strikeouts against three walks.

  • Tyler Kinley notched his sixth hold, allowing a hit during a scoreless eighth facing the top of the lineup and benefiting from Bobby Witt Jr. being picked off first base.

Hierarchy remains: Jalen Beeks | Tyler Kinley | Victor Vodnik

Los Angeles Dodgers – Capping his team’s two-run rally in the bottom of the eighth, Alex Vesia retired the side in the ninth against the Brewers’ 6-7-8 hitters and recorded a strikeout. He threw 17 pitches (10 strikes—58.8 Strike%) and induced two whiffs. He’s been scoreless in six of his last seven and converted two of three save chances.

  • Evan Phillips was summoned in the eighth versus the 2-3-4 lineup pocket with a one-run lead but allowed Christian Yelich’s game-tying solo home run and struck out one. He benefited from the two-run rally and collected his second win despite suffering his first blown save of the season.
  • Blake Treinen notched his seventh hold, firing a clean seventh and striking out one.
  • Daniel Hudson tossed a scoreless sixth, walking one and striking out one for his 13th hold.

Hierarchy remains: Evan Phillips | Daniel Hudson | Alex Vesia

Miami Marlins – Locking down his 13th save, Tanner Scott retired the side in the top of the ninth and recorded a strikeout while preserving a one-run win over the White Sox. He threw 14 pitches (71.4 Strike%) and produced three whiffs (21.4 SwStr%). He’s allowed two earned runs over his last 24 appearances since May 1 with 23 scoreless contests while converting nine of ten save chances with 30 strikeouts against 10 walks.

  • A.J. Puk fired a clean eighth, striking out two for his fifth hold.
  • Huascar Brazóban collected his first win, tossing two scoreless frames, issuing a walk, and striking out five.

Hierarchy remains: Tanner Scott | Andrew Nardi | A.J. Puk

Milwaukee Brewers – Appearing on consecutive days for the first time since April, Bryan Hudson suffered his first loss after entering a tied game at the bottom of the eighth. He gave up two solo home runs and only recorded one out before being lifted.

  • Rob Zastryzny allowed a walk and struck out one over two-thirds scoreless in the eighth. 
  • Logging three innings of scoreless bulk relief, Bryce Wilson scattered three hits and recorded a strikeout.

Hierarchy remains: Trevor Megill | Joel Payamps | Bryan Hudson

New York MetsBack from his suspension and into a save chance, Edwin Díaz secured his eighth save, finishing a three-run win over the Pirates. He threw 10 pitches (70 Strike%) and produced three whiffs while striking out one in his clean outing. He’s been scoreless in his last five appearances and converted all three save chances since his return from the injured list in June.

  • Dedniel Núñez retired the side in the eighth and struck out for his fifth hold.
  • Reed Garrett navigated around a hit and two walks with two strikeouts in a scoreless seventh, notching his eighth hold.
  • José Buttó collected his third win, tossing 1.2 scoreless frames, allowing a walk.

Updated Hierarchy: Edwin Díaz | Dedniel Núñez | Reed Garrett

San Diego Padres In the top of the tenth, Wandy Peralta could not record an out, resulting in his second loss. He allowed two hits, including Christian Walker’s two-RBI single, three runs (two earned), and a walk.

  • Stephen Kolek retired all three batters after replacing Peralta but let one of two inherited runners score on a fielder’s choice groundout and recorded one strikeout.
  • Adrian Morejon worked a scoreless ninth, walking one, and kept the game tied.
  • Jeremiah Estrada fired a clean eighth and struck out two.
  • Yuki Matsui gave up two hits and an earned run while striking out one in the seventh.

Hierarchy remains: Robert Suarez | Jeremiah Estrada | Adrian Morejon

Washington Nationals – With two runners on and one out, Jacob Barnes stranded both and logged two scoreless, combined innings while collecting his fifth win. He gave up two hits and a walk while striking out one.

Hierarchy Remains: Kyle Finnegan | Hunter Harvey | Dylan Floro

Vulture Save Option for Sunday, July 7

  • Jonathan Hernández (TEX): Yates and Robertson have pitched the two previous games, and José Leclerc has been used as a multi-inning option, which may be necessary with Texas seeking a sweep. This represents a risky vulture option, but it’s slim pickings today based on recent usage patterns.

Vulture Save Stashes for Monday, July 8

  • Pierce Johnson (ATL): If Atlanta uses its hierarchy today (Iglesias, Jiménez, and Minter), it will mark back-to-back outings and a day off on Monday.

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