Kansas City Royals
Ian Kennedy struggled in two of his previous five games (five runs, seven baserunners, and two home runs) over 3.1 innings. His last save chance came on May 1st. After pitching seven no-hit innings with six Ks, Brad Boxberger took another step backward when he allowed three runs and five baserunners over 1.1 innings on May 16th. Scott Barlow entered Wednesday’s action with a 2.01 ERA and 34 Ks over 22.1 innings, but the Cardinals beat him for four hits and four runs over 1.2 innings with four Ks. This bullpen remains a mess for the closing job.
Saves started to pick up for Hector Neris over the previous week. He extended his scoreless run to nine innings with ten Ks while earning a win and two saves in his last two games. Seranthony Dominguez belongs nowhere near the 9th inning based on his previous 10.1 innings (6.10 ERA and 1.74 WHIP).
Roenis Elias pitched his way out of the closing role for Seattle over the last three weeks (six runs, 13 baserunners, and two home runs over 7.2 innings). Brandon Brennan has a 1.50 ERA over his previous six innings with five Ks. Connor Sadzeck continues to look like the next option to close for the Mariners. Sadzeck has a 2.37 ERA on the year with 21 Ks over 19 innings.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays won’t commit to one closer in 2019. Diego Castillo has five saves on the year with three of those chances coming over the last three and a half weeks. Castillo lost his way in his previous appearance (three runs and five baserunners over 1.1 innings). Jose Alvarez blew up on May 17th (three runs and five baserunners over two-thirds of an inning), but he earned a save the next night when he pitched one shutout inning with one K.
Trouble has crept into Sean Doolittle’s game over the last week. In his previous three appearances, Doolittle gave run six runs and nine baserunners over two innings despite earning a pair of saves. Doolittle now has two blown saves in eight opportunities. Kyle Barraclough struggled as well over the last ten days (nine runs, 11 baserunners, and four HRs over four innings).