Over his last two games, Mychal Givens threw 2.1 shutout innings with no walks and three Ks. He’s the early closer for the Orioles after the trade of Zach Britton even with a sketchy run over his last eight games (7.71 ERA and 1.86 WHIP). Mike Wright pitched his way out of save contention last week when he allowed four runs and five baserunners over 1.1 innings with no Ks. Evan Phillips could be a dark horse for saves later in the year if he throws more strikes in the majors. Phillips pitched well in 31 games at AAA in 2018 (1.99 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 59 Ks over 40 innings). Cory Carroll tossed two shutout innings with no Ks in his first two games in his major league career. Carroll has 22 saves on his minor league resume with a fastball that rates above 96 mph.
Brad Hand has three saves in his last five games with the Indians, which led to one run and four hits allowed over six innings with seven Ks. His direction and success point to him being the favorite to earn the most saves for Cleveland going forward. Overall, Hand has 27 saves in 32 tries in 2018. Cody Allen hasn’t allowed a run over his last 6.2 innings with two Ks and one save. Allen has two blown saves in 23 opportunities this year. Andrew Miller returned from the DL last week. In his three games pitched, Miller gave up no runs over three innings with one hit, two walks, and two Ks.
Disaster still lies in the right arm of Wade Davis. Over the last two week covering 7.1 innings, Davis has three losses and two blown saves as a result of allowing ten runs, 12 baserunners, and two home runs over 7.1 innings with nine Ks). Wade now has six blown saves in 38 tries with a poor ERA (4.98). Adam Ottavino saw his 15-inning scoreless run end on August 5th when he allowed two runs via a home run in a blown save against the Brewers. His 2018 resume screams closer upside (1.66 ERA and 81 Ks over 54.1 innings). Seung Hwan Oh hasn’t allowed a run over his last 13.2 innings with seven hits and 11 Ks. He even picked up a save for the Rockies over the last week.
Kyle Barraclough has officially been hooked from the closing role. He lost his way over his last six games (12 runs, 17 baserunners, and three home runs over 4.2 innings with five Ks) while blowing his last three saves. Drew Steckenrider has 2.57 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over his last seven innings with six Ks, which puts him first in line to earn saves in Miami. Adam Conley has thrown the ball well enough over the last two months (3.09 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over 11.2 innings with 12 Ks) to be considered an option as well.
New York Mets
Over the last month, Robert Gsellman has a 2.25 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 12 innings with nine Ks and three saves. He remains in the mix for saves for the Mets even with a below-par ERA (4.02). Jerry Blevins hasn’t allowed a run over his last 5.1 innings with four Ks and one save. Bobby Wahl pitched well at AAA in 2018 (2.20 ERA over 45 innings with 20 hits, 73 Ks, and 12 saves). He’ll be in the mix for saves if his success in the minors translates well to the majors.
Toronto Blue Jays
Ken “Disaster” Giles continues to look like a lost cause for saves in 2018. In his first three games with the Blue Jays, Giles gave up six runs, seven hits, and two home runs over 2.2 innings with four Ks. I can’t expect much from him going forward even with Toronto having weakness in the bullpen. Ryan Tepera doesn’t appear to be healthy either after his second drubbing in his last six games (nine runs, 11 baserunners, and two home runs over five innings). Tyler Clippard hasn’t been much better over his last eight innings of work (eight runs and 14 baserunners with nine Ks).