Perhaps the most underrated non-closer reliever in the game right now, Joel Payamps has been the Brewers unsung hero this season helping get the ball to closer Devin Williams in the ninth. While Payamps doesn’t have a true “out” pitch, his fastball/slider combo (plus the occasional changeup) is effective in keeping hitters off balance while his improved command this season has helped maximize his stuff. Since the start of May, Payamps has ranked in the Top 5 amongst relievers (min. 20 IP) in the following categories: K-BB% (29.5%), WHIP (0.69), SIERA (2.42), and Holds (20). The fact that the Brewers only had to give up Esteury Ruiz to acquire both William Contreras and Payamps this winter is pretty incredible and a big reason why Milwaukee sits at the top of the NL Central standings.
- Andrew Chafin has not been the same pitcher since the end of June as he was earlier in the season, as the wheels have fallen off over his last 11 IP. Over that span, Chafin has a 2% K-BB rate (thanks to a 23.5% BB rate), 26.6% CSW and 5.81 xFIP/6.07 SIERA. The move to Milwaukee hasn’t helped get him out of this funk (yet), but there’s still an elite slider in there somewhere if he can get his command issues ironed out.
- Steven Wilson and the entire Padres bullpen for that matter has struggled recently, but Wilson clearly hasn’t been the same guy since returning from the IL after the All-Star break. Over that 11.1-inning span, Wilson has pedestrian 20.8% K and 25.1% CSW rates to go along with a 6.25 xFIP. Even with the recent struggles, he should continue to see some holds chances, especially with Nick Martinez’s role kind of all over the place at the moment.
- Jonathan Loáisiga returned to the Yankees’ bullpen this past week, making his first appearance since April 5th and overall, he looked pretty good, showing his typical velocity and mixing in a couple of nice offspeed pitches. A healthy Loáisiga plus the Keynan Middleton addition can turn this Yankee bullpen into the best in baseball potentially, which they’ll likely need to combat injuries to their rotation and the ineffectiveness of the pitcher formally known as Luis Severino.
- A pair of veteran lefty relievers move up the board this week as both Matt Moore and Tim Mayza continue to have great seasons. Mayza is a bit of a weird case with his 1.11 ERA/1.08 WHIP and lack of swing-and-miss stuff, but his sinker gets a ton of ground balls (65.7% GB rate) and he doesn’t walk anyone (5.7% BB rate). Moore on the other hand has a little more swing and miss in him and has a WHIP below 1.00 (0.89).
- The Braves still seem to be searching for that secondary setup option, and while I think it ultimately winds up being Joe Jiménez, Kirby Yates is still in the picture as well and the two may eat into each other’s value. Jiménez has been sneaky good since the start of June with a 1.19 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 30% K rate, but has just eight holds over that span and 10 total for the season.
- Scott McGough entered the All-Star break with a 2.72 ERA and 0.97 WHIP and since then has allowed 13 H, 6 BB, and 12 ER over his past nine innings pitched. It’s truly been a roller coaster season for McGough and based on the trends we could see him be lights out in September, and this Diamondbacks team will need all the help they can get to find a way into the playoffs.
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