Blue Jays: Ranking the AL East bullpens heading into the season

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
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#4 Baltimore Orioles

Projected Bullpen:

RHP Félix Bautista
RHP Dillon Tate
RHP Mychal Givens
LHP Cionel Pérez
RHP Bryan Baker
LHP Keegan Akin
RHP Tyler Wells
RHP Austin Voth

The Orioles have a solid back-end of the bullpen, led by the team’s closer, Félix Bautista. Bautista was incredibly impressive in his inaugural major league season as he held a 2.19 ERA with 88 strikeouts, with 15 saves across 65.2 innings.

Dillon Tate and Cionel Pérez are likely to be competing for the 8th inning role, as both pitchers also had strong 2022 seasons. Tate managed five saves of his own and a 3.05 ERA, while Perez owned a sparkling 1.40 ERA over 57.2 innings of work.

Mychal Givens, set for his second stint with the O’s has experienced several up and down seasons with several teams, though never providing consistent production.

Former Blue Jay, Bryan Baker had a solid season in 2022 with a 3.49 ERA and was one of the busier relievers for this team.

Tyler Wells and Austin Voth were both mainly used as starting pitchers last season, though have since been moved into long relief roles out of the bullpen. Wells was just okay as a starter with a 4.25 ERA, though Voth’s 3.04 ERA through 17 starts should set him up as next in line to fill a rotation spot.

Keegan Akin, the hard throwing left-hander, showed great improvements from a 6.63 ERA to 3.20 ERA from 2021 - 2022. The trio of Bautista, Tate and Pérez will be tasked with working in the bulk of the teams’ highest leverage situations as the rest of the bullpen remains rather unreliable, though they are improving. 

#3 New York Yankees

Projected Bullpen:

RHP Clay Holmes
RHP Jonathan Loáisiga
RHP Tommy Kahnle
LHP Wandy Peralta
RHP Lou Trivino
RHP Ron Marinaccio
RHP Albert Abreu
RHP Deivi García

Injured List:

RHP Scott Effross
RHP Michael King

The Yankees have a bunch of capable arms coming out of the pen, led by the team’s closer, Clay Holmes. Holmes had a very unusual season in 2022, as he overtook Aroldis Chapman as the teams closer, and looked like one of the very best relief pitchers in the league at times. After an incredible beginning to the season, he cooled down though he still finished the year with a 2.54 ERA with 20 saves.

Jonathan Loáisiga struggled last season with a career-low 6.9 K/9, after an incredible 2021 campaign.

Tommy Kahnle has only managed to pitch 13.2 innings over the past three seasons due to several injuries. Prior to the injuries, Kahnle was a very reliable reliever with great swing and miss stuff, though his durability is the biggest question.

Lou Trivino struggled mightily while he was with the Athletics, though once traded as a part of the Frankie Montas deal, he was outstanding in a pinstripe uniform, with a 1.66 ERA.

Wandy Peralta and Ron Marinaccio were both pleasant surprises for this team as Peralta experienced a career season after several inconsistent campaigns, and Marinaccio couldn’t really have been better as a rookie with a 2.05 ERA and 11.5 K/9.

Albert Abreu has only pitched in 76.2 major league innings and Deivi García has only made eight appearances, all as a starter.

Both Michael King and Scott Effross will start the season on the injured list, though they were key contributors for this team a season ago. Once fully healthy, this group is solid though the third best in the division. This will not not look like a typical Yankees bullpen.