Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Pressly to Play
(Music Pun Streak #3. McCartney's worst album.)
The weird part about 2019 is that there isn't a ton of carryover from last year concerning great middle relievers. And the reason for that is that most of the great middle relievers from last year are now closers.
So...so much for that.
But that doesn't mean a new breed of middle-relievers can't crop up, and Ryan Pressly, throwing fire in his first full-year in Houston, is leading the pack. There's been a weird shift from 20something wunderkind flamethrowers to just...guys in their thirties who've been around the block, in terms of who's being handed middle relief innings. Pressly's doing some unmistakable damage in Houston (he hasn't allowed an earned run yet!), but we also have Will Harris in that category as well for the 'Stros. In New York, it's Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle who are bringing up good relief numbers.
If there are any rookies who are becoming middle-relief standouts, which was the big thing last year, they're...weird rookies. Like Nick Anderson, the 28-year-old rookie for Miami who may be one of their most important pieces. Or 2000-born Elvis Luciano for the Blue Jays, whose existence in the majors is thanks in part to the Jays dodging some Rule 5 Draft quotas. Hell, Arizona's rookie reliever Jon Duplantier would be listed here if the D-Backs actually planned on leaving him on the roster.
I feel like this season doesn't have a categorizable trend in up-and-coming middle relievers, unlike last season. There are just good, exciting middle relief stories that don't have many common threads between them. Which...from a storytelling standpoint isn't preferable, but...if it hadn't already become clear to you after the 2018 playoffs, baseball (and real life) doesn't run by storytelling ideals. It runs on luck.
I sincerely hope Ryan Pressly keeps his amazing start up, and I subsequently hope the Astros continue to be this good.
Coming Tomorrow- Considering that I have a ball with this guy's autograph on it somewhere in my house, it's nice to know this guy's success wasn't a one-off thing.