Saturday, May 11, 2024

Your Current MLB Saves Leader


Right now, all of the following closers are employed by MLB teams, and are healthy: Josh Hader, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, Emmanuel Clase, Edwin Diaz, Camilo Doval. None of them have as many saves as Kyle Finnegan. How crazy is that?

I love the fact that Finnegan wasn't even a Nationals organizational product. He came up with the A's, spent years with them, toiled in the minors forever, got cut, then signed with the Nats on a flyer prior to 2020. Then, after making the Nats out of camp that year, Finnegan never plays a day in the minors again. That is incredible. And since his call-up in 2020, Finnegan has been extremely consistent as a bullpen guy for the Nats. Through 5 seasons he's been a bullpen innings leader each year, only not reaching 66 innings during the 2020 season. He's never had an ERA higher than 4, he's never missed his turn, and he's provided the Nats some real consistency in an era where nothing has been consistent for them.

Y'wanna know how few consistencies the Nationals have had this decade so far? Here's some other players who've been around as long as Finnegan; Victor Robles, who hasn't had a decent season since before the pandemic; Luis Garcia, another example of a late bloomer like I spoke of yesterday; Patrick Corbin, see Robles; and Tanner Rainey, who does not have the health luck that Finnegan's had. The only thing that's been consistent since 2020 has been Carter Kieboom's inability to live up to expectations EVERY SINGLE YEAR. He's played 133 games total, has a career .199 average, and is 26 this year. Way to use a first round pick.

But Finnegan has been that consistent, and may be one of the most reliably strong Nationals players of this era. And now you're seeing the Nats reward Finnegan for his consistency, as, since he's the highest peg in the depth chart, now he gets to close games consistently. Last year he had 28 saves, instilling the club with trust that he could do this more often. This year he got the ninth out of camp, and he's currently tied for most saves in the bigs with Robert Suarez. Finnegan's 12 saves also come with a 1.65 ERA and one of the highest WARs on the team. And what's cool is that Finnegan isn't doing this by throwing too much smoke or out-velocity-ing the batters, he's just crafty and deliberate and has been doing all the right things. No wonder he's stayed healthy, he's not trying to blow his arm out like some other closers.

I hope Finnegan keeps throwing this well, and keeps providing his team ninth-inning stability. There is a chance he gets traded in July, but I really don't want that to happen, considering everything the Nationals have done for him, and vice versa.

Coming Tonight: Everybody knew he'd ascend to superstardom. Just two years later, it's finally happened.

No comments:

Post a Comment