2022 All-Star Relievers, in Detail

All-Star Relievers
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2022 All-Star Relievers

The 92nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game is Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It has not been there since 1980. This season, there are 12 relievers, six from each league when including players who will not participate. Here is a detailed look at the 2022 All-Star relievers.

American League All-Star Relievers

Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland Guardians

Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase makes his first appearance in his third major league season. The Guardians picked him up from the Texas Rangers in December 2019 as part of their haul for veteran starting pitcher Corey Kluber. Clase became the closer in 2021 and has blossomed in the role. In 40 appearances in 2022, Clase has a 2–2 record with a 1.41 ERA (36 ERA-minus) with an 82.5% Scoreless Outing Percentage (ScOtg%), 41 strikeouts, six walks, a 0.757 WHIP, and 17–1–3 Goose Eggs–Broken Eggs–Meh (GE–BE–M) in 38 1/3 innings.

Liam Hendriks, Chicago White Sox

White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, who has pitched 12 seasons in the majors, gains his third All-Star nod. All have come since 2019. He has made 30 appearances in 2022 for the White Sox. In those 30 appearances, he has gone 1–2 with a 2.35 ERA (61 ERA-minus), 76.7% ScOtg%, 45 strikeouts, eight walks, a 0.946 WHIP, and 17–3–2 GE–BE–M in 30 2/3 innings.

Clay Holmes, New York Yankees

When Aroldis Chapman loses his job as a closer, his successor has to be something special. And Clay Holmes, a first-time All-Star in his fifth major league season, is. Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates near Deadline Day 2021, the new Yankee closer has had one of the best reliever seasons in Yankee history. He has pitched in 41 games for the Bronx Bombers, going 4–1 with a 1.31 ERA (34 ERA-minus), a 90.2% ScOtg%, 44 strikeouts, nine walks, 0.871 WHIP, and 24–1–3 GE–BE–M in 41 1/3 innings.

Jorge Lopez, Baltimore Orioles

Jorge Lopez, in his seventh season, became a closer for the first time in 2022. It has worked well for him, leading to his first-ever All-Star appearance. In 40 appearances for the surprising Orioles, he has gone 4–5 with a 1.62 ERA (41 ERA-minus), a 75.0% ScOtg%, 51 strikeouts, 15 walks, 0.925 WHIP, and 25–7–3 GE–BE–M in 44 1/3 innings. When seeing the success, it is amazing that the Orioles picked him up off waivers from the Kansas City Royals in August 2020.

Jordan Romano, Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano makes his first All-Star selection in four seasons, doing so as a last-minute replacement. He has made 35 appearances for the Blue Jays in 2022, going 3–2 with a 2.65 ERA (66 ERA-minus), an 80.0% ScOtg%, 39 strikeouts, 14 walks, 1.176 WHIP, and 22–5–0 GE–BE–M in 34 innings.

Gregory Soto, Detroit Tigers

Fourth-year lefty Gregory Soto makes his second straight All-Star appearance in 2022. The Tigers closer has gone 2–4 in 33 appearances with a 2.59 ERA (66 ERA-minus), a 78.8% ScOtg%, 32 strikeouts, 15 walks, 1.245 WHIP, and 15–3–6 GE–BE–M in 31 1/3 innings.

National League All-Star Relievers

David Bednar, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates closer David Bednar came over from the San Diego Padres in January 2021 as part of the Joe Musgrove trade. Now in his fourth major league season, Bednar has had an impressive first half, pitching in 37 games for the Pirates. He has gone 3–3 with a 2.89 ERA (71 ERA-minus), a 73.7% ScOtg%, 57 strikeouts, 13 walks, 1.076 WHIP, and 24–6–1 GE–BE–M in 43 2/3 innings.

Edwin Diaz, New York Mets

New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, in his seventh major league season, gains his second All-Star nod. He came to Queens from the Seattle Mariners in a December 2018 blockbuster trade that included Robinson Canó. Thus far in 2022 he has pitched in 38 games for the Mets. He has gone 2–1 with a 1.69 ERA (44 ERA-minus), a 84.2% ScOtg%, 75 strikeouts, 12 walks, 0.991 WHIP, and 19–3–1 GE–BE–M in 37 1/3 innings.

Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers

Josh Hader, whose first child was born June 15, one month after his wife experienced pregnancy complications, earned his fourth selection in six seasons. However, he is opting out of the game to spend more time with his wife and new baby. He came to the Brewers in one of the most fateful trades in recent memory, a July 2015 deal that sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers (the future whistleblower) to the Houston Astros. Hader began 2022 with a bang, not allowing a run at all until June 7, a 19-game scoreless streak. In total has pitched in 33 games for the Brewers in 2022. Through July 12, he was 0–2 with a 1.82 ERA (44 ERA-minus), an 83.9% ScOtg%, 52 strikeouts, 10 walks, 0.876 WHIP, and 20–4–2 GE–BE–N in 29 2/3 innings.

However, his last two appearances of the first half were disastrous. In those two games, he allowed nine earned runs and four home runs in 1/3 of an inning, failing to even record an out in the first of the two. That skewed his first half numbers: 0–4, 4.50 ERA (108 ERA-minus), a 78.8% ScOtg%, 52 strikeouts, 11 walks, 1.133 WHIP, and 21–4–2 GE–BE–M in 30 innings.

Ryan Helsley, St. Louis Cardinals

These next two All-Stars are new faces to most fans in the country. Ryan Helsey is more of a setup man than a closer, although he can close and recently has been doing so more often. He has made 31 appearances for the Cardinals in 2022, pitching well enough for the fourth-year righty to earn his first All-Star nod. He has gone 5–1 with an 0.69 ERA (18 ERA-minus), a 87.1% ScOtg%, 57 strikeouts, 12 walks, 0.667 WHIP, and 22–1–2 GE–BE–M in 39 innings.

Joe Mantiply, Arizona Diamondbacks

Joe Mantiply is probably the least recognized, nationwide, of the 12 All-Star relievers. The Diamondbacks middle-relief specialist had been given up on by three teams, one of which gave him two tries, before finding a home with the Diamondbacks. 2022 was the first year out of his five in the majors where he appeared on an Opening Day roster. On that date, he got the win. It was a sign of things to come. He did not allow a run at all until May 4 and did not allow his second run until June 25, when Kody Clemens of the Tigers tagged him with a three-run home run — the first time a lefty ever homered off Mantiply in major league play.

Through the end of play July 4, Mantiply had gone 1–1 with a 1.13 ERA (27 ERA-minus), a 93.9% ScOtg%, 33 strikeouts, one walk, 0.844 WHIP in 32 innings. He had a rough week between July 6 and 13, when the San Francisco Giants scored on him in all three of his appearances against them. He recovered well, however, putting up zeroes in his two appearances against the Padres. Overall, it made his final first half record 1–2 with a 2.21 ERA (53 ERA-minus), an 87.2% ScOtg%, 38 strikeouts, two walks, 0.955 WHIP, and 10–4–6 GE–BE–M in 36 2/3 innings.

Devin Williams, Milwaukee Brewers

We finally come to Devin Williams, who earned his selection — the first of his career — as a last-minute replacement, something that righted a wrong. The 2020 NL Rookie of the Year has not allowed any earned runs since May 10. Williams is in his fourth season, where he has become one of the most feared setup men in the NL. He has made 39 appearances for the Brewers thus far in 2022, going 2–0 with a 1.77 ERA (42 ERA-minus), a 89.7% ScOtg%, 59 strikeouts, 19 walks, 1.037 WHIP, and 24–1–0 GE–BE–M in 35 2/3 innings.

Outlook

Good luck to either team trying to score on these guys late in the game. One beauty of the All-Star Game is the number of talented players who finally get exposure to a national audience, and this year is no exception. For these 12 All-Star relievers, more than half are probably not very well known outside of their own fanbase. Look for sick numbers to come from these hurlers in the second half.

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

Players mentioned:

Emmanuel Clase, Corey KluberLiam Hendriks, Clay Holmes, Aroldis ChapmanJorge LopezJordan RomanoGregory Soto, David BednarEdwin Diaz, Robinson CanóJosh Hader, Ryan Helsley, Joe Mantiply, Kody ClemensDevin Williams, Joe Musgrove, Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers