AL East 2017 Positional Rankings: Home to the Power Bullpens

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 29: Caleb Joseph
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 29: Caleb Joseph /
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If you want to look for some power bullpens, you don’t need to look any further than the AL East.

The AL East is home to a number of powerful bullpens. 2017 finished with Roberto Osuna, Jason Grilli, Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Steve Cishek, Sergio Romo, Zach Britton, Darren O’Day, Brad Brach, Mychal Givens, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Addison Reed, Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle in the bullpens.

Many, many of those guys are All-Stars. Many are previous closers or current closers. Now, 2017 brought some interesting wrinkles for these guys. Osuna missed time due to anxiety. Britton was hurt several times during the season. Colome, believe it or not, led baseball in saves.

The Yankees had an embarrassment of riches in their bullpen. The Red Sox had arguably the best closer in the game in 2017 in Craig Kimbrel. So, let’s look at where they end 2017 ranked, which is the last part of our 2017 AL East Positional Rankings.

Before the season, they were ranked:

5. Tampa Bay Rays

4. Toronto Blue Jays

3. Boston Red Sox

2. New York Yankees

1. Baltimore Orioles.

Lists include players who pitched at least 10 games in relief, in order based on the number of games appeared in.

Roberto Osuna
Roberto Osuna /

5. Toronto Blue Jays – Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup, Roberto Osuna, Dominic Leone, Danny Barnes, Joe Smith, Jason Grilli, Joe Biagini, Matt Dermody, Jeff Beliveau, Tim Mayza, J.P. Howell, Tom Koehler, Leonel Campos, Carlos Ramirez, Luis Santos

It really is hard to have a fifth-place team, as all of the AL East bullpens had ERAs in the top 15 in baseball. But, the Blue Jays come in fifth, as they were the only bullpen over 4.00 (4.21).

Osuna actually finished with the most games finished in baseball with 58, but only 39 saves. This is partly due to being taken out of the closer spot for a time due to his struggles with anxiety.

However, Osuna is a top closer in the game, and his 3.38 ERA was not bad at all. Biagini struggled a lot in the bullpen in 2017, but not as much as Grilli, who was really bad. Of course, it doesn’t help your bullpen when you have to throw the most innings in the American League (596.2)

Loup had an ERA of 3.75, while Tepera was fantastic, going 7-1 with a 3.59 ERA. Those wins were the first of Tepera’s career. That qualifies as a career year, but not exactly an outlier. Toronto did have 45 saves, second-most in the American League (Tampa).