This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Usually, about a month or so into the season, I like to take a look at some bullpens that seemed a bit unsettled heading into the year. This season, I decided that look needed to happen earlier. In fact, the bullpen shuffle has made it necessary to evaluate just one week in. So, we'll take a look at a few teams still/already struggling to find answers in the bullpen. With the 2020 condensed schedule, it has become painfully obvious to MLB managers, and fantasy teams, that a reliable bullpen, front to back, is critical to success. As many starting pitchers are working fewer innings, the scramble is on for help in the endgame – an "endgame" that has been happening earlier and earlier.
Bullpen role shifts result from illness, injury and ineffectiveness
There have been a few assignments dictated by the coronavirus, even more impacted by injuries, and some have been the result of ineffectiveness. And, there have even been a handful that don't appear to be attributable to any of the above. This has been a wild year in both rotations, and bullpens, and it's probably not settled yet. There are still shaky situations with more potential adjustments to come. Let's take a look at some bullpen assignments in the AL and see how they stack up for the foreseeable future:
Here are some AL bullpen scenarios to keep an eye on:
- Kansas City Royals – Our first bullpen peek falls into the "huh???" category. It was assumed Ian