2022 MLB Blown Saves-July 18th

Not to put too fine of a point on it, but teams struggle without reliable bullpen arms and a proficient closer. Year after year, teams fall by the wayside as late-inning relievers turn over leads and cost their club valuable ground in the standings. With that in mind, we’re keeping weekly tabs on blown saves, noting which teams have the least effective bullpens.

Tampa Bay Rays – 23 Blown Saves

Over the past week, the Tampa Bay Rays added two blown saves to their MLB-leading total and are heading into the break with a modest 54.0% conversation rate. Still, only one of those missed opportunities came back to haunt the Rays, as they ended the week with a sterling 6-1 record. 

The Rays continue to deploy a committee approach with four pitchers getting a chance to close things out since last Monday. Brooks Raley was the most effective of the bunch, cashing two saves while pitching 3.1 shutout innings and striking out five. However, Jason Adam, Colin Poche, and Jalen Beeks got in on the action, saving one game each.

Blown saves notwithstanding, the Rays bullpen heads into the break as one of the best units in the majors. Tampa relievers have combined for the fifth-most strikeouts, seventh-best earned run average, and third-most wins. If they can shore up their late-game deficiencies, they should be a lock for a playoff berth for the fourth straight season. 

Boston Red Sox – 20 Blown Saves

With all five teams at .500 or better, AL East games will be appointment viewing as we head into the stretch drive. As we saw in the first half, the Boston Red Sox’s late-game collapses could hold them back as they fight for a spot in the postseason. 

Red Sox relievers converted just one of three saves over the last seven days maintaining their position with the second-most blown saves. Worse, they now have more blown saves (20) than conversions (19), making them the only team in the MLB with a save rate below 50.0%. 

This week, Tanner Houck and John Schreiber were saddled with blown saves. Although, Houck managed to come away with a win as the Sox came back to win in extra innings against the New York Yankees. With no defined closer and a bullpen that continues to struggle, the Red Sox could be on the outside looking in come October.

Atlanta Braves – 18 Blown Saves

It was business as usual for the defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves, who ended the week with a perfect 4-for-4 week in the saves department. The Braves were elevated by the return of their closer Kenley Jansen but have shown that their pen is one of their most significant assets. 

At face value, Jansen’s two saves look good; however, a few concerns could impact his effectiveness over the latter half of the season. The two-time Trevor Hoffman Reliever of the Year award winner struck out only two batters through 3.0 innings pitched, giving up a solo shot against the Washington Nationals but still preserving the save en route to a 5-4 win. 

Nevertheless, the Braves have several pitchers they can turn to late in games if Jansen falters or requires more time on the injured list to address his irregular heartbeat. A.J. Minter was filthy as the closer in Jansen’s absence, and Will Smith showed he could still deal from the bump. With the bullpen seemingly healthy, this could be the last appearance Atlanta makes on the blown saves list. 

2022 Blown Saves by Team:

Team

Blown Saves

Save Opportunities

Rays

23

50

Boston Red Sox

20

39

Braves

18

52

Pirates

18

41

Blue Jays

17

43

Twins

17

37

Cubs

17

36

Marlins

16

39

Angels

16

37

Rangers

16

37

Athletics

16

36

Padres

14

45

White Sox

14

40

Yankees

13

44

Mets

13

39

Diamondbacks

13

32

Reds

13

30

Brewers

12

47

Cardinals

12

34

Royals

12

33

Giants

12

31

Phillies

10

33

Dodgers

9

35

Orioles

9

34

Guardians

9

31

Nationals

9

24

Astros

8

34

Mariners

8

31

Rockies

7

34

Tigers

7

30