Who is the best bullpen pitcher in MLB right now?
Josh Hader 먹튀검증(San Diego Padres), Emmanuel Klasse (Cleveland Guardians), and David Bednar (Pittsburgh Pirates) may come to mind first, but there is one pitcher who dominates them all at this point. That is Baltimore Orioles right-handed bullpen Yenier Cano (29).
According to MLB.COM today (10th), Kano is currently showing 17.2 innings, 5 holds, 2 saves, 0 ERA (ERA) and 21 strikeouts in 13 games. Cano is the only pitcher in the league with a zero ERA who has pitched 10.2 or more innings.
Cano is playing as a setup man as Felix Batista, another top-tier bullpen, is filling the closer role, but his stability is evaluated to be ahead of Batista.
Cano has allowed just three hits this season, for a .057 batting average. He is the overwhelming number one among bullpen pitchers. What’s even more surprising is that he didn’t give up a single walk. That means you’re pitching the perfect pitch that doesn’t get dizzy and doesn’t even hit.
Not surprisingly, his on-base percentage (WHIP) is only 0.17. He also ranks first among bullpen pitchers (10.2 or more innings pitched) throughout the league.
Cano isn’t a fastball pitcher who throws 100 mph, but he’s dishing out hitters, averaging a 95.8 mph (154.1 km/h) with a sinker, a 90.7 mph (145.9 km/h) changeup, and a slider with a third pitch.
Yenier Cano high-fives catcher Adley Luchman (left). Photo = AP Yonhap News
To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations for Kano. Cano, who made his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins for the first time last year, was traded to Baltimore in August after posting a 9.22 ERA in 13.2 innings.
Minnesota traded three prospect pitchers along with Cano for then-Baltimore closer Jorge Lopez. Cano was not an important card in this deal. The main card at the time was left-hander Cade Povic, currently the 12th-ranked prospect in Baltimore.
Because of these low expectations, Cano started the season in Triple-A, but was called up to the big leagues on the 14th of last month when the pitching staff gap occurred. For Baltimore, two pitchers with low expectations, following last year’s Batista and this year’s Cano, were lucky to set up and close.
Baltimore, which ranks second in winning percentage in the American League (AL), is expected to have a thicker bullpen as pitchers Michael Gibbons and Dillon Tate are expected to return from injuries sooner or later.