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Top 5 American League Relievers for the 2022 MLB Season

Mientras que los cerradores son los que se llevan los reflectores en cuanto a temas de bullpen se habla, es un hecho que en los momentos más complicados de cada partido todo manager tiene su relevista preferido para sacarlo de apuros. Muchos los considerarían como el brazo más confiable del grupo incluso por encima de su cerrador, y esta lista es para destacar a estos individuos por su labor.

Presentamos los 5 mejores relevistas de la Liga Americana de cara a la siguiente temporada de la MLB:

5.- Paul Sewald – Seattle Mariners

Mejores Relevistas - Paul Sewald
Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Paul Sewald throws to the Texas Rangers in a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, July 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

One of the most pleasant surprises of the season, the 31-year-old reliever signed a minor league contract with the Seattle franchise and ended up turning in a very solid season: 3.06 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 11 saves, 16 holds, 104 strikeouts and 11 wins through just 64 innings all season.

Sewald exceeded any expectations that could have been placed on his signing and enters 2022 as one of the Mariners’ promising bullpen stalwarts, who are looking to replicate their good season after posting their best winning record since 2003.

4.- Jonathan Loáisiga – New York Yankees

Mejores Relevistas - Jonathan Loaisiga
New York Yankees relief pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga throws against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The young Nicaraguan had the best performance of his career during the 2021 campaign, being by far the Yankees’ most reliable reliever throughout the year.

Accumulating a 2.17 ERA, 69 strikeouts, 17 holds, 5 saves, 1.01 WHIP and 9 wins in 70.2 innings, the 27-year-old right-hander will enter next season as one of Aaron Boone’s go-to guys in a 2022 that will be a much-needed redemption opportunity for the Bronx franchise.

3.- Garrett Whitlock – Boston Red Sox

Mejores Relevistas - Garrett Whitlock
Boston Red Sox pitcher Garrett Whitlock throws to a Kansas City Royals batter in the 7th inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, June 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Acquired via the Rule 5 Draft, Whitlock proved to be not only a promising rookie for Boston, but a great immediate contributor to their bullpen: alternating roles as a starter and reliever, the 25-year-old right-hander accumulated a 1.96 ERA, posting 8 wins, 81 strikeouts, 1.10 WHIP, 14 holds and 2 saves in 73.1 innings pitched.

For his first taste of MLB, the Snellville native debuted impressively, cooperating with the Red Sox in postseason contention, where he allowed 2 runs in 8.1 innings pitched.

2.- Kendall Graveman – Chicago White Sox

Mejores Relevistas - Kendall Graveman
Houston Astros relief pitcher Kendall Graveman throws against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning in Game 4 of baseball’s American League Championship Series Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

The 31-year-old veteran split his time in the 2021 season with the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros, posting a stellar season capable of revitalizing his career and agreeing to a 3-year, $24 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

5 wins, 10 saves, 11 holds, 1.77 ERA, 61 strikeouts, WHIP of 0.098 and only 11 runs allowed (4 of these coming from a single grand slam) in 56 innings pitched were the right-hander’s numbers. Now with the Sox, Graveman will be the perfect accompaniment to MLB Reliever of the Year Liam Hendriks.

1.- Andrew Kittredge – Tampa Bay Rays

Mejores Relevistas - Andrew Kittredge
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge throws against the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth inning of baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Acquired by the Rays via a trade in 2016, Kittredge had many ups and downs with the Florida franchise, who even designated him for assignment in 2018.

Fortunately, the 31-year-old right-hander put together the best campaign of his career in 2021, just short of being selected for that year’s All-Star Game. He averaged 1.88 ERA, overall with 77 strikeouts, 9 wins, 8 saves, 7 holds and a WHIP of 0.97 in 71.2 innings completed.

Kevin Cash’s bullpen has always been a reliable weapon in his Rays, and Kittredge’s presence only spells trouble for other teams that cross him.

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Written by Pedro Oliveira

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