4 – The Bullpen is Struggling, but that Shouldn’t Continue
Surprisingly, after one go of the rotation, the bullpen’s performance has become a concern. Following his gem of a season in 2020, Codi Heuer has allowed five hits. One was a home run in his three innings of work so far. Matt Foster, who was also dominant in 2020, allowed a walk and a two-run home run in just 1.2 innings of work.
Even Marshall has allowed three earned runs off three hits and a home run in just 1.2 innings. Liam Hendricks even started with a sour note allowing a two-run home run within his first 1.1 innings of work this season.
In his 2.1 innings of work so far, Garrett Crochet has struck out three and is looking like the same untouchable southpaw we saw last season. In his return to the mound since 2018, Michael Kopech is showing no signs of missing a beat, mowing down hitters as he did before. In his four innings of work, Kopech struck out eight, allowing only one hit and walk.
Despite their disappointing starts, Heuer, Foster, Marshall, and Hendriks all have silver linings that should calm down any panicking fan. Heuer still has an above-average slider for a reliever and has strong command on his fastball. He has above-average third and fourth pitches that are still developing.
Despite allowing two runs in 1.2 innings, four of the five outs Foster recorded were strikeouts. A walk and a mistake is the stain on his short-sample record this season. Marshall did allow three runs in one inning of work but struck out two. He is not known to give up many hits and hardly allows a walk. When he does, he works around jams. Liam Hendriks is not someone to worry about either based on his resume. There should not be any cause of concern in that area unless he continues to give up the long ball but that does not seem to be a recurring issue.