Friday April 17 Bullpen Report

Brian Schlitter entered in the seventh and proceeded to strike out Wil Myers on three pitches, culminating with a beautiful two-seamer diving at the knees to freeze Myers and end the inning. Unfortunately for the Cubs, Sam Holbrook didn’t share the assessment of the 32,138 people who had way worse seats than him, and he called the salvo a ball. After fist pumps from Welington Castillo and a belated one from Schlitter, they realized they had one more pitch to throw. It was a thigh-high offering that Myers deposited over the ivy in center field, giving the Padres a lead that Dale Thayer, Joaquin Benoit, and Craig Kimbrel weren’t going to relinquish.

Mark Melancon had to mop up the Bastard’s mess and recorded an out for his first save of the young season. He only had one pitch to throw tonight and he threw it 89.5 MPH. Colin pointed out Melancon’s lower velocity thus far, and it didn’t improve at all tonight. He did still get the save opportunity, but listen to Colin and monitor this situation closely, keeping your finger on the Arquimedes Caminero button. Of note in this game for holders, Jared Hughes notched his fourth. The 6’7” righty has eight strikeouts in his six innings, and has yet to give up a run.

So, what to make of Brett Cecil? Well, his velo is up a bit from earlier this month, but still down overall. Is he ramping up, or is something wrong? Jonny Gomes and Freddie Freeman, two guys with incorrectly spelled first names, both took him deep in the eighth. Very deep. I would stay far away from Cecil for now. We still have him high on the grid, but that’s because he’s still getting those opportunities. Jim Johnson was touched up for a pair in this one, and it seemed the Jays were under orders to attack him early. He only got to throw 17 pitches to the six hitters he saw. Jason Grilli notched his fifth save with a clean ninth, but of note in this one, Luis Avilan whiffed his first two hitters of the year. The movement on his sexy two-seamer is back, and he’s not to be forgotten in this pen, especially when the Braves fall back to earth(please God, don’t let them fall back to earth) and Grilli and Johnson are moved, opening him up for higher-leverage situations, if any should present themselves.

Alex Rodriguez hit two home runs and then struck out three Rays on nine pitches for his first career save. Actually, Joe Girardi tipped his hand a little more regarding the back of the bullpen, as he brought in Dellin Betances with two out in the seventh. Andrew Miller came on to force the Rays to pinch-hit for Allan Dykstra in the eighth, and he kept on through the ninth to grab the save, with Betances getting another win. What are the odds of Betances following Miller in a box score at this point? Probably not awesome. That can change, and for those of us invested heavily in DellinCorp, we hope that they do.

There is nothing wrong with the stuff Chad Qualls is offering up, but the results tonight weren’t optimal. His ERA hopped up over five as he gave up a trio of earned runs. A smash up the middle that he couldn’t corral was followed by a walk to Kole Calhoun. Why you’d walk Kole Calhoun ahead of Mike Trout is beyond me, but Trout proceeded to bomb an 0-2 pitch into the seats in right-center. Qualls did strike out the next two, but it wasn’t a great line. Huston Street saved his fourth for the Angels.

In a fun battle of the bullpens, the A’s and Royals were tied at four apiece through six innings. Guess who won? Dan Otero gave up two runs, and the Royals went with the familiar trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland to nail it down. Wade Davis retired his three foes on five pitches. HDH has yet to surrender an earned run this season.

Of Note: Koji Uehara is still dominant. Two strikeouts tonight in the top of the ninth pinned the Orioles down long enough for them to get to Brian Matusz for a walk-off win. Jeurys Familia notched his fifth save, yet seems to be the most drab closer option out there. I’ve got to be missing something, and it wouldn’t be the first time. That’s his second in two days, so maybe you want to look at Carlos Torres if you’re streaming saves tomorrow. The Tigers sent their closer out to start a tied ninth inning, and Joakim Soria walked away with a controversial win, after Jose Iglesias drove in the winning run in a tight afternoon affair at Comerica. With Brian Duensing hitting the DL, Caleb Thielbar was recalled from AAA. He came into the tenth inning of a tie game after Glen Perkins pitched the ninth, preserving the tie. Does he take Duensing’s role? Neftali Feliz got his second save for the Rangers.


Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Evan Marshall Brad Ziegler
Atlanta Jason Grilli Jim Johnson Luis Avilan
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Edward Mujica
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Pedro Strop Jason Motte
CHI (AL) David Robertson Zach Putnam Zach Duke Jacob Petricka
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jumbo Diaz Tony Cingrani Sean Marshall
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Scott Atchison
Colorado Adam Ottavino Rafael Betancourt LaTroy Hawkins John Axford
Detroit Joakim Soria Al Alburquerque Joba Chamberlain Joe Nathan
Houston Luke Gregerson Chad Qualls Pat Neshek
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Vinnie Pestano
LAD Joel Peralta Chris Hatcher Pedro Baez Kenley Jansen
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jonathan Broxton Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Caleb Thielbar Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Carlos Torres Jerry Blevins Jenrry Mejia
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances David Carpenter
Oakland Tyler Clippard Eric O’Flaherty Dan Otero Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Jake Diekman
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Jared Hughes
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Jordan Walden Seth Maness
SD Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Dale Thayer Kevin Quackenbush
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Yoervis Medina
TB Brad Boxberger Kevin Jepsen Grant Balfour Jake McGee
Texas Neftali Feliz Shawn Tolleson Keone Kela Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Miguel Castro Brett Cecil Roberto Osuna Steve Delabar
Wash. Drew Storen Aaron Barrett Blake Treinen Casey Janssen

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

Darren contributes to RotoGraphs when he isn’t watching the Braves or shoveling snow. Follow him on Twitter @shinesie.

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Well-Beered Englishman
Well-Beered Englishman

1. Brian Schlitter was robbed of TWO strike threes in that AB. The first was called a time-out after Schlitter had entered his delivery, which I thought was even worse umpiring than the subsequent non-call.

2. This post has no title whoa!!!