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Bullpen Report: June 13, 2019

• Bad news for the Blue Jays and people with Ken Giles shares as he went on the IL with elbow inflammation. The current word is that Giles doesn’t expect to miss more than the minimum but I’m going to guess that if we bet the over on length of IL stint with elbow inflammation that we would have some solid pocket change by now. With that said, at least the early prognosis isn’t tragic and Giles might not miss significant time. The Jays are sellers and they sure would want to see Giles performing well by the trade deadline. This might be a little set back but if he’s back soon that could still be in play.

In Giles place the Jays nominated Joe Biagini as the closer in lieu of this news but he struggled last night, called on in the 8th inning and only getting one out while allowing three guys on and two runs. Dan Hudson then came on and got the last four outs for his first save of the year. Since the Jays announced Biagini, I’m putting him atop the grid but made it yellow with Hudson someone to monitor as well. Hudson has a nicer 3.30 ERA but struggling with walks leading to a 4.68 SIERA. In spite of his struggles last night, Biagini stil has a 3.70 SIERA and has been the better reliever this year. Ideally, this is only concerning a few save opportunities with Giles making a quick return but if there are any setbacks, Biagini could receive several chances moving forward.

Anthony Bass finished the 8th inning and was brought in for the 9th but struggled and blew the save for the Mariners. After they scored a few in the 10th,  Roenis Elias was called on to secure the second save chance and he closed the door for his 6th save. There are no particular good options for the Mariners at the moment but I’m going to put Bass and Elias in a committee for the time being with Austin Adams and Brandon Brennan also lingering behind. This situation is pretty fluid without an obvious answer, especially with Hunter Strickland having a minor set back in his recovery.

• Although there was no save opportunity for the Twins, it’s worth noting their usage last night. Blake Parker was brought in the 8th to try to clean up Trevor May’s mini mess and he proceeded to give up three runs without recording an out. As mentioned, Trevor May wasn’t effective either but I’ve moved May to next-in-line in Minnesota although I’ve maintained committee status for all three. Taylor Rogers is dealing with a sore back and should return soon. If he was healthy he probably would have been used last night. After last night’s outing, Parker’s ERA stands at 4.37 with even worse peripherals. Even thought last night’s usage might have him ahead of May on the grid, I’m content with the order below. It’s worth noting again that as the Twins have been terrific this year they are likely not going to head into October with Taylor Rogers and some dudes ending games. They aren’t linked to any trades specifically, but that should start changing in the coming weeks.

Quick Hits: Will Smith allowed a few runners to get on but otherwise held on for his 16th save. Lots of teams could use his services and we will track the rumors as they come. Shane Greene pitched around a hit for his 20th save and like Will Smith, as a closer on a bad team he could be on the move, especially if he keeps putting up zeros. Felipe Vazquez got the 8th inning against the Braves last night with the meatier part of the lineup up. Kyle Crick blew the chance in the 9th and Vazquez still holds a firm grasp on the closer’s gig, but in today’s game only a few closers have 100% 9th inning save usage. Greg Holland got the save (10), Blake Treinen pitched a scoreless 9th up four runs striking out a pair and helping easing some minor concerns as he was in a rough patch.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 6/13/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Archie Bradley Yoan Lopez
ATL Luke Jackson Jacob Webb Anthony Swarzak
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Matt Barnes Brandon Workman Marcus Walden Brian Johnson
CHC Pedro Strop Steve Cishek Brandon Kintzler Craig Kimbrel
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Evan Marshall
CIN Raisel Iglesias Amir Garrett David Hernandez Robert Stephenson
CLE Brad Hand Nick Wittgren Adam Cimber
COL Wade Davis Scott Oberg Jairo Diaz
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Victor Alcantara
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Hector Rondon Collin McHugh
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Wily Peralta
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Dylan Floro
MIA Sergio Romo Tayron Guerrero Nick Anderson Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Alex Claudio
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Robert Gsellman
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Blake Treinen Lou Trivino Liam Hendriks
PHI Hector Neris Vince Velasquez Jose Alvarez David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Francisco Liriano Kyle Crick Keone Kela
STL Jordan Hicks John Gant Carlos Martinez
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Anthony Bass Austin Adams Hunter Strickland
TB Diego Castillo Jose Alvarado Emilio Pagan
TEX Shawn Kelley Jose LeClerc Chris Martin
TOR Joe Biagini Daniel Hudson Sam Gaviiglio Ken Giles
WSH Sean Doolittle Wander Suero Tanner Rainey

Bullpen Report: June 9, 2019

Jeremy Jeffress pitched a scoreless 8th handing the ball off to Josh Hader who recorded his 15th save of the year. After Jeffress returned from the IL, it was mentioned that he might bite into Hader’s save chances, giving him more flexibility but even though Jeffress has been effective, Hader has kept the sole closer job. The trade deadline hot stove might heat up in Milwaukee with additional relief options, but even if the Brewers bring in another closer, Hader’s value would remain fairly high given how utterly ridiculous he is. There are no strong rumors at the moment but those in redraft leagues should hold firm regardless. However, year to year relievers can be pretty fickle and there may be no higher time to sell Hader if you are in a keeper or dynasty league.

• The Braves surprised me in signing Dallas Keuchel since they had passed on Kimbrel who was maybe a bigger need in the pen. With that said, Luke Jackson remains their go-to-guy, getting the last four outs for his 9th save. Anthony Swarzak pitched 1.2 perfect innings in the 7th and 8th and his recent performances along with Jacob Webb’s struggles have placed him on the grid. Swan Newcomb got two outs in the 8th and he remains the main set up option ahead of Luke Jackson. The Braves still have a ton of young arms that could emerge from the pen or be used for additional seasoned bullpen arms but for now it looks like Jackson could be an above average closer here on out, both in terms of saves and ratios.

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Bullpen Report: June 6, 2019

• The Cubs signed Craig Kimbrel to a three-year $43M deal and as soon as he’s ready, he will be the Cubs closer moving forward. Since Kimbrel obviously missed out on Spring Training and the start of the season he will take some time to build up his arm strength and get into seasonal shape. The guess is a few weeks but whether that is two or four, I can’t say, but as soon as he’s ready he’s locked into the 9th. Kimbrel isn’t particularly fond of the committee either, so I imagine his role will strictly be the closer, and not necessarily entering in a high leverage spot in the 7th. For that, the Cubs will continue to turn to Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek, and co. Pedro Strop is back off the IL and picked up a save immediately upon return but last night the save chance went to Cishek. Strop isn’t going to be overused right off of the IL but he should be considered the main source of saves before Kimbrel arrives.

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Bullpen Report: May 31, 2019

• For someone with such incredible heat I’m continually amazed that Jordan Hicks doesn’t get more whiffs but Hicks nonetheless pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save of the year. While Hicks hasn’t been particularly great this year, he’s been able to weather the storm and hold onto the job. he entered the year in a possible committee with Andrew Miller but his ineffectiveness has allowed Hicks to have complete control. We have him yellow since he’s hit a few rough patches in May but it’s likely that he remains the sole closer in St. Louis. A small tweak could unlock more whiffs on his 101+ heat which could make him an elite option but fantasy owners will have to be happy with an ERA in the mid-high threes and 30 or so saves.

Kenley Jansen was called on for the final four outs after Hyun-Jin Ryu got all of the previous ones. Although this is the bullpen report, I just want to point out how fun it’s been following Ryu this year who lowered his ERA to 1.48 last night. Anywho back to the bullpens, Jansen was perfect in his four outs and struck out a pair for his 16th save. Like every competitive team except maybe the Yankees, the Dodgers are likely to look for relief help at the deadline but no acquisition would affect Jansen who’s job remains as secure as ever. His 3.33 ERA is a bit pedestrian for his standards and even his 2.52 SIERA is worse than we’ve come to expect but even the This Is 30 version of Jansen is a top closing option who should get 35 saves and 75-90 strikeouts.

Adam Morgan hit the IL for the Phillies, and although he’s vanished from the grid he was always lurking as an option for a one or two out save opportunity if lefties were coming. Hector Neris has low key taken the job by storm with a 2.56 SIERA and a swinging strike rate of 18.1% which ranks 6th among qualified relievers. If/when David Robertson comes back from injury, it’s still likely that Neris holds onto the job.

• I was singing Ian Kennedy’s praises earlier this year and I probably got a little too ahead of myself as we have watched his ERA balloon to 4.18. With that said, he’s still  the best option in the pen for the Royals and he threw a perfect 9th for his 3rd save of the year.  The Royals don’t figure to have an abundance of save opportunities but after a lot of committeeing, they might be settling on Kennedy as their main guy. If he can avoid a disaster he could provide decent source of saves for a team in need but there is still some buyer beware with projected ERAs ranging from 4.11 to 5.14.

Jeremy Jeffress pitched two scoreless last night striking out a pair and lowered his ERA to 2.55. Once Jeffress came off of the IL we expected him to possibly sniff the 9th once he was up and running. However, in his first appearances Jeffress’ velo was 90-93 which was a cause for concern. Since then he’s inched up although it’s still not the 95+ mph heat we have become accustomed to. With that said, if he keeps putting up zeros he could see a save situation or two, allowing Hader to pitch more setup but as the trade deadline heats up I would expect the Brewers to bring in another option who is more reliable than Jeffress who could steal a few save opportunities.

• Speaking of the trade deadline, Will Smith continued his great year and saved his 13th game last night for the Giants. I keep checking and there still aren’t any strong rumors yet but I will still predict that he’s moved in July to a contender. While there could be more dominant arms available, they will likely demand a costly return and Smith can be utilized both as a “proven” closer and as a situational lefty depending on a team’s depth and need. As the deadline heats up now that the draft is almost here, we will make sure to make those rumors a big part of the Bullpen Report since many jobs could be change on a dime.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 5/31/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Archie Bradley Yoan Lopez
ATL Luke Jackson Sean Newcomb Jacob Webb A.J. Minter
BAL Shawn Armstrong Branden Kline Mychal Givens Nathan Karns
BOS Matt Barnes Marcus Walden Brandon Workman Brian Johnson
CHC Steve Cishek Brandon Kintzler Brad Brach Pedro Strop
CWS Alex Colome Kelvin Herrera Evan Marshall
CIN Raisel Iglesias David Hernandez Amir Garrett
CLE Brad Hand Nick Wittgren Adam Cimber
COL Scott Oberg Bryan Shaw Chad Bettis Wade Davis
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Blaine Hardy
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Hector Rondon Collin McHugh
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Wily Peralta
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Dylan Floro
MIA Sergio Romo Tayron Guerrero Adam Conley Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Junior Guerra Jeremy Jeffress
MIN Blake Parker Taylor Rogers Ryne Harper Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Jeurys Familia Robert Gsellman Seth Lugo
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Blake Treinen Lou Trivino Joakim Soria
PHI Hector Neris Jose Alvarez Seranthony Dominguez David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Jordan Hicks Andrew Miller Carlos Martinez
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Robbie Erlin
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Anthony Bass Austin Adams Hunter Strickland
TB Diego Castillo Jose Alvarado Emilio Pagan
TEX Shawn Kelley Jose LeClerc Chris Martin
TOR Ken Giles Joe Biagini Daniel Hudson Tim Mayza
WSH Sean Doolittle Kyle Barraclough Wander Suero

Bullpen Report: May 26, 2019

Shawn Kelley had been effective since returning from the IL but he blew his 2nd save lat night against the Angels, allowing three hits and two runs taking the loss. Jose Leclerc pitched a scoreless 7th inning striking out three batters and should be even closer to taking back the closer’s role. Leclerc hasn’t allowed a run in his last five appearances and since May he’s allowed just one run in 10 innings with 19 strikeouts against 5 walks. A change hasn’t been announced but keep an eye on this situation as Leclerc might not give back the job once he starts securing saves, assuming he keeps up his good work of late.

• Since Pedro Strop has hit the IL the Cubs have mostly gone with Steve Cishek for saves but last night with some of their guys unavailable it was Tyler Chatwood who recorded his first save of the year, pitching around two hits in a scoreless 9th. I wouldn’t expect Chatwood to rack up many more saves this year and even though Cishek blew the save on Friday, I would expect him to continue to be the main option moving forward while Strop is out with a hamstring issue. With that said, Strop is close to returning to the Cubs but it’s unlikely he’s given the keys to the 9th immediately upon return. As Greg noted, yesterday, Cishek was very effective before his last outing and even when Strop is back to full strength he could continue to see saves.

Roberto Osuna blew the game for the Astros yesterday but got the win after the Astros scored off of Matt Barnes in the bottom of the 9th. Setting up Osuna was Ryan Pressley who got 4 outs in the 7th and 8th innings. Pressly recently lost his impressive scoreless appearance streak this season but he’s been utterly incredible this season and after last night supports a 0.39 ERA in 21.1 innings with a 1.56/1.74/1.80 FIP/xFIP/SIERA. Pressly might be the best option in the pen but it’s still Osuna to own for saves.

Quick Hits: Josh Lucas threw three innings for the save for Baltimore. He’s not on the grid (yet) but if he keeps pitching well it’s not a tough bar to clear in Baltimore. Julio Urias threw two innings of relief and should continue to rack up solid numbers while he pitches out of the pen. He will return to the rotation at some point but he’s worth owning in whichever role he takes. There was no save in Tampa but Diego Castillo secured a 4 run lead in the 9th while striking out a pair. Castillo, Jose Alvarado and even Emilio Pagan should all be owned depending on the league. Jordan Hicks (10) pitched a perfect 9th, Blake Treinen (10) struggled a bit allowing three hits and two runs but held on for the save, and Aroldis Chapman (14) closed the 2nd game of the double-header against Kansas City.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 5/26/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Archie Bradley Yoan Lopez
ATL Luke Jackson Sean Newcomb Jacob Webb A.J. Minter
BAL Mychal Givens Shawn Armstrong Paul Fry Nathan Karns
BOS Matt Barnes Brandon Workman Ryan Brasier Brian Johnson
CHC Steve Cishek Brandon Kintzler Brad Brach Pedro Strop
CWS Alex Colome Kelvin Herrera Evan Marshall
CIN Raisel Iglesias David Hernandez Amir Garrett
CLE Brad Hand Nick Wittgren Adam Cimber
COL Scott Oberg Carlos Estevez Bryan Shaw Wade Davis
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Blaine Hardy
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Hector Rondon Collin McHugh
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Scott Barlow
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Dylan Floro
MIA Sergio Romo Adam Conley Tayron Guerrero Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Junior Guerra Jeremy Jeffress
MIN Blake Parker Taylor Rogers Trevor May Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Robert Gsellman Jeurys Familia Seth Lugo
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Blake Treinen Lou Trivino Joakim Soria
PHI Hector Neris Pat Neshek Jose Alvarez David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Jordan Hicks Andrew Miller John Gant
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Brandon Brennan Cory Gearrin Hunter Strickland
TB Jose Alvarado Diego Castillo Emilio Pagan
TEX Shawn Kelley Jose LeClerc Chris Martin
TOR Ken Giles Joe Biagini Tim Mayza Ryan Tepera
WSH Sean Doolittle Wander Suero Kyle Barraclough

Bullpen Report: May 23, 2019

Wade Davis went on the IL yesterday with an oblique strain. Thankfully the injury is not considered to be too severe but in his place for saves will be Scott Oberg. Oberg has been an effective set up man this year with a 1.77 ERA but under the hood tells a different story with a 4.70/4.91/5.31 FIP/xFIP/SIERA. Oberg has thrown 20.1 innings and only has 13 strikeouts with 11 walks. His SwStr% suggests a few more whiffs may be coming but the overall profile looks like someone who might get a few saves but hurt your ratios. Behind him is Carlos Estevez and Bryan Shaw. Shaw has the “experience” but he’s carrying a 5.70 ERA this year with Estevez looking like the most promising option of the three but Oberg will be getting the first crack at saves. Estevez has a 3.27 ERA and solid peripherals with a fantastic 15.6% SwStr% and 29 strikeouts against 8 walks in 22 innings. It’s tough to trust a reliever in Colorado that isn’t getting saves but Oberg might not have a long leash if he struggles so I would keep an eye out for Estevez as well.

Shawn Kelley has been off of the IL for two days and he’s closed two doors in that time, getting another save last night against the Mariners, striking out a pair for his 4th save this year. Jose Leclerc’s return to saves is likely imminent but until then Kelley should see the save chances. Regarding Leclerc, he’s been so up and down but in his last four appearances he has 5.1 innings pitched with 11 strikeouts and no walks and a 19.7% SwStr%. Leclerc’s velocity has been fine all year but he was struggling with missing bats and his control, if the last few outings show anything he might be back to where he was. He will likely never be a control artist but if he’s getting whiffs again he should provide solid value here on out, assuming he takes over the closer’s chair soon.

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Bullpen Report: May 19, 2019

• After blowing the save against the Yankees on Friday, Jose Alvarado came back yesterday to get his 5th save of the year. Emilio Pagan pitched in the 8th and 9th getting 5 strikeouts, Hunter Wood pitched in the 10th and  Alvarado finished the 11th for the save. Diego Castillo had pitched in three of the last four games so he wasn’t used and although Alvarado got the save yesterday we are still going to have Castillo atop the committee. With that said, as has been the case all year, Castillo and Alvarado should share the save duties throughout the year and if we flip the order tomorrow I wouldn’t be too surprised. Pagan has taken a back seat in terms of saves of late but it’s worth noting after last night’s performance that he has only allowed one run in 14.2 innings pitched and has an insane 35.9% K-BB%. He shouldn’t be relied upon for more than a couple of random saves but he’s worth rostering nonetheless for ratios and strikeouts.

Hansel Robles has become the go to man for the 9th inning in Anaheim but it was Ty Buttrey who got the save last night, getting the final 5 outs in the process. Although Buttrey received the save, I’m not quite ready to make this a committee again since Robles has really received the vast majority of save chance of late. Robles has the velocity and strikeouts one would want in a closer but Buttrey has been the better pitcher and both should definitely be owned in a majority of leagues. On the year Buttrey has thrown 23.2 innings with only two runs allowed and is supporting a 1.25/2.74/2.37 FIP/xFIP/SIERA with a 13.4% SwStr%. The Angels have used him for more multi-inning appearances with Robles largely throwing in the 9th, I suspect that will continue with Robles still being the nominal closer but Buttrey snagging the occasional save.

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Bullpen Report: May 16, 2019

Blake Parker was used to get the last out of the 8th inning last night with Trevor Hildenberger coming on for the the 9th. However, after giving up three runs Mike Morin came in for the final two outs to get his first save of the year. While the committee is still strong in Minnesota, Mike Morin isn’t a part of it. Parker is still in the lead with Taylor Rogers and Trevor May behind him. Every time the Twins get a save I basically repeat the previous line, but that’s how it will go until something changes!

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Bullpen Report: May 12, 2019

Blake Treinen allowed three hits and blew his second save of the year but only allowed one earned run, struck out a pair, and received the win when the A’s scored off of A.J. Cole in the 9th inning. Treinen has previously been dealing with some elbow issues and his velo was a seasonal low of 96.83 mph during his appearance on April 28th but since then he’s been at his normal 98+. Treinen was never going to duplicate last year’s 0.78 ERA across 80.1 innings pitched but it looks as though the elbow flare up wasn’t a major red flag and he should remain a top closer moving forward.

Jacob deGrom threw seven innings and the Mets went Seth Lugo -> Edwin Diaz for the 8th and 9th innings, just like the grid below. The Mets have insisted that Diaz will only go one inning per appearance which might help kepe him healthier all year but hurts his value a tad since his innings and raw totals won’t be the same as years past. With all that said, Diaz still might be the best closer in the fantasy game.

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Bullpen Report: May 10, 2019

• As Al mentioned yesterday, the Rangers were sticking with a committee of Chris Marin and Shawn Kelley as Leclerc continues to work on his craft. However, the Shawn Kelley and Chris Martin closing tandem is now over for the moment, with Kelley hitting the IL with an infection. This likely helps explain why Chris Martin was used for the previous save as well but with Kelley out for the time being the committee is closed with Martin owning the 9th. The other options in the Rangers bullpen aren’t too compelling so Jose Leclerc will remain on the grid and I have added Airel Jurado to the mix behind him as he has been effective so far in his six appearances maintaining a 0.00 ERA and a compelling 21.4% K-BB%. As far as Leclerc goes, he was used last night and was completely wild, walking three batters without finishing the 9th inning. It wasn’t a save situation but still, after a couple of decent appearances it wasn’t a great sign to see Leclerc struggle again. The Rangers want Leclerc to take back the reins but on the year he has a 181.% BB% and a career low 8.3% SwStr%. His velocity is right where he always is but the whiffs are missing and so is his control. It might not take too many solid appearances for Leclerc to get back into the closer’s chair, but he’s not close at the moment.

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