Author Archive

Bullpen Report: June 30, 2019

Wade Davis‘ struggles have been well documented so it was nice to see him throw a perfect inning, striking out a pair for his 12th save last night. Davis has been abysmal at home which can explain some of his troubles but Coors Field isn’t going anywhere. One clean save won’t necessarily get Davis out of the dog house either as Scott Oberg was unavailable last night. The next save opportunity for the Rockies will be more telling although given Wade Davis’ contract I have to imagine he gets another chance as full time closer again, and could even have that job back already.

• No save situation in Oakland but Liam Hendriks got the final four outs for the A’s. Blake Treinen is still on the shelf with a shoulder issue but he’s working his way towards returning. Treinen should get the job back once he returns but given his struggles, his elbow issue earlier, and now the shoulder impingement, I wouldn’t bet on an easy and clean return to the 9th. If Treinen has any setbacks, Hendriks would clearly continue to be the closer but even if/when Treinen returns I would hold onto Hendriks as Treinen’s struggles have been fairly prominent.

• Like many people, I was critical of the Braves for not acquiring a reliever but they might have something in Luke Jackson. Jackson pitched around a walk, striking out a pair for his 13th save and although he has quite a few blown saves, he’s been excellent of late. On the year Jackson has a 2.49 SIERA,  a 25.6% K-BB%, and a 15.2% SwStr% which ranks 8th, 17th, and 22nd respectively among qualified relievers. The Braves could still use additional bullpen arms as any competing team could more or less, but they’re not in dire straights for a closer/shutdown reliever. A.J. Minter has also been better of late and although I think Jackson’s job is safe, Minter would likely see saves when Jackson needs a breather moving forward.

• It’s a closer carousel every year but Shane Green has completely avoided it in Detroit, getting his 22nd save last night. I can’t say I expected Greene to be among the league leaders in saves with an ERA under one (0.87) but here we are. I have read that the Tigers would trade Shane Greene, along with other players on the roster, but there hasn’t been a strong link yet with any team. Greene has another year of team control next year so the Tigers won’t be shipping him off for peanuts but I would still expect him to finish the year on another team than Detroit. While Greene has a shiny ERA his peripherals, although pretty good, aren’t quite as strong and he may not be the best reliever on whichever team he would theoretically be traded to. With that said, I would keep cashing in on his saves moving forward as your league mates are probably just as worried as you are about a possible trade.

Quick Hits: Greg Holland doesn’t get talked about too much around here but he’s been consistent as the Diamondbacks closer, notching his 12th save. Holland could be a desired piece if he was put on the market but the DBacks have been pretty good this year and I would expect them to keep him on the team. Poor outing from Hader last night as he only had one strikeout for his 20th save. Roenis Elias took the loss last night but remains the Mariners closer. Barring a bad run he should hold that job so long as he’s in Seattle, which may not last the month as he could be on the move at the deadline as a lefty arm. Jose Alvarado returned to Tampa and gave up a run in a non-save situation in the 9th. Alvarado should continue to pitch in high leverage innings in Tampa, splitting saves with Pagan. Sergio Romo isn’t sexy but he continues to put up saves, grabbing his 15th. It’s assumed Romo will be on the move as well but he’s not a particularly good pitcher so he might actually see more saves than expected to end the year.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 6/30/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Yoan Lopez Andrew Chafin
ATL Luke Jackson A.J. Minter Anthony Swarzak
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Brandon Workman Matt Barnes Ryan Brasier Heath Hembree
CHC Craig Kimbrel Pedro Strop Steve Cishek
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Kelvin Herrera
CIN Michael Lorenzen Raisel Iglesias Amir Garrett
CLE Brad Hand Tyler Clippard Nick Wittgren
COL Scott Oberg Wade Davis Jairo Diaz
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Victor Alcantara
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Will Harris
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Wily Peralta
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Yimi Garcia
MIA Sergio Romo Nick Anderson Jose Quijada Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Junior Guerra Jeremy Jeffress
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Robert Gsellman Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendriks Lou Trivino Yusmeiro Petit Blake Treinen
PHI Hector Neris Juan Nicasio Tommy Hunter David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Carlos Martinez John Gant Andrew Miller Jordan Hicks
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Austin Adams Anthony Bass Hunter Strickland
TB Emilio Pagan Jose Alvarado Chaz Roe Diego Castillo
TEX Shawn Kelley Chris Martin Jose LeClerc
TOR Ken Giles Daniel Hudson Joe Biagini
WSH Sean Doolittle Fernando Rodney Wander Suero Kyle Barraclough

Bullpen Report: June 27, 2019

• After a longer than normal offseason for him, Craig Kimbrel is back on the Cubs as he’s getting activated and is now no longer a Cubs minor leaguer. Kimbrel didn’t join the Cubs to not pitch in the 9th inning so he immediately moves to the top of the grid with Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek behind him in the pecking order. Kimbrel showed a few signs last year of some rust but 90% of Prime Kimbrel is still an elite closing option. It’s probably smarter to wait to see how Kimbrel does before anointing him as such but he will surely have a long leash, he will get strike outs even if he’s not as effective as expected, and the Cubs should provide him a healthy dose of leads to protect.

• The trade rumors are starting to percolate with Jon Morosi going over a few relievers who could be on the market. The Pirates have yet to suggest they’re going to fully sell and as a result haven’t mentioned Felipe Vazquez as a trade piece but Morosi connects the Dodgers as someone to have interest in Vazquez. Any contending team would of course love to add a Felipe Vazquez but until he’s mentioned as available it’s hard to say anything is imminent. With that said, Vazquez would likely lose his closer’s role on the Dodgers with Kenley Jansen cemented there. And while every team would love a Vazquez, not every team has the assets to acquire but the Dodgers do have a great farm system with a few pieces MLB or near MLB ready which is likely something the Pirates would want if they were to “rebuild.”

Of more interest in the Morosi piece is Will Smith, who we have mentioned as a trade candidate since the season started. Although the Giants have been horrible, Smith has upped his game becoming not just a solid lefty option but a shutdown reliever. Will Smith ranks 3rd in the MLB in K-BB% for relievers behind Josh Hader and Ken Giles but ahead of bigger names like Edwin Diaz, Brad Hand, and Felipe Vazquez. The Giants expected to trade Will Smith this summer but they likely didn’t expect to get as big of a return as they might get given how well Smith has done. If/when Smith is traded, it will be interesting to see who replaces him. Tony Watson’s usage suggests it could be him but Sam Dyson and Mark Melancon (and his contract) are also lingering. Reyes Moronta is the closer of the future but there are too many options ahead of him at the moment. Also, while Smith gets a lot of the deserved attention, all the aforementioned names behind him in the pen are on the table too and could be moved in a deal either with or separately from Smith.

• For a while Matt Barnes was named the best reliever in Boston but wasn’t being used as the main closer. While he still might be the best reliever of the bunch he hasn’t been of late as his struggles continued last night blowing his 6th save after Jose Abreu took him deep in the 9th inning.  The Sox pen remains both a committee and a disaster with Barnes, Workman, Brasier, and others eligible for a save on a given night.

• Speaking of disasters, Raisel Iglesias had one last night in a non-save situation. Iglesias entered in a tie game in the 8th and proceeded to allow three hits, a walk, and a homer to Justin Bour culminating in four earned runs and a 7th loss. Iglesias’ seasonal line is still pretty good with a 3.68 SIERA and a healthy amount of whiffs but he has been a legitimate disaster in non-save situations. A poor outing is a poor outing and it’s hard to fully buy into Iglesias not being as good in non-save situations moving forward, but earlier this season he confessed his distaste for being used non-traditionally so it might force the Reds hand to use him as a regular closer. Iglesias’ struggles outside of the 9th make me less likely to put the Reds situation as a committee even if they have low key been trending towards that direction. I’m keeping the grid the same with Iglesias’ seat getting a tad warm.

Quick Hits: Taylor Rogers had a four-out save and his grasp on the job is tightening. As we have mentioned, the Twins could very likely add to their pen and throw Rogers and co. back into a committee but for now he’s their guy. Roenis Elias recorded his 10th save, throwing two innings in the process and he’s proving himself as someone capable to close games or be used as a lefty and should be a decent trade target this summer because as we know everything is for sale in Seattle. A.J. Minter got the save last night with Luke Jackson and Anthony Swarzak getting a night off. Minter is still behind those two in the pecking order but he’s been pretty good of late and is helping firm the Braves pen. Liam Hendricks nailed down his 2nd save of the year with Blake Treinen on the IL. Treinen has a shoulder issue so I wouldn’t bank on a quick return and would bank on Hendricks receiving the vast majority of saves for the remainder of the year in Oakland. Sean Doolittle (17) and  Wade Davis (11) also recorded saves last night.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 6/27/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Yoan Lopez Andrew Chafin
ATL Luke Jackson Anthony Swarzak A.J. Minter
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Brandon Workman Matt Barnes Ryan Brasier Heath Hembree
CHC Craig Kimbrel Pedro Strop Steve Cishek
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Kelvin Herrera
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Amir Garrett
CLE Brad Hand Tyler Clippard Nick Wittgren
COL Wade Davis Scott Oberg Jairo Diaz
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Victor Alcantara
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Will Harris
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Wily Peralta
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Ross Stripling
MIA Sergio Romo Nick Anderson Tayron Guerrero Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Junior Guerra
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Robert Gsellman Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendriks Lou Trivino Yusmeiro Petit Blake Treinen
PHI Hector Neris Jose Alvarez Juan Nicasio David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Carlos Martinez John Gant Andrew Miller Jordan Hicks
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Austin Adams Anthony Bass Hunter Strickland
TB Emilio Pagan Jose Alvarado Chaz Roe Diego Castillo
TEX Shawn Kelley Chris Martin Jose LeClerc
TOR Ken Giles Daniel Hudson Joe Biagini
WSH Sean Doolittle Wander Suero Tanner Rainey Kyle Barraclough

Bullpen Report: June 23, 2019

• Earlier this season Blake Treinen was dealing with some elbow discomfort and now he has been placed on the IL with a shoulder issue. The A’s are calling it minor but in the meantime Liam Hendricks is expected to fill in as closer as he secured his first save last night, pitching a perfect 9th while striking out a pair. Some muscle memory with Joakim Soria on the grid in recent years almost made me throw him below but Yusmeiro Petit pitched 1.1 innings with 4 strikeouts in the 7th and 8th and has been a little more effective than Soria this year. Lou Trivino was expected to be next in line for Oakland, but he’s been struggling himself of late and Hendricks leapfrogged him in the pecking order. Whether Hendricks is closing for a couple of weeks or more will depending on how Treinen recovers. I’m clearly now doctor but it’s also clear that Treinen has not quite been himself this year even if his velocity has maintained.

• We mentioned Diego Castillo’s recent struggles yesterday and those continued with Castillo allowing two runs and four baserunners in the 7th inning last night, getting his 6th loss this season. The Rays have always been in a committee so its still a three-headed closrer with Castillo, Jose Alvarado, and Emilio Pagan but the preferred order of operations isn’t necessarily known. With Castillo’s struggles (11 runs in his last 9 appearances) I have put Alvarado atop the committee even though he has dealt with his own struggles this season. I don’t feel confident enough to say Pagan has jumped into the lead but if he keeps throwing like he has been that could happen.

• Naturally after I take off the committee tag for the Twins, Taylor Rogers is used in the 8th inning and blows the lead. After the Twins scored in the top of the 10th to take the lead Blake Parker was used in the bottom half, throwing a perfect inning for his 10th save. I am going to sadly reapply the committee tag here as the Twins will still throw their best option in the earlier innings on occasion, but Rogers is still by far the best reliever to own in Minnesota.

Jose Leclerc pitched in the 8th inning last night, throwing a scoreless frame dropping his ERA to 4.72. Although he has an elevated ERA his 3.07 SIERA and 3.58 xFIP are closer to in line with what we expected from him this year. With that said, Leclerc still isn’t getting saves yet in Texas with Chris Martin getting the nod for the 9th instead of Shawn Kelley last night. Martin pitched a clean inning for his 3rd save. With Leclerc looming it feels silly for Texas to anoint Chris Marin as the closer but it seems as though he and Kelley could be co-closers moving forward. With that said, Kelley has struggled of late so a change wouldn’t be surprising. Leclerc had a few poor outings in a row in early June but in spite of that, since May 12th he has a 1.58 SIERA, 41.9% K-BB%, and a 16.1% SwStr%. Leclerc will never have particularly good control but he’s back to missing bats again and I would bet the over on his rest-of-season saves compared to Kelley+Martin.

Quick Hits: Will Smith remains an obvious trade deadline candidate but amidst that he keeps shutting down the 9th, getting 20th save last night. With Aroldis Chapman getting a break, Zack Britton recorded his 3rd save. Britton’s experience (and contract) might place him next in line in New York but he walked three batters last night and overall hasn’t been particularly effective, with Adam Ottavino the obvious best reliever behind Chapman. Josh Hader threw two perfect innings for his 18th save, Brad hand (22), Felipe Vazquez (19), and Ken Giles (12) all recorded saves as well.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 6/23/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Yoan Lopez Andrew Chafin
ATL Luke Jackson Anthony Swarzak A.J. Minter
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Matt Barnes Brandon Workman Ryan Brasier Heath Hembree
CHC Pedro Strop Steve Cishek Brandon Kintzler Craig Kimbrel
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Kelvin Herrera
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Amir Garrett
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 Ross Stripling
MIA Sergio Romo Tayron Guerrero Nick Anderson Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Junior Guerra
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Robert Gsellman Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendriks Lou Trivino Yusmeiro Petit Blake Treinen
PHI Hector Neris Jose Alvarez Vince Velasquez David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano 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 Austin Adams Anthony Bass Hunter Strickland
TB Jose Alvarado Diego Castillo Emilio Pagan
TEX Shawn Kelley Chris Martin Jose LeClerc
TOR Ken Giles Daniel Hudson Joe Biagini
WSH Sean Doolittle Wander Suero Tanner Rainey Kyle Barraclough

Bullpen Report: June 22, 2019

• With Diego Castillo having been used in the previous games (while also struggling a bit) the Rays continued their committee with Emilio Pagan getting the last two outs for his 4th save of the year. Oliver Drake got the last out in the 8th and the first of the 9th but was relieved for Pagan after allowing a walk. Jose Alvarado has been out of commission for personal reasons but threw a bullpen session this week and should be back in action soon. We still have Castillo first in the pecking order but if his struggles continue, Alvarado or Pagan could leapfrog. All three had more appealing ratios earlier this season but they’re all effective relievers and could all be owned, especially in leagues counting holds.

Read the rest of this entry »


Bullpen Report: June 20, 2019

• Since returning from the IL, Wade Davis has been very ineffective, leading to a deserved red band in the grid below. The Rockies haven’t made any changes yet of course and called on Davis in the 9th last night for the save. Davis got his 9th save while striking out a pair, but not before allowing a solo shot to Kevin Cron. It’s nice to see Davis get the save and a couple of whiffs but since his return he’s allowed 8 runs in 6 appearances and a very meager 7.1% Swinging Strike rate. Although he got the save, Davis will have to start putting up zeros to hold the job or a potential return to the IL.

Read the rest of this entry »


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


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