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Bullpen Report: July 28, 2016

A pair of bullpen arms that could be on the move this weekend — Jeremy Jeffress and Jeanmar Gomez — continue to lock down saves for their respective clubs as the trade deadline quickly approaches. For the Brewers’ right-hander, tonight’s 19-pitch effort resulted in his 24th save in 25 opportunities this season. He fanned one and induced two consecutive worm burners to seal the 6-4 victory over the Diamondbacks. Philadelphia’s Jeanmar Gomez surrendered an earned run on a pair of hits and a walk, but escaped with his 27th save in 30 chances.
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Bullpen Report: July 21, 2016

To kick off this relatively brief installment of the Bullpen Report, let’s chat about some minor changes made to the chart:

Koji Uehara joined teammates Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith and Junichi Tazawa on the disabled list, so he’ll get bumped from the chart for now since there’s only room for one in that column. Ziegler and Barnes slide to the left with Robbie Ross making the second chair for the time being. Normally would seem like a “red” situation, but Ziegler is experienced in the ninth, so we’ll call that yellow.
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Bullpen Report: June 30, 2016

Today the San Diego Padres dealt closer Fernando Rodney to the Miami Marlins for farmhand Chris Paddack — the 17th best prospect in the Marlins’ system according to MLB Pipeline. Entering today, Paddack was 2-0 in six starts with a 0.95 ERA (1.55 FIP) and a 46.9% K-BB% in 28.1 IP for the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League. For the Padres, that means Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer will likely battle it out for ninth-inning duties. Word on the street suggests that Ryan Buchter will get the first crack at the closer role, but General Manager A.J. Preller indicated via conference call that he will defer to manager Andy Green to formally name a replacement for Rodney.
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Bullpen Report: June 23, 2016

With A.J. Ramos unavailable to the Marlins following appearances in four of the last five days, David Phelps took the bump for Don Mattingly in the home half of the final frame against the Cubs. Phelps worked around a pair of hits in the ninth, fanned two and induced a flyout on 24 pitches (14 strikes) to seal the deal for Miami. That’s the third save on the year for the 29-year-old right-hander and the fourth in his career. For the better part of Phelps’ career he took the hill as a starter, but the Marlins have exclusively called on him out of the bullpen this season. The result? Career marks in ERA (2.48), FIP (2.37), K-BB% (22.6%), SwStr% (9.6%), a spike in velocity on each of his offerings and a lot less hard contact allowed (20.6% Hard% vs. career 32.2% Hard%) entering this evening’s effort. Rumblings around the interwebs indicate the Marlins could be buyers around the trade deadline considering their relative success without Dee Gordon, but if by chance they turn into sellers, David Phelps could be an interesting candidate for those seeking bullpen depth.
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Bullpen Report: June 16, 2016

Reports today indicate that Twins’ closer Glen Perkins will likely miss the remainder of the 2016 season. In addition to experiencing rotator cuff issues, the former All-Star will need to go under the knife to repair a torn labrum. After numerous attempts to improve the condition via a throwing program, the southpaw finally shut it down and sought multiple medical opinions on the severity of the injury. Brandon Kintzler and Fernando Abad figure to share the closing duties in Minnesota with Kevin Jepsen being recently removed from the position. Abad features the better peripherals (0.79 ERA/1.99 FIP) and strikeout rates (18.8% K-BB%) at this time, so if you’re deciding between the two, he’s the one I’d be adding. Edit: Just after typing those very words, Abad surrendered a first-pitch three-run homer to Didi Gregorious in the seventh inning. My opinion hasn’t changed, but leaving the grid as is for the time being.
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Bullpen Report: June 9, 2016

A couple of quick notes from today’s action…

Two consecutive days off seemed to be the gameplan for Sam Dyson this evening, making way for left-hander Jake Diekman in the ninth-inning of a save situation against the Astros. Diekman surrendered a leadoff walk to George Springer, but induced a Jose Altuve pop out and a double play off the bat of Tony Kemp to seal the victory, earning his first career save. Diekman’s ten pitch effort (four strikes) against a pair of righties and lefty was rather impressive, but Matt Bush’s trio of strikeouts in the eighth is worthy of a few words as well. Bush, the right-handed setup man, fanned Luis Valbuena and Carlos Gomez to start the frame, then yielded a free pass to Colby Rasmus before finishing off the innings with a strikeout of Jake Marisnick. Bush now owns a 1.42 ERA (1.46 FIP) with a 10.27 K/9 in 12.1 innings on the hill since being recalled. He’ll hang in the second chair for now, but his 96 mph heat will need to be monitored closely as the summer wears on
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Bullpen Report: May 26, 2016

Closer controversy in Houston, anyone? Maybe soon, but maybe not just yet. Ken Giles earned the nod in the ninth tonight with Luke Gregerson unavailable thanks to a combined 43 pitches in the last two evenings. Giles, who came over to Houston in the blockbuster offseason deal with Philadelphia, surrendered an earned run on a pair of singles but held on to notch his first save as an Astro.
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Bullpen Report: May 19, 2016

Unlike most Thursdays, tonight has been a relatively slow night around the league’s bullpens. So we’ll touch on just a couple of items that come to mind at the time of this writing.

As Colin noted in last night’s edition of the Bullpen Report, Jeremy Jeffress blew his first save of the season after he surrendered an earned run on a walk and a hit. But that’s not why Tyler Thornburg earned the call in tonight’s save situation for Milwaukee. Skip signaled for Thornburg because Jeffress took the bump five of the previous six days — the guy just needed some rest. Thornburg fanned two but also allowed two free passes in a 30-pitch effort to notch his first save of the ‘16 season (and in his career!). Jeffress’ is still green, but that shouldn’t take away from Thornburg’s early season success. Entering tonight’s outing, we saw a nice spike in velocity across each of his offerings, a huge spike in K-BB% (30.9%) and a healthy 11.5% SwStr%. SIERA (1.91) and xFIP (2.20) also think Thornburg has pitched better than his 4.32 ERA indicates. For those in holds leagues — he does have eight on the season — Thornburg should be considered, but is likely owned in most of those formats despite just 1% ownership in the Y! Game.
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Bullpen Report: May 12, 2016

For the first time since undergoing “core muscle repair in mid-March,” right-hander Brad Boxberger of the Rays took the bump in a live game during extended Spring Training. Boxberger surrendered two hits and a walk but fanned two batters in the 22-pitch outing. If he feels well tomorrow, Boxberger could head out on a rehab assignment as early as Monday and target a return to the Rays toward the end of this month or early June. Keeping the closer’s chair warm in Tampa has been 27-year-old Alex Colome. He’s a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities with a 1.80 ERA (1.88 SIERA) and a 29.1% K-BB%. His velocity is up a couple of ticks on each of his offerings and his swinging strike rate (13.9%) is currently a career best. Despite the stellar start for Colome, Rays’ skipper Kevin Cash indicated he’ll settle back into the eighth-inning setup role once Boxberger is deemed ready for the show. Box is only owned in 61% of Y! Leagues and should be added if available. Even with the “demotion,” Colome is one of those relievers I’d consider giving a roster spot given his ability to close, steady strikeouts and fine ratios. If you need the roster spot, I’d still hang with him for a week or two to make sure Boxberger transitions well back into his former gig.
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Bullpen Report: April 28, 2016

Long after last evening’s Bullpen Report published, news broke of Huston Street landing on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Street first felt discomfort while warming up Wednesday and the Angels subsequently called upon right-hander Joe Smith in the ninth frame to convert a save. Smith surrendered a hit, but induced a game-ending double play courtesy of Mike Moustakas to earn his first save of the year on eight pitches (seven strikes).
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