Apologies again on the belated BR but onto the news…
• A.J. Ramos had been struggling of late, particularly with his control (5.28 BB/9) but he’s been placed on the DL with a right finger fracture. Fernando Rodney will slide into the ninth inning for now, so kudos to anyone who held onto him after he was traded and then was mediocre on Florida. Behind Rodney we have Kyle Barraclough and Mike Dunn. However, Brian Ellington threw in the eighth inning last night and has a shiny ERA, he could enter the grid as well.
• In other injury news, Cam Bedrosian was placed on the DL with finger issues of his own. In his place we moved Fernando Salas to the closer spot. Salas has never been that effective of a reliever and he certainly hasn’t been this year with a 4.66/4.87/4.67 ERA/FIP/xFIP line and he shouldn’t have too long of a leash if he struggles. J.C. Ramirez and Deolis Guerra should be behind Salas if he falters and this could even end up a committee of sorts until Bedrosian is back up. Ramirez has seen higher leverage but I actually like Guerra more. He’s mostly famous for being part of the package the Mets sent to the Twins in the Johan Santana deal and although he’s flamed out as being an impact starter, he’s done well on the Angels this year. He doesn’t miss too many bats but has a 1.5% BB% in 35.2 innings this year and if Salas struggles he could see a save opportunity.
• I got one thing right yesterday and one thing wrong. I correctly placed Adam Ottavino as the new closer before the Rockies announced the change, which they finally did. Ottavino has been effective in Colorado throughout his career and although he won’t be a lights out closer like seemingly half the league these days, he should prove a solid source of saves as the Rockies grind out the rest of the season.
I also got something wrong in suggesting Raisel Iglesias wouldn’t be used for saves in Cincinnati. There is no word on Tony Cingrani losing his job after his performance on Monday night but Iglesias spelled him as closer last night, recording his first save on the year. When Iglesias first entered the pen the Reds said how he wouldn’t be used as closer but they are obviously warming up to that idea as Bryan Price says it’s “something we’ll have to weigh moving forward.” Some pitchers aren’t made to start and Iglesias with his injury this year could prove to be one of them. If Cingrani falters again, Iglesias could move into the role indefinitely. Sorry if I led you astray, missing your chance to snag Iglesias off of the wire.
• I’m not quite sure what to make of the Indians pen currently. Andrew Miller was brought on in a high leverage situation in the seventh inning last night with Cody Allen getting the save in the ninth. I’m moving this situation to yellow but it’s really become a two-headed committee between Allen and Miller. We have Miller in the first chair but it’s possible Allen moves in or they flip-flop the entire year. Both “closers” are worth owning but expecting full time save totals from either moving forward would seem to be foolish. The baseball fan in me loves how the Indians are utilizing the pen but the Bullpen Report writer in me is slightly annoyed.
• Quick Hits: Craig Kimbrel struggled last night and Matt Barnes had to come in to finish the save. Kimbrel threw 37 pitches and might get a day off today. Jake Barrett hasn’t looked too dominant in the ninth so it’s nice to see him throw a scoreless ninth for the save. Sam Dyson recorded a save after getting the night off previously. He has thrown in three of the last four, so Jake Diekman could spell him again if another opportunity comes up today. Top prospect Alex Reyes was called up by the Cardinals and will primarily pitch out of the pen for now. He struggled a bit in AAA this year particularly with his control but could be a monster out of the pen. He threw a perfect ninth last night, striking out one batter without a walk while almost hitting 102 mph. He’s not on the grid now but if he harnesses his control in the pen he could make an appearance and impact.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias