A quick apologies on a belated Bullpen Report going over Monday’s games.
• Monday’s doubleheader was quite interesting for Phillies reliever Victor Arano. Arano pitched in the 10th inning of a tie game in the first game but his outing didn’t last long as Wilmer Flores hit a walk off homer for the Mets. Seranthony Dominguez pitched a perfect two innings in the 8th and 9th which still establishes him as the leading closer candidate, even if Kapler might play the matchups or use Dominguez for multi-inning outings.
In the second game, Arano found himself pitching in the ninth inning and only needed one out to get his 3rd save of the year. Tommy Hunter got the previous 5 outs for the hold. With Dominguez unavailable after his heavy workload in the previous game, Arano was available to get the last out. Edubray Ramos is also in the setup mix with Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek, but it seems that only Arano and Dominguez are in any committee for saves.
• There was no save situation last night for the Giants as the game was tied but Tony Watson threw in the 7th, Mark Melancon in the 8th and Will Smith in the 9th. With Smith picking up the last few saves his place on top of the closing totem pole seems safe with Melancon and Watson behind him. Melancon’s salary suggests he might sneak in for saves but he will need to prove it on the field and so far Smith has been outstanding with a 1.03 ERA, 1.11 FIP and 2.02 SIERA. He may be a lefty but he’s getting everyone out and has a fairly strong grasp on the 9th.
• Blake Treinen continued his all-star season with another scoreless inning, dropping his ERA to 0.79 for his 23rd save. Treinen historically was a hard thrower and worm killer but this year his posted his worst GB% at 47.3% but is having by far his best year with a 18.5% swinging strike rate, far higher than last year’s 13.1%. Treinen still doesn’t allow too many fly balls, throws 97 mph and gets whiffs among the elite as only Josh Hader has a higher swinging strike rate among qualified relievers this year. Add it all up and he’s an elite closing option. Of other interest in Oakland is the guy setting up Treinen – Lou Trivino who threw two perfect frames in the 7th and 8th while also striking out three batters. His 14.7% SwStr% is far below Treinen but still ranks 22nd among qualified relievers. On the year he has a 1.34 ERA, 3.05 FIP, and 3.15 SIERA. A 28.7% strikeout rate is nothing to sneeze at either and it actually might see some growth considering all of the whiffs he’s able to get. Treinen’s job is super safe, but if something happens to him Trivino is the obvious replacement.
• Fernando Rodney danced in and out of a little trouble, getting his 20th save on the year. His Age + Twins Record = Trade Rumors and he’s been linked with the Red Sox the last I heard. He will probably get traded this summer and likely would lose his closing gig wherever he went. If he ends up getting moved, expect Trevor Hildenberger to get the first crack at saves with Addison Reed and Zach Duke behind him.
• The Royals situation is a mess but Kevin McCarthy and Brandon Maurer are likely in the committee with Wily Peralta still in charge. As we discussed when Kelvin Herrera was first moved, if you need saves and snagged Peralta off the wire then you still need saves. I would almost recommend moving off of this situation entirely as neither pitcher is particularly good and save totals can’t really be expected moving forward outside of a handful.
• Nobody is perfect, not even Josh Hader has he blew the lead for the Brewers against the Marlins, allowing two homers in 1.2 innings. Drew Steckenrider blew the lead for the Marlins in the 8th and Brad Ziegler received a win in the 10th after Corey Knebel gave up the game winning run. In between Kyle Barraclough threw a scoreless 9th in a tie game. Barraclough is starting to regress a tad, having given up hits and run sin his previous outings but his job is still very safe, so long as he’s still on the Marlins. In Milwaukee, Knebel’s job as closer is still green as well with Hader picking up innings, strikeouts and holds ahead of him.
• Quick Hits: Raisel Iglesias got the last two outs for his 18th save against the Indians. Sergio Romo “blew” the save last night but also recorded four outs without giving up a run – he still looks like the closer (or the closest approximation of one) in Tampa. Felipe Vazquez recorded his 19th save, pitching around two hits in the 9th. It’s been 11 appearances since he’s allowed a run as he’s put his terrible end of May behind him. Zach Britton closed the first game against the Yankees helping his trade value. In the second game Giovanny Gallegos got a three inning save in a blow out and I might bet the under on another save on the Yankees for the rest of his career.
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