Bullpen Report: April 16, 2015

There were a lot of save opportunities today and the closers (one set-up man) were perfect in converting these saves (or at least when I published this). I won’t get into every save tonight, just the more interesting ones.


Sean Dolittle faced one batter in the 8th inning tonight after surrendering a home run the night before down by a run. Instead of turning to Doolittle for the four-out save, Bob Melvin went to Ryan Madson for the first time since he gave up two runs to the Angels. Madson wasn’t perfect and gave up an unearned run, but he did get himself his third save of the season. Using Doolitle on Friday was not necessarily ideal for Melvin, so there will still be some save opportunities ahead for Doolittle. Doolittle has given up runs in his previous two appearances, so it’s not a rock solid hold on the closer role, which seems to be inconsistent anyway with the A’s using their top relievers in high leverage situations for the most part.

Kevin Jepsen earned his second save of the year, giving up a walk in his second straight save appearance, while also earning a strikeout in those appearances as well. Jepsen converted 15 of 20 saves last season while playing for the Rays and the Twins. He started the season a little rough, but could be a solid closer candidate for the Twins for now. His strikeout rate went down last year as his walk rate went up, yet he still posted his best ERA last season. Trevor may has a whopping 12 K’s in 7 innings so far, so he definitely is a darkhorse to take over the role in case Jepsen falters, but I am concerned with those 6 walks so far.

Craig Kimbrel was absolutely dominant tonight, striking out the heart of the Blue Jays line-up. After a rough outing on April 11th against Baltimore, Kimbrel appears to be fine earning saves in his last three appearances. More interesting, though, for those in holds leagues is Koji Uehara who has not given up a run yet and has five holds so far. Wouldn’t expect you to pick up many saves with Uehara for obvious reasons, but always puts up solid numbers and in leagues that counts holds, will be just as valuable as your top closers.

Steve Cishek earned his first save of the year and it was an adventure. After getting the first two batters out, Cishek gave up a single to Beltran and Castro, who then stole second base, putting the tying and winning runs in scoring position. Cishek did what he does best and enduced a Chase Headley groundball to end the game. Joaquin Benoit also pitched very well in the 8th, facing a total of four batters because of an error, so keep an eye on him in case Cishek falters as the closer.

Speaking of adventures and first saves of the year, J.J. Hoover earned his first save of the year, but it was anything but clean. Given a three run cushion, Hoover allowed a lead-off double to Matt Holliday and after getting two outs, gave up a two-run homer to Brandon Moss. Then he walks the next batter, really making the game interesting, and finally ended the game on the extremely common batter’s interference. The Reds closer situation is one that I tried to avoid this year, and this further proves why despite the save.

Quick Hitters: Jason Grilli earned his first save of the year giving up a single and a walk, but also struck out the side. In back-to-back nights, the Mets and Indians each had a large lead and then almost blew them respectively. Addison Reed gave up two in 1.2 innings, so Familia had to cool the flames in .1 innings, still giving up a run, but earning his third save. Today, the Indians had the large lead, until Bryan Shaw gave up 4 runs (two home runs) in .2 innings appearance. Cody Allen came in for the four-out save, his third of the season. Francisco Rodriguez had a perfect inning for his third save, his second in two straight opportunities. Since giving up 3 runs on Opening Day, Rodriguez has not given up a run in five appearances.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Tyler Clippard
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino Jason Grilli Jim Johnson
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Mychal Givens
Boston Craig Kimbrel Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Carson Smith
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Pedro Strop Justin Grimm
CHI (AL) David Robertson Nate Jones Jacob Petricka
Cincy J.J. Hoover Jumbo Diaz Tony Cingrani
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado Jake McGee Chad Qualls Justin Miller Adam Ottavino
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Mark Lowe Justin Wilson Bruce Rondon
Houston Luke Gregerson Ken Giles Pat Neshek
KC Wade Davis Joakim Soria Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Chris Hatcher Yimi Garcia
Miami A.J. Ramos Bryan Morris Craig Breslow Carter Capps
Milwaukee Jeremy Jeffress Michael Blazek Tyler Thornburg Will Smith
Minnesota Kevin Jepsen Trevor May Casey Fien Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Hansel Robles
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Chasen Shreve Aroldis Chapman
Oakland Sean Doolittle Ryan Madson John Axford
Philly Jeanmar Gomez David Hernandez Dalier Hinojosa Andrew Bailey
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Neftali Feliz
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seung Hwan Oh
SD Fernando Rodney Brandon Maurer Kevin Quackenbush
SF Santiago Casilla Hunter Strickland George Kontos Sergio Romo
Seattle Steve Cishek Joaquin Benoit Tony Zych
TB Alex Colome Danny Farquhar Xavier Cedeno Brad Boxberger
Texas Shawn Tolleson Sam Dyson Keone Kela
Toronto Roberto Osuna Drew Storen Brett Cecil
Wash. Jonathan Papelbon Shawn Kelley Blake Treinen

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

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el burro
el burro

Castro looking more and more like the 8th inning RHP option in Colorado, and likely next option in the event McGee falters. Another 1-2-3 against the Cubs today. Up to 4 holds on the year…

socios borrachos
socios borrachos

i second the motion on castro. it would be foolish to go to chad qualls over him if the opportunity arises