Bullpen Report: April 20, 2017

With both Neftali Feliz and Corey Knebel appearing in three of the past four days, Milwaukee turned to young flamethrower Jacob Barnes in the ninth-inning today for his first save opportunity. The right-hander failed to disappoint in his 10th trip to the bump this season, needing just 17 pitches (10 strikes) in a scoreless frame of work, striking out one and allowing one free pass en route to his first save of the season — second of his career — and a 7-5 victory over the Cardinals. This may not be the last we see of Barnes in save situations, as some in the scouting community believe he could be the Brewers’ long-term solution in that role. In just over 10 innings this season, Barnes owns a 0.00 ERA (1.76 FIP) and a 10.45 K/9.

Al spoke at length regarding the current situation in Washington during last evening’s edition of the Bullpen Report, so I won’t beat that drum too much again tonight. Buuuuuuuut….Koda Glover appeared in the eighth for two-thirds while Shawn Kelley earned the nod in the final frame. Kelley surrendered a hit, a walk and fanned one en route to his second save of the season preserving a 3-2 Nationals victory over the Braves. Kelley needed 21 pitches (13 strikes, 4 swings-and-misses) to seal the deal and could very well be the leader of this committee moving forward if the Nationals decide to keep that job in house. For now, I’m going to flip flop Kelley/Glover although yellow should reflect a committee type of situation.

Since the offseason, rumors suggested that the White Sox — who are in the midst of a rebuild — could consider shipping veteran right-hander David Robertson to the Nationals to shore up the back end of that bullpen. In addition to Robertson, Trevor Rosenthal’s name floated around today as a potential solution although a deal for the Cardinals’ former closer is hardly imminent. In four appearances this season, Rosenthal is 1-for-1 in save chances with a 2.70 ERA and an 18.9 K/9. Robertson is a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities with a 0.00 ERA (0.12 FIP) and a 17.47 K/9 in 5.2 frames. Both would be fine additions for the Nationals but Robertson may prove to be the more affordable via trade — if the Cardinals would even be willing to discuss moving their right-hander.

Brad Brach made quick work of the Reds in extra innings today, needing just ten pitches (seven strikes, three swings-and-misses) to secure his second save in as many chances while filling in for the injured Zach Britton. In 8.0 innings this season, Brach owns a perfect 0.00 ERA (1.04 FIP) and a 13.5 K/9.

Philadelphia signaled for its third closer in as many weeks today, opting not for Jeanmar Gomez or Joaquin Benoit, but for the trendy Hector Neris. Neris needed 17 pitches (11 strikes, two swings-and-misses) in a clean frame of work to earn his first save of the year and third for his career. Following the game, Philly’s skipper ducked-and-dodged reporters’ attempts to get him to officially name a closer, but Mackanin refused to do so. He indicated that he’ll “likely use Neris again, but wouldn’t officially name anyone the closer, nor would he admit to going with a closer-by-committee.” The best we could get out of Mackanin was “it’s nice to have two guys he could trust in the eighth or ninth.” So basically we’re still yellow and calling it a committee of two. Not juggling roles just yet, but Neris is a fine speculative add and is available in more than 50% of Y! leagues.

Quick Hitters: Craig Kimbrel blew his first save of the season but escaped with the scab win when the Red Sox put three on the board in the top of the 10th. Chris Sale and his 13 strikeout effort straight down the tubes. (#KillTheWin) Brandon Maurer looked rather impressive in a quick frame of work to pick up his third save of the season in a 19-pitch effort. Hair game is on point, too. Chris Devenski picked up a seven out save for his first of the season. He fanned four and surrendered a solo shot to Mike Trout, but he’ll get a pass on that one. Devenski is becoming a trendy mixed league add given his strikeout rates and dual eligibility (SP/RP).

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Fernando Rodney JJ Hoover Archie Bradley
Atlanta Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino Jose Ramirez Mauricio Cabrera
Baltimore Brad Brach Darren O’Day Mychal Givens Zach Britton
Boston Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Heath Hembree Carson Smith
CHI (NL) Wade Davis Pedro Strop Koji Uehara
CHI (AL) David Robertsonon Nate Jones Dan Jennings
Cincy Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Drew Storen
Cleveland Cody Allen Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
Colorado Greg Holland Adam Ottavino Mike Dunn
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Justin Wilson Shane Greene
Houston Ken Giles Luke Gregerson Will Harris
KC Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Peter Moylan
LAA Cam Bedrosian Blake Parker Yusmeiro Petit Huston Street
LAD Kenley Jansen Sergio Romo Grant Dayton
Miami A.J. Ramos Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough
Milwaukee Neftali Feliz Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes
Minnesota Brandon Kintzler Ryan Pressly Matt Belisle Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Addison Reed Fernando Salas Jerry Blevins Jeurys Familia
NY (AL) Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard
Oakland Santiago Casilla Sean Doolittle Ryan Dull
Philly Joaquin Benoit Hector Neris Jeanmar Gomez
Pittsburgh Tony Watson Daniel Hudson Felipe Rivero
St. Louis Seung Hwan Oh Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist
SD Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter Brad Hand Carter Capps
SF Mark Melancon Hunter Strickland Derek Law
Seattle Edwin Diaz Dan Altavilla Nick Vincent Steve Cishek
TB Alex Colome Danny Farquhar Erasmo Ramirez Brad Boxberger
Texas Matt Bush Jeremy Jeffress Jose Leclerc Sam Dyson
Toronto Roberto Osuna Jason Grilli Joe Biagini
Wash. Shawn Kelley Koda Glover Blake Treinen

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

In addition to contributing to the RotoGraphs blog, you can find Alan at his own site, TheFantasyFix.com and follow his nonsense on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

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Dan Altavilla is going to get moved off that chart soon..dude you are killing me in AL only — Tony Zych could be a nice speculative add in deep leagues (HOLDS)


I think Vincent is trusted man in Seattle right now after Diaz; I’d flip those two on the chart.


I think it’s Scribner. If it’s Altavilla (and I REALLY don’t think its Altavilla), then Servais is crazy.


I think Vincent has more trust right now. Vincent has been coming in the 8th and 9th, and Scribner has been pitching more middle innings and hasn’t entered a game with a leverage index over 0.06 since April 8th.

We haven’t seen very many straight-up close games with the Mariners ahead late recently, so it’s hard to see the exact roles, but from usage patterns and performance so far this season, Vincent stands out as next-in-line for me. I agree with you on Scribner being next, though. I think even Zych and Cishek will leapfrog Altavilla if they prove healthy and back to normal.


You were right! Altavilla’s in the minors now.