Bullpen Report: April 21, 2016

Back on my old beat! The ‘Report team needed a pinch hitter, and they gave me the keys to the chart so watch out. Bet I don’t even make a single change, but it is early in the season, and things change rapidly, so let’s see.

The early slate didn’t have too many surprises. Huston Street (4) remains ageless, though his velocity and strikeout rate get worse with every year. He’s always good for a two-week blow at some point, and if he’s not getting the strikeouts, he’s a moderate risk. But veterans like that get all the leash in the world, and he’s going to stay green. (Yellowish green in my mind if only because he has the second-worst velocity among closers, all the way down to 87/88.)

Arizona pitched Dan Hudson in a big win, but he got the hold because he pitched before Arizona blew it open. He’ll get more holds, and he pitched behind the worst velocity closer in the game in Brad Ziegler (83 mph!). He’s the handcuff for sure.

Trevor May pitched in a big win, not a great sign, but as a commenter points out, it was a close win while he was warming up, so he looks like the setup guy. Kevin Jepsen will be fine until we hear more from Glen Perkins.

Alex Colome (3) got the save and Danny Farquhar pitched the sixth! I don’t trust Tampa closers much, they like to cycle through too much, and Brad Boxberger news is coming any day. If you can get anything for Colome now, might as well trade him and go hunting for more saves on the wire, is what I think. But you’re not paying for what I think.

Jim Johnson pitched the eighth in a game that Alexi Ogando eventually blew, so let’s move him ahead of Jason Grilli. Grilli is 39 and throwing 91+, and that’s big-time velocity loss. He says he’s rusty, I say he’s old. He’s more droppable with every day and launching himself off all of my shallower league rosters right now. Other news from that game is that former catcher Chris Hatcher cemented his role as setup man to Kenley Jansen, who doesn’t need a handcuff.

Cody Allen’s team was in a tie game in extra innings and they put him in for more than one inning. The first inning went fine, but the second, not so much. Allen gave up a three-run job to Robinson Cano. Allen’s strikeout rate is a concern, but let’s not go yellow yet. His setup men are either struggling (Bryan Shaw) or have a similar strikeout rate without the same track record (Zach McAllister). Allen’s velocity is down a tick plus, but it’s still at least average. Color him green-yellow in your mind if you like, but there are so many strikeouts in his rear view mirror that I’m going to give him more leash.

In that same game, Joaquin Benoit (balls) gave up the game-tying homer and my preseason fave with the fancy slider — Tony Zych — has continued his clean slate work. I’m going to move Zych ahead of Benoit because he’s a better pitcher right now. He’s got three more ticks than Benoit and a similar swinging strike rate that suggest more strikeouts are coming, and his role has been creeping into more higher leverage situations as the season has progressed. Steve Cishek is back to where he was, though, let’s color this green.

Ryan Madson got the save against the Yankees for “I will not die on this” Rich Hill and looks like he’ll probably get two out of three, three-point-five saves going forward? Deep leaguers: Liam Hendriks pitched after John Axford in a close game.

Darren O’Day is money, even in saves leagues. Struck out three in a clean inning and got the win against Toronto.

Shawn Tolleson got a strikeout! He’s okay for now, but decidedly below closer average in swinging strikes and strikeouts, even if you count last year. Glad Dyson is finally in the right place on this report. You know which pitches are closest to looking like Dyson’s sinker, right? Zach Britton‘s sinker and Blake Treinen’s sinker. Treinen also pitched the eighth in the last National’s win. He’s moving up.

(I’m moving Tony Cingrani down and into the fourth slot because he’s the only lefty in that tire fire pen. I think Blake Wood is ahead of him, by virtue of pitching the last close game. I know he gave up runs.)

A big hand for the Bullpen Report guys! This is yeoman’s work.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Tyler Clippard
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino Jim Johnson Jason Grilli
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 Caleb Cotham J.J. Hoover Blake Wood Tony Cingrani
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado Jake McGee Miguel Castro Chad Qualls 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 Ryan Madson Sean Doolittle John Axford
Philly Jeanmar Gomez David Hernandez 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 Tony Zych Joaquin Benoit
TB Alex Colome Steve Geltz Enny Romero Brad Boxberger
Texas Shawn Tolleson Sam Dyson Keone Kela
Toronto Roberto Osuna Drew Storen Brett Cecil
Wash. Jonathan Papelbon Blake Treinen Shawn Kelley

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

We hoped you liked reading Bullpen Report: April 21, 2016 by Eno Sarris!

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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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3pointshooter
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3pointshooter

Eno, I know you’re a big Strickland fan, but he’s been meh, and he sure doesn’t seem to be used in high leverage situations so far this year – it’s not like Bochy is showing a lot of confidence in him – which is especially concerning since Romo has been unavailable for much of that time. What’s the back-end situation really going on there in SF?