Bullpen Report: April 21, 2017

On Wednesday, I wrote in this space that if there were one member of the Nationals’ closing tandem to speculate on, it should be Koda Glover. Two days later, Dusty Baker proved me wrong. As reported by the Washington Post, the Nationals’ manager told Kelley he was the team’s closer, though he will still give way to Glover on occasion in order to preserve his elbow. While Baker told reporters later that both Kelley and Glover would close games, he indicated that Kelley would get the larger share of chances.

That was made apparent when Baker brought Kelley in to preserve a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Mets, just one night after he got the save in the series finale against the Braves. It was also Kelley’s third save in four days. He threw a perfect inning and has now held the opposition scoreless in his last six appearances, covering five innings.

Jeurys Familia appeared in the top of the 11th inning for the Mets, and he played a role in Kelley getting the save chance in the bottom half of the frame. Josh Smoker began the inning by getting Wilmer Difo to ground out, but after allowing a Bryce Harper double and putting Daniel Murphy on with an intentional walk, Familia was called on to get out of the jam. Instead, he issued back-to-back walks, giving Washington the lead. He prevented further damage by getting strikeouts for the second and third outs, but it’s fair to say that Familia is probably not ready to take the closer reins just yet. In his two appearances, he has thrown only 24 of his 48 pitches for strikes.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin would not commit to Hector Neris as his closer, even after he earned the save on Thursday at the Mets, but he did say that Neris would be used in a save situation on Friday should one arise. The Phillies carried a two-run lead into the ninth inning against the Braves, and sure enough, Neris was brought in. It was an eventful inning that began with an Adonis Garcia homer and included a pair of singles, but Neris preserved the lead. Whether he did enough to convince Mackanin to officially anoint him as the closer remains to be seen.

For the first time this season, we saw Bryan Price put his plan to alternate Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias in the late innings into action. Iglesias pitched the eighth and ninth innings of a tie game against the Orioles on Thursday, so when the Reds had a 5-2 lead after seven innings against the Cubs on Friday night, it was Lorenzen Time. He staved off the Cubs in a 22-pitch eighth inning, but in coughing up a three-run homer to Anthony Rizzo in the ninth, Lorenzen blew his first save of the season. The Cubs ultimately won in 11 innings, with Wade Davis getting the save.

Iglesias got three saves in quick succession within the Reds’ first eight games, but he has not had a save opportunity in 10 days. He is owned in 84 percent of leagues on CBS, ESPN and Yahoo, but given that this appears to be a true saves-sharing arrangement, it’s looking as if Iglesias may be over-owned.

Quick Hits: Cam Bedrosian blew his first save of the season, entering in the eighth inning with one out and a 4-3 lead against the Blue Jays. He yielded a Justin Smoak double that brought in two runners, both put on by way of Bud Norris walks…Seung Hwan Oh is still looking for his first hitless appearance, but in getting three strikeouts and only allowing a Jonathan Villar single, his save against the Brewers was his best performance yet…Santiago Casilla appears to be settling in as the Athletics’ primary closer. He notched his third save — his second in four days — with a perfect ninth inning against the Mariners…Greg Holland (9), Tony Watson (5), Ken Giles (4), Brandon Kintzler (4) and Brad Brach (3) also earned saves.

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 Bud Norris Blake Parker 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 Jerry Blevins Jeurys Familia
NY (AL) Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard
Oakland Santiago Casilla Sean Doolittle Ryan Dull
Philly Hector Neris Joaquin Benoit 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.]





Al Melchior has been writing about Fantasy baseball and sim games since 2000, and his work has appeared at CBSSports.com, BaseballHQ, Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster and FanRagSports. He has also participated in Tout Wars' mixed auction league since 2013. You can follow Al on Twitter @almelchiorbb and find more of his work at almelchior.com.

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BJ > Yank
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BJ > Yank

Hey Al,

Where do you see Cishek slotting in when he gets back? How would you rank him, Rondon and Baez in a holds league?

Ps, Grant Dayton is on the DL.

Thanks.