• The Yankees activated David Robertson from the DL today but he didn’t enter tonight’s game against the Red Sox. Shawn Kelley did an admirable job filling in but the ninth inning definitely belongs to David Robertson in the Bronx. If Robertson’s healthy, his above average control and elite strikeout ability could easily make him a top ten closer. Of course we all know that, it’s why we drafted him as such just a few months ago. Of more interest might be Dellin Betances, who’s 0.93/1.59/2.15 ERA/FIP/xFIP and 14.90 K/9 could make him a more major player in the back of the Yankees bullpen as the season goes on. Adam Warren received a save opportunity this season, but projecting these guys forward Betances will likely provide more value with his strikeouts, and once he develops a trust with Girardi he could see more consistent meaningful innings.
• Whether you call it a “setback” or an “annoyance”, Blue Jays reliever Casey Janssen’s recovery has been slowed down as he remains on the DL but hopes to start a minor-league rehab assignment next week. Sergio Santos is 5/6 on save opportunities in place of Janssen but he has struggled mightily with his control, walking eight guys in only 6.1 innings pitched along with three wild pitches. Santos likely had a chance to run away with the closers role with Janssen on the shelf but his struggles have left the door ajar. Janssen wouldn’t be thrown into the ninth inning immediately upon his return, but if he’s able to come back in the next month or so, and Santos continues to walk the field, Janssen could become a nice source for saves.
• Trevor Rosenthal pitched around a couple of walks for his sixth save of the season. Rosie’s job is a secure as anyone’s and he’s a perfect 6/6 on saves this year but his season has been slightly disappointing ratio wise. He’s striking out fewer guys and walking more but he also won’t maintain a 47% LOB% all season. However, Rosie owners should not worry, with a 96 mph heater and a 13.3 SwStr% I fully expect Rosenthal to be a top option at the position, just as we expected in the beginning of the season.
• Joba Chamberlain recorded the last out for the Tigers tonight for his first save of the year. At first glance 4.05 ERA might sound like the same story from Joba but he’s actually been quite impressive with 11 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Joba is throwing fewer fastballs this season and it’s worked by generating more swings and misses (15.8 SwStr%). He also has a career high 76.9 first pitch strike percentage. Joba’s throwing more strikes and getting more swings and misses than ever and is certainly worth rostering for ratio help and holds. Joe Nathan is still very much the Tigers closer, he was even getting warm tonight just in case he was needed but he’s had a bit of a rough start to the season He’s converted 3/5 saves but has a 7.04/5.91/4.44 ERA/FIP/xFIP along with some declining velocity on his fastball (91 mph in 2014 compared to 92.2 mph in 2013). Nathan’s velo could warm up with the weather and his salary should earn him a very long leash but Joba’s fast start could vault him to next in line if anything were to happen with Nathan.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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