There’s been no official word, but recent performance indicates Cody Allen could benefit from a couple of lower leverage outings. Allen’s allowed at least a run in his last four appearances spiking his ERA to 6.14 and his xFIP to 7.01. He’s cratered in terms of ground ball rate, 19 percent this season, while his hard hit percentage sits at 47.6 percent. On Monday night, Hansel Robles worked the ninth inning in a tied game at home, usually a spot reserved for a team’s closer. Robles responded by striking out the side, one day removed from working at the opener.
Ty Buttrey did not pitch on Monday, so he could be available on Tuesday, along with Allen. This seems like a very unsettled situation. For now, speculative adds should land on Robles due to last night’s usage and he’s worked almost primarily in the eighth inning prior to the last two days. Buttrey flashed upside last year with four saves down the stretch. However, he could represent the slow approach as this bullpen could turnover during May as it evolves under new manager Brad Ausmus. Patience will be required.
As for the Yankees, Aroldis Chapman suffered his first blown save in the bottom of the 12th inning. He allowed a lead-off single to Kevan Smith, who left the game for pinch runner Peter Bourjos. During a strikeout of Jonathan Lucroy, Bourjos stole second base. Chapman did get Kole Calhoun to lineout to center field, but hit Zack Cozart, putting two runners on with two outs. Brian Goodwin singled to center scoring Bourjos before Chapman retired Tommy La Stella on a ground out. Chapman’s been working with reduced velocity, prompting him to throw more sliders. At a time with so many bullpens in upheaval, Chapman owns value as the clear cut closer. But, he still seems to be feeling his way back with his swinging strike percentage (14.9 percent) this year sitting below last year’s and his career rate. Jonathan Holder garnered the win in relief for New York pitching two innings giving up a walk with three strikeouts. Tommy Kahnle turned in his fifth straight scoreless outing tossing a clean ninth with a strikeout.
Save number two for Wade Davis. However, he did allow a walk and a hit during his outing. For good news, Davis owns a 57.1 ground ball percentage so far this year but he’s walked six against his 10 strikeouts. Providing traffic on the bases on Coors usually does not make for ideal save chances. Seung-Hwan Oh nabs the win in relief with a clean seventh striking out one. Scott Oberg notched his second hold working around a hit with a strikeout in the eighth.
Getting a much needed night off, neither Jose Alvarado or Diego Castillo pitched for Tampa Bay on Monday. This provided Emilio Pagan the save opportunity and he responded with a clean ninth. Given Pagan’s flexibility in the bullpen as a setup reliever, potential opener and fill-in closer, he could be an intriguing add in deep formats. This does not mean Alvarado or Castillo will not be the primary save options going forward. They’re studs.
Quick Hits: A tough night for the Pirates bullpen with Kyle Crick and Nick Burdi each giving up crooked numbers. Prayers for Burdi, who left the mound falling after a pitch and immediately grabbing his elbow. Sometimes baseball’s bigger than fantasy statistics…Wilmer Font grabbed the win in relief for the Rays. He faced one batter and fanned him. Adam Kolarek racked up his sixth hold with a clean eighth and two strikeouts…Seth Lugo notched his fourth hold with a clean seventh and a strikeout. Over his last 10 innings, Lugo’s yielded seven hits with 12 strikeouts against one walk and a 2.70 ERA. Jeurys Familia pitched a clean eight with a strikeout and Edwin Diaz a clean ninth striking out two. Diaz moved his strikeout percentage to 45.7 percent in the process…Blake Parker returned to the ninth inning giving up a hit. He missed the previous two games due to illness in Baltimore…Joakim Soria recorded his fourth hold with two strikeouts in a clean eighth. And, Fernando Rodney passed Cy Young for 24th all-time in appearances allowing a walk with two strikeouts in the ninth….Jace Fry garnered the win in relief yielding one hit in 1.1 innings with two strikeouts.
Avid fantasy baseball player and writer. You can find my work here chasing the next save or as the lead fantasy analyst on Fantasy Alarm. Any questions, hit me up on the Twitter machine, @gjewett9