Bullpen Report: April 29, 2013

Craig Kimbrel locked down his 9th save on 10 pitches tonight in a 3-2 Braves victory over the Nationals. The right-hander whiffed just one batter in the top of the ninth-inning resulting in a dip of his K% from 38.9% to 38.5% on the season. Oof. Kimbrel is now 9-of-10 in save opportunities with a 1.69 ERA (1.03 FIP) on the year. But the narrative shouldn’t just be about ninth-inning man here. Fredi Gonazlez summonsed both Jordan Walden and Eric O’Flaherty from the ‘pen prior to calling on the closer. Combined, Walden and O’Flaherty dished 2.2 clean innings while fanning five Nationals. Entering tonight, the Braves bullpen held a 2.18 ERA (2.84 FIP) in 70.1 IP. Not bad.

– Jim Leyland spoke at length on Monday prior to the Tigers’ three-game series against the Twins. Leyland indicated he would not be willing to send Papa Grande to the hill three days in row just yet, mostly because “Valverde didn’t have any spring training and [Leyland] didn’t want to do anything stupid.” Joaquin Benoit assumed the ninth-inning gig tonight and earned his second save on just two pitches. If you’re streaming middle relievers — or just very desperate for saves — add Benoit and monitor Leyland’s use of Valverde, for a few random save opportunities. And Valverde is owned in just 67% of Y! leagues, feel free to add him where available — it’s safe for now.

– Colin and Ben have both mentioned the “ghost of Kevin Gregg” in recent editions of the Bullpen Report. And once again tonight, the ghost has returned. Gregg dished one-and-a-third innings — fanning two of the four batters he faced — en route to his fourth save of the season and a 5-3 Cubs victory over the Friars. The 34-year-old has just 5.1 innings under his belt but is currently the owner of a 0.00 ERA and a 28.6% K%. Gregg’s recent success could lead to a closer controversy next week when Kyuji Fujikawa is scheduled to return from the disabled list. Fuji hit the DL with a right forearm strain, but tossed 32 pitches in a side session today and could head out on a rehab assignment as early as Sunday with Triple-A Iowa.

Bobby Parnell of the Mets blew his second save in four chances and Aroldis Chapman notched his sixth save of the 2013 campaign.

Closer Grid:


Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Heath Bell
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jordan Walden
Baltimore Jim Johnson Darren O’Day Pedro Strop
Boston Andrew Bailey Junichi Tazawa Koji Uehara Joel Hanrahan
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg Carlos Marmol James Russell Kyuji Fujikawa
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Jesse Crain Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Joe Smith
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Wilton Lopez Matt Belisle
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Phil Coke
Houston Jose Veras Wesley Wright Hector Ambriz
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Tim Collins
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Sean Burnett Ryan Madson
LAD Brandon League Kenley Jansen Ronald Belisario
Miami Steve Cishek Jon Rauch A.J. Ramos
Milwaukee Jim Henderson John Axford Michael Gonzalez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Brandon Lyon LaTroy Hawkins Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Joba Chamberlain
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Mike Adams Antonio Bastardo
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal Mitchell Boggs Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Carter Capps Charlie Furbush
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Tanner Scheppers Jason Frasor
Toronto Casey Janssen Steve Delabar Darren Oliver Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Drew Storen Tyler Clippard

[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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10 years ago

Was offered Kenley Jansen for Chris Perez in a league.
I have 3 other closers, but is the loss in saves worth it for Jansen?
What do you think are the chances of him taking over for League?

10 years ago
Reply to  Nick

I would personally rather have Jansen over Perez. Even if he never gets the job, he’ll be better than Perez in three or four of the five standard categories, providing elite Ks and ratios. And given League’s current 8.9 K% and 6.6 SwStr% he could collapse like a house of cards any day now.

10 years ago
Reply to  Giovani

That’s what I was thinking. Sort of surprised there isn’t more talk of League, or even Perez, losing their jobs to their respective set-up men