Bullpen Report: April 3, 2018

While the closer grid might start green it doesn’t take too long for some different colors to emerge.

• The current situation in Anaheim has been interesting to say the least. Blake Parker’s hold on the job was never seen as particularly strong and he hasn’t done himself any favors early on this year, needing to be bailed out by Keynan Middleton as Al Melchior mentioned last night. I’ve changed this situation to yellow and added Middleton to the grid. It might be anyone’s guess who gets the next save opportunity but I’m keeping Parker in the lead for now. If Mike Scioscia wants to go with the hot hand he could turn to Middleton again and there’s also Bedrosian who’s been deployed a setup man thus far as well as Jim Johnson who does have that trademarked closer experience. At some point this situation might settle but for now there are a few guys who are worthy of speculative adds but also not provide any saves. Helpful, I know.

• As far as other colors go, we’re sticking with Baltimore at yellow before moving to a code red. Brad Brach obviously has not looked effective so far but until we see O’Day pitching in a save situation or Buck Showalter address the situation, we’re going to keep Brach in the lead. Darren O’Day did get some action on Monday but he entered in the 8th inning in a 6-1 game. It’s possible he’s was getting some work in as he had only pitched on Thursday so far this season. O’Day did look effective, striking out a pair in a perfect inning. If he’s still on the wire I would definitely look to grab him over Mychal Givens.

• We had Pedro Baez as the next-in-line in LA but it looks like Josh Fields is the man of the eighth for now. Baez looked good getting four perfect outs but he entered the game in the fourth inning. Josh Fields meanwhile took the ball in the eighth and pitched around a hit, striking out two batters. If something were to happen to Kenley Jansen I would keep an eye on Baez, but Fields would be the man to own. Speaking of Jansen, after taking the loss in his first appearance this year he doubled down with a blown save tonight, allowing three earned in the ninth. Jansen’s velocity has been down a few ticks this year and consider me worried. We don’t know if something is going on yet but I would look to grab Fields if I was in need of saves. If one is willing to chase saves in Miami, they should be willing to use a speculative add on Fields. Jansen certainly has a laughably tighter grasp on the role than Brad Ziegler but the payoff on getting the Dodgers closer is much greater than one in Miami. I’m a little hesitant to jump the gun here and make this situation yellow, but better safe than sorry with a big payoff if Jansen is to miss anytime.

• Although he hasn’t been used in a real setup role yet, Adam Ottavino has been great through his first three appearances this year. Ottavino threw a perfect 6th inning and now has eight strikeouts in three innings on the year, allowing no hits and one walk. Ottavino’s control eluded him last year and if he’s able to reel that in in 2018 he could start to move up the chain in Colorado, although he’s not sniffing saves anytime soon. Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee threw a scoreless 7th and 8th respectively, indicating their lead in the pecking order but Ottavino has been the most impressive in the early season thus far.

Raisel Iglesias came on for a four out save and finished the job for his first save of the year. Wandy Peralta allowed two guys on in the eighth but also struck out a pair. He’s not on the grid in Cincinnati and fellow lefty Amir Garrett could be closer to saves as well but Peralta throws hard, gets groundballs and could potentially be used for multiple innings.

• I’m not sure where he stands in this bullpen, especially when Greg Holland is ready to rock and roll buts Jordan Hicks has been very impressive for the Cardinals. Hicks got four outs last night, allowing a walk and striking a batter out. Hicks averaged 98.5 mph on his fastball and if he’s going to be used for multiple innings, he could have some real value even if he’s not getting any saves. I don’t think the Cardinals spent money for Holland to pitch the eighth inning  but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Hicks pass the likes of Dominic Leone and enter the grid. If you have Luke Gregerson shares, I’m sorry. I wouldn’t necessarily drop him from your DL, but he might be just the third best right handed non closing option in St. Louis when he returns. Holland is training in Florida at the moment and could be in St. Louis by Monday.

• Quick Hits: With Felipe Rivero unavailable, George Kontos got the save opp for the Pirates, confirming his spot in the bullpen behind Rivero. Roberto Osuna needed only eight pitches for a perfect ninth and his second save of the year. Brad Peacock threw a perfect seventh inning and has only gone one inning in each of his appearances this year. I expected Peacock to be more of a innings eater this year out of the bullpen and while two appearances isn’t necessarily a trend, it will be interesting to see if he’s used more as a traditional setup man or the multi-inning relief ace we expected to see. Kelvin Herrera got work in a non-save situation and threw 14 of 16 pitches for strikes, striking out three guys in the process. Herrera saw his strikeouts drop and walks increase last year, if he pitches more like this then he will have brought some nice return on his draft slot. Blake Treinen received his first save chance and it took five outs to get there. Treinen has been a little up and down in his career but he destroys worms (60.8% career groundball percentage) and gets whiffs. Oakland isn’t the best team but it wouldn’t surprise me if Treinen, especially if he gets longer saves, is a top 10-15 closer.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
ARI Brad Boxberger Yoshihisa Hirano Archie Bradley
ATL Arodys Vizcaino A.J. Minter Jose Ramirez
BAL Brad Brach Darren O’Day Mychal Givens Zach Britton
BOS Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Joe Kelly
CHC Brandon Morrow Carl Edwards Jr. Pedro Strop
CWS Joakim Soria Nate Jones Juan Minaya
CIN Raisel Iglesias Jared Hughes Kevin Quackenbush David Hernandez
CLE Cody Allen Andrew Miller Zach McAllister
COL Wade Davis Jake McGee Bryan Shaw
DET Shane Greene Alex Wilson Drew VerHagen
HOU Ken Giles Chris Devenski Joe Smith
KC Kelvin Herrera Brandon Maurer Justin Grimm
LAA Blake Parker Cam Bedrosian Keynan Middletonn
LAD Kenley Jansen Josh Fields Scott Alexander
MIA Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough Drew Steckenrider
MIL Corey Knebel Matt Albers Josh Hader
MIN Fernando Rodney Addison Reed Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Jeurys Familia A.J. Ramos Anthony Swarzak
NYY Aroldis Chapman David Robertson Dellin Betances
OAK Blake Treinen Ryan Buchter Chris Hatcher
PHI Hector Neris Luis Garcia Adam Morgan Pat Neshek
PIT Felipe Rivero George Kontos Michael Feliz
STL Dominic Leone Jordan Hicks Tyler Lyons Greg Holland
SD Brad Hand Kirby Yates Craig Stammen
SF Hunter Strickland Sam Dyson Tony Watson Mark Melancon
SEA Edwin Diaz Juan Nicasio Nick Vincent
TB Alex Colome Sergio Romo Chaz Roe
TEX Keone Kela Kevin Jepsen Alex Claudio
TOR Roberto Osuna Ryan Tepera Seung Hwan Oh
WSH Sean Doolittle Ryan Madson Brandon Kintzler

[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

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Gavin
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Gavin

Hicks is also a SP in Yahoo! (and I imagine all other formats). Fantastic to own if you like to roll RP-heavy lineups.

CarMars Favorite
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CarMars Favorite

Gsellman, Amir Garret and Mike Montgomery also come to mind. I’m going to roll with 8 relievers (6 RPs and 2 SP/RPs) for a few weeks and see how it goes. If I need a few extra innings to get the the 25 IP min I may roll out one of my crappy starters but I think I’ll be able to get there. I’m at 17.1 already this week.

Gavin
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Gavin

Keeping a close eye on Amir myself.

Dieter Von Wolfhausen
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Dieter Von Wolfhausen

Don’t forget about Peacock

KobraCola
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KobraCola

Bud Norris already has a hold as a SP/RP too, but, as mentioned in this article, that Cards bullpen is looking more crowded by the day. I’m not mad someone picked up Jordan Hicks on 3/28 in my league, dunno what you’re talking about…

Nasty Nate
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Nasty Nate

I don’t know how useful it will be, but I’m going to keep an eye on any Rays’ relievers who might gain SP eligibility due to their use of planned bullpen days instead of a full 5-man starting rotation.