Bullpen Report: August 10, 2015

• It was known that Koji Uehara wasn’t made of steal steel but it’s unexpected and unfortunate to see him fracture his wrist ending his season. The Red Sox expect Uehara to make a complete recovery, which would mean he will be the closer starting next year. However, while some Red Sox fans might have forgotten about 2015, fantasy owners are still on the grind. Junichi Tazawa should fill in for Uehara in the meantime. Normally I would make this situation yellow or even green as he’s an obvious replacement but he’s had a few bumps recently and John Farrell said that they wanted to limit Tazawa’s innings. Still, expect Tazawa to be the closer with Alexi Ogando and Jean Machi around in those situations where Tazawa is limited.

UPDATE: Ignore everything I just said as I missed the news that Jean Machi was named closer. This goes along with limits on Tazawa’s innings. Jean Machi had a nice run in SF but he’s been bad this year, put on waivers by the Giants and then claimed by Boston.He’s remained unimpressive on the Sox but saves are saves. Definitely pick up Machi  even though tamper your expectations as he hasn’t had the same results he did in 2013 and 2014.

• Edward Mujica was the man in charge of the ninth but allowing three runs without recording an out is a good way to lose your job. Bob Melvin was noncommittal in keeping Mujica as his closer or naming a replacement. I would still hold onto Mujica (over say a reliever not near saves or a 6th OF) as this situation is red hot in fickleness and he can retake or hold the job but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Fernando Rodriguez get the next chance. If possible, I would try to have both on the roster to see how it shakes out with the non-Mujica options taking precedent. Even if Mujica holds for the time being one bad outing would move him back in the pecking order.

• Quick Hits from the weekend: Roberto Osuna closed out the Jays sweep of the Yankees with his 10th save of the year. The Jays are looking smart not wasting resources and/or cash on a closer upgrade. Jake McGee received the save for the Rays and he’ll continue to receive a few opportunities here and there behind Boxberger. Tommy Kahnle nailed down his second save for the Rockies and I’ve upgraded him to yellow. Kevin Siegrist and Jonathan Broxton were both underwhelming blowing a save in the ninth in lieu of Trevor Rosenthal. Both have closing experience but I would keep expect Siegrist to receive the next opportunity whenever Rosie has a day off, with Cishek not far behind. Carson Smith nailed down his 12th save and helped keep Fernando Rodney’s arrows at bay

Jeurys Familia continued his strong season, closing his 31st save tonight, only needing 11 pitches for a perfect ninth. Familia has had a little bit of good fortune this year but with a K/9 over 9 and a GB% approaching 60%, he has the goods to succeed for the rest of this year and in the future on the next great Mets squad.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson David Hernandez Addison Reed
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino David Aardsma Jason Frasor Jason Grilli
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Brad Brach
Boston Jean Machi Junichi Tazawa Alexi Ogando Koji Uehara
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Jason Motte Pedro Strop Rafael Soriano
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Putnam
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Ryan Mattheus
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado Tommy Kahnle Rafael Betancourt Justin Miller
Detroit Alex Wilson Bruce Rondon Al Albuerquerque Joe Nathan
Houston Luke Gregerson Pat Neshek Chad Qualls
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Jim Johnson Pedro Baez
Miami A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn Bryan Morris Carter Capps
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Kevin Jepsen Trevor May
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Tyler Clippard Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson
Oakland Edward Mujica Fernando Rodriguez Drew Pomeranz Sean Doolittle
Philly Ken Giles Luis Garcia Jeanmar Gomez
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Joakim Soria Tony Watson
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Steve Cishek Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Brendan Maurer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland
Seattle Carson Smith Fernando Rodney Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Steve Geltz
Texas Shawn Tolleson Sam Dyson Jake Diekman Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Roberto Osuna Aaron Sanchez Brett Cecil
Wash. Jonathan Papelbon Drew Storen Casey Janssen

[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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Kevin C.
Kevin C.

Not sure why you have Tazawa as the closer for Boston. John Farrell named Machi the closer earlier today.


Yep, Machi goes from not in the chart to closer. Bullpen usage is tough to predict but the report has not been kind to those using it to speculate. Weekly transaction and I’ve ended up grabbing Fernando with no role and now Tazawa, Motte was green until the day he was replaced and before that Strop was listed first chair for almost a week and didn’t smell a close. Love fan graphs but I’m looking for another opinion to consult for my reliever needs from here on.


In Fangraphs’ defense, Machi is terrible and unless you closely followed the Red Sox, you would have no idea that Ferrell has apparently lost his mind.

Mike W.
Mike W.

Agreed. Machi goes from released by the Giants (who don’t exactly have an elite bullpen) to Closing within a month basically?

Farrell must think Tazawa is mentally weak or something, because he has passed over him for Saves ever since he took over as manager.


Maybe the Sox are intentionally trying to lose?


Machi’s issue this year is with his slider. Maybe Boston originally claimed him thinking they see a fixable issue since his velocity has been consistent and is now confident enough to stick him in the 9th.

Or maybe they just want a cheap closer.