Bullpen Report: August 18, 2015

Tommy Kahnle started off well closing in Colorado but after back to back putrid outings his job was on shaky ground. Today it seems like he’s lost the job. Walt Weiss had good things to say about former closer John Axford and it now looks like he’s reclaimed his familiar role in the ninth. This situation is still red on the grid below as Axford hasn’t pitched well or consistently well all year but nonetheless, it’s his job to lose.

Ken Giles had a  slew of save opportunities last week but after not seeing any action since August 12th, he came on in the top of the ninth down by three to get some work in against the Blue Jays. As he does, Giles threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout. Giles’ control (3.63 BB/9) isn’t as dominant as it was last year (2.17 BB/9) but it’s still plenty good considering the whiffs he gets (69 in 52.1 innings pitched). There were some minor velocity concerns earlier this year but Giles has largely put that behind him and essentially has the same average fastball velocity as he showed last season.  The Phillies are unlikely to be a good team next year but there will still be save opportunities and Giles should be in the top third of closing options entering 2016.

• The Blue Jays run of late has created more opportunities for Roberto Osuna, and it has enabled Osuna to make a name for himself. Osuna threw another scoreless inning for his 14th save this year, lowering his ERA to 1.98. It’s unlikely that Osuna will maintain a .244 BABIP and his HR/FB% is sure to increase as well but considering he’s still 20 years old with a 2.41 FIP, I would bet the over on Osuna being a solid closer moving forward.

Quick Hits: It was largely due to an error in the field but Mark Melancon blew his second save of the year tonight against the Diamondbacks. It goes without say but Melancon’s job is more than secure even after tonight’s blip and a few other outings with earned runs in August. Carson Smith earned his 13th save as he continues to prevent Rodney from throwing arrows in the ninth. Andrew Miller was called on and nailed the four-out save (27). It should be all systems go here on out with the Yankees and Jays in the AL East race. This will be fun. Similarly, Tyler Clippard was also called on for the four-out save but after allowing a couple of base runners in the ninth the Mets turned to Jeurys Familia. It wasn’t pretty but after allowing a single and a couple of walks, Famila secured the W for the Metropolitans.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson 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 Pedro Strop Tommy Hunter 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 John Axford Justin Miller Tommy Kahnle
Detroit Bruce Rondon Alex Wilson 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 Will Smith Jeremy Jeffress
Minnesota Glen Perkins Kevin Jepsen Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Tyler Clippard Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson
Oakland Fernando Rodriguez Drew Pomeranz Evan Scribner 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 Shawn Kelley 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 Jake Diekman Sam Dyson 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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Kahnle got absolutely wrecked tonight to seal that deal so that whole Rockies pen is a dumpster fire albeit at high altitude.

Boxberger’s control has seemingly been iffy but McGee also had a shaky outing today so assuming those roles are safe for now?