Bullpen Report: August 20, 2015

Cody Allen struggled a bit in the Bronx today, but escaped a ninth-inning jam to finish off the Yankees and notch his 24th save of the season. He yielded an earned run on a pair of singles and a walk, but managed to induce a fly ball out off the bat of Didi Gregorious for the final out of the game, stranding a duo of ducks on the pond. Just 14 of Allen’s 21 pitches fell for strikes tonight, four of which were looking and one by swing-and-miss. He also nailed the first pitch for a strike to three of the six batters he faced.

The Indian is now 24-of-27 in save chances with a 4.04 ERA (2.13 FIP) and a 1.35 WHIP (Yuk!). Among qualified relievers entering tonight, Allen owned the third-highest ERA-FIP at 1.85 thanks in part to the highest average on balls in play in that group (.374 BABIP vs. .312 career). In addition to what seems to be some bad luck, there appears to be a slight dip in velocity on each of his offerings, but Allen’s K-BB% is the highest of his career (25%, entering today’s outing) and he remains green in Cleveland. Bryan Shaw also took the hill today, fanned two and picked up his 15th hold on the year.

The Diamondbacks called upon their 35-year-old closer, Brad Ziegler, with a one-run lead to close out the Reds in Cincinnati this evening. Ziegler needed just eight pitches while facing the minimum to induce a trio of worm burners and seal the victory for Arizona, their 59th in ‘15. Of the righty’s eight pitches, seven fell for strikes — two were looking, two were fouled off and three turned into ground ball outs — and blue determined just one of his offerings failed to make the zone. Ziegler is now 22-of-24 in save opportunities this season with a 1.55 ERA (3.60 FIP) and a 0.84 WHIP. On a side note, former Dbacks closer Addison Reed is up to eight consecutive scoreless outings with a 3:1 K:BB (but has allowed nine hits in said 10.2 innings).

Junichi Tazawa dished a clean inning of work on ten pitches to earn his second save of the season for the Red Sox. Three of the right-hander’s nine strikes came on swing-and-miss stuff. Tazawa is the guy to own in Boston for saves (today), but is still available in over 85% of Y! leagues and 92% of ESPN formats. Fix that. Alexi Ogando (10) and Robbie Ross, Jr. (8) each picked up holds in the 4-1 win over the Royals.

Quick Hitters: John Axford surrendered a hit and a walk, but fanned three on 26 pitches en route to his 17th save on the year. Fifteen of Axford’s 26 pitches were strikes and five of the 15 strikes were of the swing-and-miss variety. Scott Oberg locked up his ninth hold of the season as well in Colorado. Miami’s closer A.J. Ramos served up a solo homer to pinch hitter Cody Asche, but fanned two in a 17-pitch effort to close out Philadelphia. Bryan Morris (10) and Mike Dunn (19) notched holds in the Marlins’ victory over the Phillies.

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 Junichi Tazawa Jean Machi 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 Kevin Jepsen Casey Fien Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Tyler Clippard Carlos Torres Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson
Oakland Drew Pomeranz Fernando Rodriguez 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.]

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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8 years ago

Not convinced on Pomeranz. His manager is vague, and Drew doesn’t seem to like closing. See: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/oakland-athletics-drew-pomeranz-closer-option-decision-bob-melvin-082015

With Crawford & Agon leading off the inning, the situation called for a LHP. So this could still be a committee. (Still wondering why Mattingly didn’t pinch hit for Crawford.) And with Doolittle coming back soon, I would hesitate to waste a move picking up Pomeranz. I think the committee asterisk should still be there.

8 years ago
Reply to  BMac

He gave a politically correct answer. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t like closing. He knows Doolittle would be the closer if he were fully healthy and there is no guarantee of that for the rest of this season.

In leagues where Pomeranz still has SP eligibility, it’s worth the risk picking him up in case Doolittle has another setback or isn’t fully healthy.