Bullpen Report: August 21, 2018

• After being used like a yo-yo in the rotation and relief, Sergio Romo has had his ups and downs this year but has actually been quite terrific of late in the closer’s seat in Tampa. On the year he’s supporting  a 3.48 ERA/3.40 FIP/3.26 SIERA and since June 19th he has an ERA of 1.33. With all of that said, the Rays went to Jose Alvarado last night for the save with Sergio Romo available as far as we know. Lefty Lucas Duda started the inning which could be why the Rays went to Alvarado over Romo but it wasn’t a particularly strong lefty heavy lineup that followed. The Rays situation was as fluid as any this year before Romo started putting up consistent zeroes, so we are keeping Romo alone in the chairr for now but if Alvarado starts seeing the ninth again we will have to consider moving this situation back to the frustrating committee situation we had to endure earlier.

Dan Winkler came on to secure the one-run lead for his 2nd save for the Braves last night. A.J. Minter was unavailable due to a sore back which gave way for Winkler to man the ninth. Minter’s last appearance was poor after blowing a three-run lead against the Rockies but he was pitching quite well before that. While Winkler is proving he’s capable I would expect the Braves to turn back to Minter once he’s ready to pitch. If he’s out for any extended time, expect Winkler to see saves with Brad Brach, Jonny Venters, and Jesse Biddle behind him. Arodys Vizcaino is also lingering on the DL but I don’t expect him to see high leverage innings immediately upon return.

Kenley Jansen returned from the DL last night and although he wasn’t particularly effective after allowing two solo shots, a healthy Jansen gets top billing on the closer grid. I will put Jansen as yellow below as he gets rid of a little rust but he should see saves moving forward with Scott Alexander, Kenta Maeda, Caleb Ferguson, and others setting him up.

• With Corey Knebel removed from the closer’s chair the Brewers look to be in a full committee with Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress.  Hader had received the previous save opportunities but last night he threw two scoreless in the 7th and 8th, leading to Jeffress for the 9th inning save. We will have Hader first on the grid below as he’s received more saves the last time Knebel was out and is the better pitcher, but if the Brewers start using Jeffress as a primary in the 9th we will have to change the order. Hader’s been talked about enough on Fan Graphs so we know what he provides even without saves but if he’s getting saves in addition to his massive strike outs, he becomes the top closer moving forward. I expect the Brewers to continue the committee approach for the time being with Jeffress and Hader splitting the saves. If Corey Knebel gets right in the next few weeks he should be back in the mix as well.

Ken Giles converted his 4th save for Toronto last night and is firmly in the closer’s chair with Ryan Tepera and Tyler Clippard behind him. Ken Giles hasn’t been immune to a a case of Jekyll and Hyde while closing over the past few years but when he’s on he’s near elite. I assume most trade deadlines have passed by now and a guy like Giles isn’t on the wire, but after the first tier of closers there may not be many better options moving forward.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 8/21/2018
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Brad Boxberger Archie Bradley Yoshihisa Hirano
ATL A.J. Minter Dan Winkler Brad Brach Arodys Vizcaino
BAL Mychal Givens Paul Fry Mike Wright
BOS Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Ryan Brasier
CHC Pedro Strop Carl Edwards Jr. Brandon Kintzler Brandon Morrow
CWS Thyago Vieira Juan Minaya Xavier Cedeno Nate Jones
CIN Raisel Iglesias Jared Hughes David Hernandez
CLE Cody Allen Brad Hand Andrew Miller
COL Wade Davis Adam Ottavino Seung Hwan Oh
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Alex Wilson
HOU Hector Rondon Roberto Osuna Collin McHugh
KC Wily Peralta Brandon Maurer Kevin McCarthy
LAA Blake Parker Justin Anderson Cam Bedrosian Keynan Middleton
LAD Kenley Jansen Kenta Maeda Scott Alexander
MIA Drew Steckenrider Adam Conley Tayron Guerrero Kyle Barraclough
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Corey Knebel Joakim Soria
MIN Trevor Hildenberger Matt Magill Taylor Rogers
NYM Robert Gsellman Seth Lugo Jerry Blevins Anthony Swarzak
NYY Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances Zach Britton
OAK Blake Treinen Jeurys Familia Fernando Rodney
PHI Seranthony Dominguez Victor Arano Pat Neshek
PIT Felipe Vazquez Keone Kela Kyle Crick
STL Bud Norris Jordan Hicks Dakota Hudson Luke Gregerson
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Matt Strahm
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson Hunter Strickland
SEA Edwin Diaz Alex Colome Nick Vincent
TB Sergio Romo Jose Alvarado Chaz Roe
TEX Jose LeClerc Cory Gearrin Chris Martin
TOR Ken Giles Ryan Tepera Tyler Clippard
WSH Koda Glover Justin Miller Greg Holland Sean Doolittle

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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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tb.25

For the Giants, Strickland is off the DL and was warming up to come in after Derek Law (who pitched the 12th and 13th, and got the W). Smith, Watson, Moronta, Law, Dyson all pitched before him.

The fact all of them were used before Strickland was telling. Law was called up to aid a tired pen, yet Bochy used the key pieces in his tired pen before he even began to warm up Strickland.