Bullpen Report: August 22, 2017

Andrew Miller left last night’s game and his knee tendinitis seems to be acting up again, causing a quick return to the DL. Joe Smith moves up a notch to the next-in-line and Bryan Shaw makes another return to the grid.  As far as saves go, this isn’t a major move as Cody Allen has been receiving most, if not all, of the save opportunities of late. However, there aren’t many setup men better than Andrew Miller so it’s naturally a big loss for those in holds leagues, duh. As we all saw in October, Cleveland used Miller quite a bit in the playoffs and with a five game lead in the division they have no reason to rush him back. There is no real timetable on Miller’s return but I wouldn’t rely on him pitching significant innings the rest of the year as the Indians prepare for him to be at his best in October again.

Matt Belisle was called on for the save against the White Sox and he converted for his fourth on the year. For a moment it looked like Belisle lost the job but he’s since regained it and I would expect him to receive the majority of saves moving forward in Minnesota. A 4.17 SIERA and essentially a league average strikeout rate won’t move the needle but saves are saves are saves and Belisle should get a handful or two here on out. Trevor Hildenberger threw a scoreless eighth with a K for his fourth hold on the year and while he might be the more dominant pitcher he remains behind Belisle, at least until he runs into any trouble.

• After a two inning save in Houston this weekend Blake Treinen was called on to get four outs tonight against the Orioles. Treinen failed spectacularly early on in Washington in the closer’s chair but he’s been successful in Oakland. On the year Treinen still has an outstanding 61.5% GB% with an above average K% and a 3.43 SIERA. I don’t blame the Nationals for moving on but Treinen has a 2.10 ERA in 20.1 innings in Oakland with 23 strikeouts against 6 walks.

Other Bullpen Activity:

  • Alex Colome padded his league leading save total getting his 36th on the year. He allowed two hits and a run but green he remains.
  • For the second night in a row, Fernando Rodney launched an arrow this time only needing to get one out for his 29th save. Nobody expected Arizona to be particularly good this year and nobody expected Rodney to hold onto the job after his early start but here we are with a green Rodney and the Diamondbacks with a four game lead in the Wild Card.
  • Kenley Jansen struck out the side for his 34th save. Jansen has 1.52 SIERA and supports a 1.28/1.27/1.94 ERA/FIP/xFIP pitching line. There are many great closers, Jansen might be the best although the Craig Kimbrel fan club has a claim as well.
  • Brad Ziegler picked up his 7th save on the Marlins. Ziegler’s seasonal totals tip toe the line between unspectacular and straight up bad but he’s been excellent since taking over the ninth inning duties and I’ve upgraded him to green on the grid.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
ARI Fernando Rodney Archie Bradley David Hernandez
ATL Arodys Vizcaino Jim Johnson Jose Ramirez
BAL Zach Britton Mychal Givens Brad Brach
BOS Craig Kimbrel Addison Reed Matt Barnes Carson Smith
CHC Wade Davis Pedro Strop Carl Edwards Jr.
CWS Juan Minaya Gregory Infante Jake Petricka Nate Jones
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Drew Storen
CLE Cody Allen Joe Smith Bryan Shaw Andrew Miller
COL Greg Holland Pat Neshek Adam Ottavino
DET Shane Greene Alex Wilson Joe Jimenez
HOU Ken Giles Chris Devenski Luke Gregerson Will Harris
KC Kelvin Herrera Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter Joakim Soria
LAA Bud Norris Cam Bedrosian Blake Parker Huston Street
LAD Kenley Jansen Brandon Morrow Pedro Baez
MIA Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough Junichi Tazawa
MIL Corey Knebel Anthony Swarzak Jacob Barnes
MIN Matt Belisle Trevor Hildenberger Glen Perkins
NYM A.J. Ramos Paul Sewald Jerry Blevins Jeurys Familia
NYY Dellin Betances David Robertson Aroldis Chapman
OAK Blake Treinen Ryan Dull Santiago Casilla
PHI Hector Neris Luis Garcia Jesen Therrien
PIT Felipe Rivero Juan Nicasio Joaquin Benoit
STL Seung Hwan Oh Tyler Lyons Matt Bowman Trevor Rosenthal
SD Brad Hand Kirby Yates Phil Maton
SF Sam Dyson Hunter Strickland Mark Melancon
SEA Edwin Diaz Nick Vincent Tony Zych David Phelps
TB Alex Colome Tommy Hunter Steve Cishek
TEX Alex Claudio Jose Leclerc Matt Bush Keone Kela
TOR Roberto Osuna Ryan Tepera Dominic Leone
WSH Sean Doolittle Brandon Kintzler Matt Albers Ryan Madson

[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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John Morgan
John Morgan

Kelvin Herrera suffering the ever ominous tightness in his forearm:

I need SVs. A couple points are in play for ERA and WHIP. What do you guys think, grab Maurer–who’s probably first in line for saves–or Buchter–who’s probably the better pitcher and may take over after Maurer suffers the inevitable–and now quite common for him–meltdown with runners on base?

Is Buchter the better pitcher? (Founders Sumatra is sooo good.) Could Maurer be … unlucky?

Smaleb Cith
Smaleb Cith

I like Alexander. He is a Zach Britton-lite type of guy. He also was given the ball last night with the game on the line.


Yost has a very traditional mindset when it comes to bullpens, so I would definitely grab Maurer. Maurer has 33 career saves, whereas Buchter, Minor, and Alexander (probably the 3 closest to saving games for the Royals if Kelvin misses time besides Maurer) have a combined 3 career saves. Yost is for sure a guy who loves that classic “closer experience”, so he’ll give Maurer the job until he gets injured or blown up like 5 times in a row. All of that said, it sounds like Kelvin might be OK, so this all might be for naught:


John Morgan
John Morgan

I added Brad Brach.