Although we had a long weekend, there were no major news stories from the bullpen, so we’ll keep this short and sweet. A couple of middle relievers had some role changes and one big name could be coming back soon.
Clay Buccholz pitched in the 8th inning on Saturday (not a hold/save opportunity), but it appears he may be line for the set-up role up in Boston. He has been effective as a reliever throwing 20.2 innings with a 3.05 ERA (3.15 FIP), but his xFIP is at 5.59 mainly because he hasn’t really struck anybody out in the pen (5.23 K/9). His BABIP is down to .213 in the pen versus a .288 career mark, so I would be cautious adding him in your holds leagues just yet even with the increase in opportunities it seems.
Jeremey Jeffress was arrested for a DWI this weekend and is placed on the restricted list while the MLB investigates. As a result, Jeffress moves into our DL/Minor League slot while Diekman is back to next in line for saves. Jeffress in his 9 innings of work for the Rangers has a 4.00 ERA (3.48 FIP) and has struggled with his control a bit (5 BB/9). Not sure how long this investigation will last, but at this point Jeffress really only held value in holds leagues and that value may be pretty diminished after recent events.
Giants’ reliever Derek Law has been placed on the DL with a forearm strain this weekend, which is always scary to hear. Law has been excellent this season posting a 1.94 ERA (2.34 FIP) and was really becoming an important arm out of the Giants pen. To replace him on the grid is familiar friend Hunter Strickland who is posting similar numbers in regards to his Ks and BBs, but has given up slightly more homers. Still, Strickland has a 2.65 ERA (3.31 FIP) and may become a nice source of holds down the stretch.
Wade Davis started his rehab assignment last week and reportedly felt good. Ned Yost has indicated that he will have a few more rehab appearances and could be back as early as next week.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]