Bullpen Report: August 3, 2016

A.J. Ramos had an ugly game. So ugly I’m not even going to make an alibi joke. The righty walked three, gave up a pair of hits, and lost the game after uncorking a wild pitch. The second blown save send his ERA soaring from 2.53 to 3.12 in one shot. The Marlins’ closer continues to own a sexy 30% K% but his DIPS rates are sitting a touch over 4.00, far from elite marks from a guy expected to take the next step. A huge concern is his 14% BB%, which is the worst for any current closer in baseball (Trevor Rosenthal was 16% before his demotion and DL stint). His F-Strike% is right where it was last year and his Zone% is actually up a few ticks, so maybe it’s nothing to worry about (Ramos was never a control artist, anyways), but the free passes seem destined to keep him from being uber-elite in the ninth and I wouldn’t necessarily say no in a keeper league if moving him to a contender could fetch me help in the longer term.

• Remember when the Phillies bullpen was a thing? That seems like a while ago. Jeanmar Gomez has had this job pretty much on lockdown all year despite an xFIP that has hovered around 4.00. While my guess is his ERA will be closer to 4.00 than 2.00 going forward, he’s earned a bit of leash. Potentially relevant in fantasy circles, however, is that Gomez is on the paternity list and will miss 3-7 days of action. Cue scavengers. Hector Neris seems the most likely beneficiary — he got the ninth in a tie game at home tonight which is usually a slot reserved for closers and managers try and give themselves a walkoff chance. Neris has cooled off a tad after being lights out early in the season, but still owns a respectable 30% K% and near-3.00 xFIP. If you have the room, run him out there for a few nights and try to notch a free SV or two.

August Fagerstrom touched on Carl Edwards, Jr. (the baseball player, not the NASCAR driver) last week, but I figured he should get some love in a fantasy sense, too. Yes, the projection systems think he’s more of a 3.50 ERA guy, but to date he owns a tidy 2.32 xFIP operating as a middle reliever at Wrigley. There is no questioning the stuff as his 19% swinging strike rate over the last month is 5th best in baseball (just behind fellow BR peripheral darlings Edwin Diaz and Ken Giles). Yes, he’s had control problems in the minors, but he wouldn’t be the first guy that’s figured out his stuff is good enough that he just needs to pound the zone (see Aroldis Chapman). Speaking of Chapman, with his presumed exit this fall, Edwards could stand to move up the totem pole. Couple that with the fact that maybe, just maybe, Theo Epstein will be inclined to see what 1-2 years of Hector Rondon could bring in a trade, and it’s not too difficult to envision a world where Edwards could be seeing the eighth and ninth innings on the north side of Chicago. Buy for rates this year, but he makes a nice speculative play in keeper and dynasty leagues where he’s just sitting on the wire.

• Quick hits: One night after potentially his worst big league outing, Seung Hwan Oh polished off save number eight. “The Final Boss” seems to have a pretty firm grasp on the closer gig and is getting nearly a 30% SwStr% on his slider. Hot stuff. Zach Britton, Roberto Osuna, and Francisco Rodriguez all notched saves. All three have chokeholds on their jobs and should be run out there with confidence for the balance of 2016.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Jake Barrett Randall Delgado Daniel Hudson
Atlanta Jim Johnson Mauricio Cabrera Chris Withrow Arodys Vizcaino
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Brad Brach
Boston Craig Kimbrel Brad Ziegler Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Aroldis Chapman Hector Rondon Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) David Robertson Nate Jones Matt Albers
Cincy Tony Cingrani Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen
Cleveland Andrew Miller Cody Allen Bryan Shaw
Colorado Carlos Estevez Adam Ottavino Jake McGee
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Justin Wilson Shane Greene
Houston Ken Giles Will Harris Michael Feliz Luke Gregerson
KC Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Peter Moylan Wade Davis
LAA Cam Bedrosian Fernando Salas JC Ramirez Huston Street
LAD Kenley Jansen Joe Blanton Adam Libatore Yimi Garcia
Miami A.J. Ramos Fernando Rodney David Phelps
Milwaukee Tyler Thornburg Corey Knebel Carlos Torres
Minnesota Brandon Kintzler Trevor May Ryan Pressly Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Hansel Robles Jim Henderson
NY (AL) Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard Adam Warren
Oakland Ryan Madson John Axford Ryan Dull Sean Doolittle
Philly Jeanmar Gomez Hector Neris David Hernandez
Pittsburgh Tony Watson Neftali Feliz Felipe Rivero
St. Louis Seung Hwan Oh Kevin Siegrist Jonathan Broxton
SD Brandon Maurer Kevin Quackenbush Ryan Buchter
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland
Seattle Edwin Diaz Steve Cishek/a> Tom Wilhelmsen Nick Vincent
TB Alex Colome Xavier Cedeno Erasmo Ramirez
Texas Sam Dyson Jeremy Jeffress Jake Diekman
Toronto Roberto Osuna Jason Grilli Brett Cecil
Wash. Mark Melancon Shawn Kelley Jonathan Papelbon

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.

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6 years ago

Since I’ve complained about the chart in the past – recently, matter of fact – decency behooves me to compliment you on how it is now. I mean, I’d quibble over a color her or there, but it’s looking totally sound. Thanks, guys, for your recent work on it.