— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) August 31, 2014
It’s not yet known when Benoit will be available again. At this point, maybe assume 11 days like the last timeframe since it’s similar pain.
Yankees at Blue Jays: Future starter/ace, current september bullpen asset, Aaron Sanchez looked great striking out 3 in 2 scoreless innings for his first major league save. He threw 19 of his 28 pitches for strikes. And on 12 swings, the Yankees were only able to put the ball in play 3 times. His minimum fastball velocity was 96 MPH. The one breaking ball he threw was a beaut. to Derek Jeter on a 2-2 count. Probably anyone other than Jeter would have chased (just missed low). He’s only given up 1 ER in his last 8 appearances with a 12K:1BB ratio. IMO he’s got a great Sinker-Fourseam-Curveball repertoire in conjunction with the velocity to succeed longterm. He’s only thrown 3 Changeups thus far, but I’d assume that remains part of his starting repertorie. If so, more whiffs should come; the groundball induction is already apparent; and his command (4.3% BB-rate) thus far is a huge bonus.
Twins at O’s: The Darren O’Day–Zach Britton combo remains dominating. Because of them, the O’s are now 27-19 in 1-run games. Britton was a master today. He struck out 2 of 3; 10 of his 13 pitches were strikes; the Twins offered at them 8 times and whiffed 6. Britton’s Sinker is a groundball monster (9th best Sinker GB/FB ratio this year) and to boot, his Curveball is the best curveball at inducing whiffs (66.67%) per BP’s Pitchf/x leaderboard.
Tigers at White Sox: Jake Petricka doesn’t have the swing and miss stuff or command in general to succeed in the role longterm, but he incurs another save albeit with a 2.00 WHIP: #10 on the year. Unfortunately, he gave up 5 ER (2 HR) in his last two appearances so the White Sox line will remain red in the grid below. I actually like Zach Putnam on the surface: his K-rate might not depict his true contact/swing-and-miss skills.
Look at this matrix:
Only Bryan Morris has a better swinging strike rate with a worse K%. It doesn’t match up. Maybe he can’t close the deal with 2 strikes, but we’ve seen better rates in the minors so I think a step forward there offsets some of the LOB, HR/FB and BABIP regression and he continues to perform closer to expected ERA of 3.40.
He pitched a perfect 8th today striking out Castellanos swinging to end the inning.
Regarding the Tigers, there’s the pre-Jim Johnson Tigers’ bullpen: sh*t-show and then there’s the with-Jim Johnson Tigers’ bullpen: sh*t-show cont’d. I guess a 5-run lead was enough to leverage him, but that almost blew up in their faces as he, Joba Chamberlain and Blaine Hardy let up 4 runs in the 8th.
Indians at Royals: Greg Holland pitched a scoreless 9th to maintain the tie, but unfortunately, the Royals still lost. I’ve heard Ned Yost admit Holland has been over-used. While he recently had a 4-day break he’s now pitched in 3 of 4 so there’s a chance that Wade Davis gets the save opportunity if one arises tomorrow. Tonight, Davis struck out the side. What a year from Davis. We all oo and ah at Kenley Jansen’s Cutter, but Wade Davis gets 1% more whiffs on the pitch and it’s 7x better at inducing grounders relative to Jansen’s. His Fourseam and (Knuckle)Curve also get whiffs over 30% of the time.
Reds at Pirates: Mark Melancon and the Pirates keep on rolling. That’s 6 straight scoreless appearances for him now and he earns the 9th best K/BB ratio for relievers with more than 30 IP. Worley, Wilson and Watson did their jobs handing it over to Melancon.
Marlins at Braves: Haven’t not pitched the last two games, up 4-0, Steve Cishek pitched in a non-save situation but rewarded his owners by striking out the side.
Rockies at Diamondbacks: The ageless wonder, LaTroy Hawkins keeps the Colorado line-item in the closer grid Green.
Brewers at Giants: Bochy saved the situation for Santiago Casilla and he didn’t disappoint…as it relates to getting the save that is. He gave up a double, single and hit a batter to keep things awfully exciting though. On 9 swings, he only induced 2 whiffs.
A’s at Angels: Huston Street, we have save #35.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter