Bullpen Report: Friday, July 31, 2015

The non-waiver trade deadline came and went and left the closer grid looking a little bit different. Rumored trades involving Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, and Carter Capps, among others, didn’t come to fruition. As always, if you notice any mistakes on the updated grid, please comment so they can be corrected.

Tommy Hunter was traded to the Cubs for Junior Lake, and his spot on the grid will be taken by Brad Brach. Tommy Hunter isn’t going to crack the red mess that is the Cubs back end. Jason Motte was relegated to the seventh inning, Pedro Strop got the eighth, and Hector Rondon got the ninth. It looks like Rondon can claim the closer crown. For now.

In Colorado, John Axford has been removed from the closer role. Tommy Kahnle had made his first appearance on the grid after LaTroy Hawkins went to Toronto. He’ll be joined by Rafael Betancourt and Justin Miller as the trio most likely to get the save opportunities. They’re in St. Louis this weekend, so it may be a while before we see how Walt Weiss decides to lean. Simply because he’s closed before, I’m gambling that Weiss is going to try Betancourt first. As much as we’d like managers to choose the guy with the whiff rate and K%-BB%, they tend to feel more comfortable with guys who have closed before. For now, I’m leaving Axford right off the grid, because all three of these guys are more likely to get a save in the near future. Axford could find his way back, and we’ll be sure to update accordingly. They lost 7-0, but Axford and Miller both pitched scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts. Axford surrendered a hit and a walk while Miller was perfect. Nine pitches, nine strikes for Miller.

The acquisition of Jim Johnson puts him into the first chair on the Dodgers grid, right behind Kenley Jansen. His 60.8% GB% is besting his career mark thus far, and his soft contact and velo are also up from last year.

The Jays picked up Mark Lowe on Friday, and I don’t have him cracking the grid just yet. Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez are solidifying their spots as the eighth and ninth inning stoppers, and each put up eight-pitch perfect innings in The Big Smoke Friday night. Brett Cecil continued his recent strong run with another perfect inning. Since he lost the closer gig in late June and he was found to be tipping his pitches, he’s strung together a 23.3% K-BB% in 11 small-sample innings. They won a bullpen battle with the Royals. Granted, it was Ryan Madson giving up three runs without recording an out, but still. Lowe is a strong addition, but he’s not going to sniff any saves. He could get you some holds and help your ratios in a deep league though. On the other side of that deal, Fernando Rodney moves to next in line behind Carson Smith. Tom Wilhelmsen moves onto the grid.

The Cardinals picked up Johnathan Broxton, but he’s not on the grid. He wasn’t on the Brewers grid. He has a pile of birds to climb over to get any save opportunities, but wow are the Cards adding depth to that pen. Jordan Walden is coming back soon if his rehab goes well.

Kevin Jepsen went from the Rays to the Twins. For the Rays, Steve Geltz or Brandon Gomes will slide into his spot, and there is a chance they’ll get save opportunities as Kevin Cash hasn’t been shy about matching up with Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger in the seventh and eighth. My guess would be Geltz for that spot. For the Twins, Jepsen moves in behind Glen Perkins, and Blaine Boyer is off the grid entirely, with Casey Fien staying where he is.

Of Note: Craig Kimbrel blew a save in Miami, and A.J. Ramos came on for the tenth. He struck out two and got a tapper to second. Then he came out for the eleventh and the wheels fell off. He walked three and was charged with four earned. Carter Capps is probably owned everywhere, and the runs Ramos gave up were in his second inning of work, so don’t expect changes here. Edward Mujica struck out the side, but blew the save. The Oakland grid is redder than me after an hour in the sun. Anything can happen there. Zach Britton(27), Mark Melancon(35), Koji Uehara(23), Brad Ziegler(18), Cody Allen(21), and Kenley Jansen(18) all garnered saves on Blue Moon Friday. I won’t lie, I was excited at the prospect of a glowing blue orb. Then I did some research and learned that it’s called a blue moon due to the rarity of it. A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. Happens every two or three years. Also, I’m watching Frasier for the first time in like four blue moons. Also, my research could be incorrect. Feel free to correct me.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson David Hernandez Addison Reed
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino David Aardsma Jason Frasor Jason Grilli
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Brad Brach
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Alexi Ogando
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Jason Motte Rafael Soriano
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Putnam
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Ryan Mattheus
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Tommy Kahnle Justin Miller
Detroit Alex Wilson Bruce Rondon Al Albuerquerque Joe Nathan
Houston Luke Gregerson Pat Neshek Chad Qualls
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Jim Johnson Pedro Baez
Miami A.J. Ramos Carter Capps Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Kevin Jepsen Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Tyler Clippard Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson
Oakland Edward Mujica Fernando Rodriguez Drew Pomeranz Sean Doolittle
Philly Ken Giles Luis Garcia Jeanmar Gomez
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Joakim Soria Tony Watson
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Steve Cishek Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Brendan Maurer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland
Seattle Carson Smith Fernando Rodney Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Steve Geltz
Texas Shawn Tolleson Keone Kela Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Roberto Osuna Aaron Sanchez Brett Cecil
Wash. Jonathan Papelbon Drew Storen Casey Janssen

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

Darren contributes to RotoGraphs when he isn’t watching the Braves or shoveling snow. Follow him on Twitter @shinesie.

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Why is Soria ahead of Watson? Not sure what Watson would have done to lose his setup roll. Plus, in tonight game it was Hughes in the 6th, Soria in the 7th (struggled), Watson in the 8th, and Marky Mark in the 9th.


I was going to say the same thing. Tony watson is still second in line behind Mark the Shark