Bullpen Report: July 20, 2015

Jonathan Papelbon closed out a rare Phillies win for his 16th save of the season tonight against the Rays. With Ken Giles throwing in the previous two games, the Phillies went  Jake Diekman –> Luis Garcia –> Jeanmar Gomez for the bridge to Papelbon. However if/when Papelbon is traded, Ken Giles is ready to become the closer. There are no strong trade rumors at the moment and the deadline is approaching, but I’d still expect Papelbon to change teams. He’s not particularly cheap next year but it’s not a long term commitment and he’s proving to still be quite effective pitching to a 1.72/2.95/3.18 ERA/FIP/xFIP line. Throw in the fact that he’s vocally expressed a preference to change teams and I would be a bit optimistic if I were a Giles owner.

Joakim Soria threw a perfect ninth tonight for his 21st save. Soria has had a few up and downs this year, so it’s nice to see him start the second half on the right foot. New teammate Neftali Feliz isn’t breathing down Nathan’s Soria’s neck, but he would be a threat to replace Soria if he goes back to his home run happy ways that crept up a few times this year.

• Recently promoted Rafael Soriano saw his first action for the Cubs tonight, throwing a scoreless eighth inning down by a run. Soriano threw 23 pitches with 12 going for strikes while allowing one hit. The ninth inning is still Jason Motte’s to lose and I still wouldn’t put Soriano above Hector Rondon, who has been pitching excellent of late, in the pecking order. But, I would say that Soriano is closer to saves than Pedro Strop given the former’s previous history and added him to the grid below.

• While it’s expected for Johnny Cueto to be moved before the deadline, Aroldis Chapman should be staying in Cincinnati. Chapman did what he’s known to do this evening and closed out his 19th game throwing a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Chapman is having another stellar season with a 1.56 ERA and 72 strikeouts. It’s a testament to how great he has been over the past few years that we don’t gawk much over him anymore. J.J. Hoover pitched a scoreless eighth lowering his ERA to an impressive 1.31. His ERA might suggest a shutdown reliever but it’s a little inflated with a .190 BABIP and 4.22 xFIP. Hoover is one injury away from saves but there are better options to own for both speculative saves and ratio help, in spite of his shiny ERA.

• It wasn’t the cleanest inning but Jim Johnson pitched around three base hits for his seventh save. If Johnson stays on Atlanta, he should tally up saves the rest of the year. However, Jim Johnson, like Papelbon, is expected to be traded sooner rather than later. In that scenario I’d expect the young Arodys Vizcaino to get a chance at the ninth. Vizcaino wouldn’t be the first choice if you care about closer experience, but it would behoove the Braves to see what they have in him.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson David Hernandez Addison Reed
Atlanta Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino David Aardsma Jason Grilli
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Alexi Ogando
CHI (NL) Jason Motte Hector Rondon Rafael Soriano
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Putnam
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Ryan Mattheus Tony Cingrani
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado John Axford LaTroy Hawkins Boone Logan
Detroit Joakim Soria Neftali Feliz 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 Pedro Baez Juan Nicasio Yimi Garcia
Miami A.J. Ramos Carter Capps Steve Cishek
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Blaine Boyer Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Bobby Parnell Carlos Torres
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson
Oakland Tyler Clippard Edward Mujica Drew Pomeranz Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Luis Garcia
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Jared Hughes
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seth Maness Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Brendan Maurer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland
Seattle Carson Smith Fernando Rodney Mark Lowe
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Kevin Jepsen
Texas Shawn Tolleson Tanner Scheppers Keone Kela
Toronto Roberto Osuna Steve Delabar Brett Cecil Miguel Castro
Wash. Drew Storen Casey Janssen Aaron Barrett

[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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Joe Nathan
Joe Nathan

Remind me why Feliz is breathing down my neck, while I’m on the DL for the year?


Felix eyein’ the DL?

Dr. Huxtable
Dr. Huxtable

Because quaaludes.