Bullpen Report: July 24, 2014

A rather slow Thursday in the bullpen world, so please accept these few notes on my behalf:

The White Sox closer-by-committee situation may have cleared itself up a bit today, at least for the time being, anyway. Zach Putnam was placed on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation after recently feeling discomfort. With Putnam shelved, Robin Ventura suggested that “Jake Petricka will pitch in closer situations more often than not.” And Ventura did indeed signal for Petricka this evening with the ChiSox up 5-2 on the Twinkies in a save situation. The right-hander needed just eleven pitches to retire the Twins in order, with two strikeouts, to notch his fifth save of the season.

A bit more about Petricka: He’s an extreme ground ball guy — boasts a ~63% GB%, which is second in the league behind only Zach Britton among closers — and may not punch a ton of guys out (~18% K%). The 26-year-old’s ratios consist of a fine 2.06 ERA (3.43 FIP) and a 1.26 WHIP, which should be worth the risk for fantasy owners with bullpen vacancies in deeper leagues. Looking a bit more down the road, we can see that Matt Lindstrom is on the mend. Lindstrom appears primed for a simulated game, followed by a rehab assignment, so the Petricka experiment could be super short-term in favor of the veteran with 50+ career saves. But in deep leagues where saves are scarce, you’re adding Petricka for now, but should consider stashing Lindstrom in a DL slot (if possible).

Note: Regarding the chart, I left Putnam off due to the fact that Lindstrom appears to be due back first.

Steve Cishek induced a trio of flyouts to retire three of the more dangerous Braves — Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton — in order on 18 pitches. The lanky right-hander secured his 24th save of the season on his 27th chance. With the trade deadline approaching, and both Huston Street and Joakim Soria off the market, Cishek may be one of the best relief options left for contenders to consider if they’re looking to solidify their bullpen for a playoff push. Consider placing Cishek on the block to test his trade value, it may be worth getting something for him now in case he’s moved.

Quick Hits: Jonathan Papelbon rebounded from Wednesday’s debacle with a clean ninth-inning of work tonight on just ten pitches. He fanned one Giant en route to his 24th save of the season. Yankees’ closer, David Robertson, induced two strikeouts and allowed a free pass in a clean ninth frame for his 25th save of the season. Robertson’s 17 pitches secured the save and Brandon McCarthy’s second victory since being traded to Bombers.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Brad Ziegler Oliver Perez
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden Shae Simmons
Baltimore Zach Britton Tommy Hunter Darren O’Day
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Andrew Miller
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Neil Ramirez Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) Jacob Petricka Javy Guerra Ronald Belisario Matt Lindstom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw John Axford
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino Rex Brothers
Detroit Joe Nathan Joakim Soria Joba Chamberlain Joel Hanrahan
Houston Chad Qualls Tony Sipp Josh Fields
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Jason Frasor
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Jason Grilli
LAD Kenley Jansen Brian Wilson Brandon League
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Will Smith Brandon Kintzler Jim Henderson
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jenrry Mejia Jeurys Familia Vic Black Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Dellin Betances Adam Warren
Oakland Sean Doolittle Luke Gregerson Dan Otero
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Jake Diekman Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Ernesto Frieri
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Pat Neshek Jason Motte
SD Joaquin Benoit Kevin Quackenbush Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt Sergio Romo
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Dominic Leone
TB Jake McGee Grant Balfour Joel Peralta
Texas Neftali Feliz Neal Cotts Shawn Tolleson
Toronto Casey Janssen Aaron Loup Brett Cecil
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

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

In addition to contributing to the RotoGraphs blog, you can find Alan at his own site, TheFantasyFix.com and follow his nonsense on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

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Jesse Crain getting closer to throwing. Any reason to hold on to him?


Yes if you’re in a league with Holds. Chad Qualls is quietly having a nice season for the Astros, so IMO there’s no guarantee the job is handed to Crain whenever he returns. Even if you’re only looking for Saves I would wait until at least the trade deadline to see if Qualls winds up getting moved before doing anything with Crain.