Bullpen Report: July 27, 2015

• Continuing in their trade deadline reboot, the Oakland A’s have traded closer Tyler Clippard (and $1 million) to the Mets in exchange for 20 year old starting pitcher Casey MeisnerEno Sarris and Kiley McDaniel provided insta-analysis of the trade so we will just stick to how this affects the bullpens. Clippard’s ERA is similar to what we have come to expect but his 3.89 FIP is more pedestrian than Clippard’s recent years and his 5.31 xFIP is potentially worrisome. Either way, Clippard should still help the Mets bullpen’s depth. Jenrry Mejia hasn’t allowed a run since he’s returned but his suspension prohibits him from joining the playoff roster, if the Mets were to make it there. So, while the Mets will use the options that best help them win games, I expect Clippard to have a more prominent setup role than Mejia moving forward, and have changed the grid accordingly with Familia still safe on top.

As far as the Oakland side is concerned, it’s really anyone’s guess on who will be getting saves now. John Shea suggests that Eric O’Flaherty or Edward Mujica will now close but they’re both free agents who could also be on the move this week. Mujica has pitched decently since being on the A’s (14.2 IP, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts, 3 homers allowed and a 3.68 ERA and 4.50 FIP) while O’Flaherty has been pretty terrible this year with a 5.57/4.21/4.39 ERA/FIP/xFIP pitching line in 21 innings. O’Flaherty had an awesome run on the Braves but since 2013 it’s been a rocky road. Considering he’s also a lefty, I can’t imagine O’Flaherty getting many saves on Oakland. Also of note is the guy pitching the best right now, Fernando Rodriguez who I’ll put in the first chair until we see how this shakes out. In 30 innings this year, Rodriguez has a 3.60/1.53/3.07 ERA/FIP/xFIP line with 38 strikeouts against eight walks.  Long thought as the eventual replacement for Clippard, Scribner had a few struggles in July and although he’s not on the grid, he’s still in the conversation. Also in that same long conversation is Drew Pomeranz, who had an abbreviated start last week but also received a save earlier this year. There are no great options to it’s a lot of speculation but for who will be seeing the most saves moving forward I’ll go Rodriguez – Mujica – Pomeranz – Scribner.

• In a 0-0 game in the ninth, Zach Britton allowed the go ahead run on an Adonis Garcia solo homer. Then in the bottom half of the inning, Jim Johnson blew the lead for Atlanta. In the grand scheme of things, one blown save shouldn’t do much damage to Johnson’s trade value but it’s never ideal to blow a save with scouts paying close attention. The Braves would likely sell anyone not named Shelby, Freddie or Andrelton and Johnson is certainly on the block to be moved. If/when the Braves find a suitor that wants to bolster the pen, I’d still expect Arodys Vizcaino to step into the closer’s chair in Atlanta.

Jake McGee was on a nice little run with 21 straight scoreless appearances but he allowed a run in the eighth inning tonight against the Tigers. Brad Boxberger came on in the ninth and nailed down his 25th save with a scoreless inning and two strikeouts. Since he’s returned from injury this year, McGee has been the better pitcher but moving forward you should still expect Boxberger to receive the majority of save opportunities.

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
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado John Axford LaTroy Hawkins Boone Logan
Detroit Joakim Soria Al Albuerquerque Neftali Feliz 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 Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Blaine Boyer Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Tyler Clippard Jenrry Mejia
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson
Oakland Fernando Rodriguez 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 Steve Cishek Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Brendan Maurer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland
Seattle Carson Smith Mark Lowe Fernando Rodney
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Kevin Jepsen
Texas Shawn Tolleson Keone Kela Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Roberto Osuna Aaron Sanchez 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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You posted this just before the Motte/Soriano disaster tonight. Maybe time to turn that green to yellow?


Looks like Rendon green now.