Bullpen Report: July 6, 2015

A slow news day for the bullpens which is probably similar to everyone’s production at work after a holiday weekend…

Rafael Soriano was moved to Double-A today and he was impressive in his first outing, striking out three batters on 16 pitches for the Smokies. With a few more appearances in the minors, Soriano could be in Chicago after the All-Star break.  However, rather than firm up any of the bullpen roles, Soriano’s addition is only adding to the confusion. He will help the bullpen’s depth and Maddon has seen Soriano close out games first hand on the Rays, but for now Jason Motte is getting the saves. The Motte bar isn’t a tough bar to clear necessarily but he also has Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop and possibly even more outside help. The latest Cubs rumors involve starting pitching and an OF bat so I think whoever will get saves moving forward is currently on the roster.

Aroldis Chapman pitched around one walk to get his 17th save on the year. While Johnny Cueto’s name pops up in any trade rumor article, it’s remained fairly quiet on the Chapman front. Chapman will likely continue to throw 100+mph on his familiarly mediocre Reds team. He’s been slightly less dominant this year, which says more about what we expect than a poor performance as a 1.73 ERA and 60 strikeouts in only 36 innings pitched is still top tier material.

• No save in Pittsburgh but Jared Hughes picked up the win. Entering the game in a tied ninth, Hughes pitched around two hits and vultured the W after Pedro Alvarez knocked in the winning run off of Brandon Maurer. Tony Watson relieved A.J. Burnett to get the final out in the eighth, and I’d still have him as second in line in Pittsburgh.  Arquimedes Caminero has the profile of a closer but Jared Hughes has been excellent of late, with 11 straight appearance without allowing a run while Caminero has struggled over the same timeframe. I would bet on Caminero’s career save total over Hughes, but I’m moving Hughes ahead of him on the pecking order.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Enrique Burgos Addison Reed
Atlanta Jason Grilli Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Alexi Ogando
CHI (NL) Jason Motte Hector Rondon Pedro Strop 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 Boone Logan LaTroy Hawkins John Axford
Detroit Joakim Soria Bruce Rondon Al Albuerquerque Joe Nathan
Houston Luke Gregerson Pat Neshek Josh Fields Chad Qualls
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Yimi Garcia Pedro Baez
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 Jenrry Mejia
NY (AL) Dellin Betances Justin Wilson Chasen Shreve Andrew Miller
Oakland Tyler Clippard Evan Scribner 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 Brandon Maurer Joaquin Benoit
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 Neftali Feliz
Toronto Roberto Osuna Steve Delabar Brett Cecil Miguel Castro
Wash. Drew Storen Casey Janssen Matt Thornton Aaron Barrett

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

We hoped you liked reading Bullpen Report: July 6, 2015 by Benjamin Pasinkoff!

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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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Maybe, I should have made this comment yesterday, but since it wasn’t mentioned, I’ll bring it up. Fernando Rodney got the save on Sunday and I think McClendon has made it clear that Rodney is back to being there closer.

Drop Carson Smith for Jason Motte?


I’d wait to see Rodney actually save back to back games before assuming he’s going to close.

LM might want him there, but he’s got to hold up his end of the bargain. Motte is pitching well, but he’s got a short leash also.

Mike W.
Mike W.

I probably would. Smith is the best overall pitcher, but the M’s clearly want Rodney closing and if Rodney has a couple of clean outing in a row he could easily have a firm grasp on that job again.

Motte is far from secure either, but at least in Chicago, you kinda know that he is a the top of the pecking order barring Motte having a couple blow ups.

I guess the way I look at it is that for right now it appears the Cubs/Maddon want Motte closing. On the flipside, it appears the M’s dont want Smith closing. That would make me want to own Motte right now over Smith, even though Smith is a superior pitcher.