Bullpen Report: June 1, 2014

June already…

• So… David Robertson probably killed this week’s ERA/WHIP categories for a few head-to-head teams today. The New York righty blew his second save of 2014 in impressive fashion, giving up five runs. Five runs to the Twins, the fourth-most inept offense in the American League. After giving up a leadoff homer, Robertson struck out a pair but they were mixed in among three walks (one intentional) and a double. After his yanking Matt Daley and Matt Thornton promptly allowed all his inherited runners to trot around the bases, sending the Yankees to a loss against former farmhand Phil Hughes.

Perhaps most shocking about the meltdown is how otherwise dominant the 29-year-old has been this season. His xFIP today came out to an ugly 12.51. That brings his season mark all the way up to… 1.54. Coming into today his 0.98 SIERA was better than, well, everyone (or at least every reliever with 10+ innings). Better than Craig Kimbrel, better than Koji Uehara, better than Greg Holland. If anyone is nervous after today’s hiccup, I only have one piece of advice. Keep calm and Robertson on.

Sean Doolittle notched save number five, striking out the side and helping the A’s complete a three-game sweep over the Angels. It may be somewhat overdue, but we’re moving him to green light status. Jim Johnson had his chance to bounce back into the ninth inning role a few weeks ago and did not capitalize. Meanwhile, the converted first baseman (that’s Doolittle!) is now the owner of an absurd 38/1 K/BB. That’s right, his BB% is just a hair over 1%. Belated kudos to Ryan Hanigan for acquiring (on May 20th) something nearly 100 major leaguers count not get from the Oakland lefty. A free pass. Doolittle may be a lefty and he may throw a fastball 85 times out of 100, but he’s been one of baseball’s best relievers the last couple years.

• The Colorado situation remains red thanks to LaTroy Hawkins‘ complete inability to push a fastball past a batter at 41 years of age. However, his two potential replacements did not acquit themselves the last few days. Yesterday, last year’s part-time closer Rex Brothers allowed the go-ahead (and eventually winning) run to cross the plate in the eighth inning. Today, it was Adam Ottavino’s turn, as the righty served up a two-run, walk-off tater to Michael Bourn (pitching the bottom of the 9th in a tie game in Cleveland). I still maintain that both relievers need to be owned in all leagues. Brothers because of his experience in the ninth and Ottavino because of his still-sexy 2.24 SIERA (and 28% K% with a 3% BB%!). I can’t imagine Hawkins finishing June as the Rockies everyday closer.

• Quick hits: Steve Cishek gave up a two-run shot to Evan Gattis today to take the loss against Atlanta. No reason to panic, the sidearming righty has actually improved his numbers from a year ago. Figuring out how to get out lefties at a decent clip has been a boom to his late-inning ability. Speaking of the Braves, Craig Kimbrel was given the day off after working the previous three games. Interestingly, rookie Shae Simmons got the save. Simmons has had some trouble with walks in the minor leagues, but Rotographer Nathaniel Stoltz likes what he sees. I still would rather have a guy like David Carpenter as a Kimbrel handcuff, though.

• Quicker hits: Aroldis Chapman continued to show 100+ mph average velocity in racking up another save today. It’s safe to say that liner off his face isn’t a concern anymore. Jenrry Mejía wrapped up another save on Sunday after Jeurys Familia blew one on Saturday. Familia’s usage appeared to be part Mejia losing Friday’s game and part Mejia working Thursday/Friday so I’m not sure it’s indicative of the Mets being coy with their closer situation. Own Mejia going forward.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Brad Ziegler Oliver Perez J.J. Putz
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel David Carpenter Luis Avilan Jordan Walden
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Ryan Webb Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Andrew Miller
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Neil Ramirez James Russell Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) Ronald Belisario Zach Putnam Jacob Petricka Matt Lindstrom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Scott Atchison
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino Rex Brothers
Detroit Joe Nathan Joba Chamberlain Al Alburquerque Joel Hanrahan
Houston Chad Qualls Kyle Farnsworth Josh Zeid Jesse Crain
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Joe Smith Michael Kohn Dane de la Rosa
LAD Kenley Jansen Chris Perez Brian Wilson
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 Daisuke Matsuzaka Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Dellin Betances Adam Warren Shawn Kelley
Oakland Sean Doolittle Luke Gregerson Jim Johnson
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Mike Adams Antonio Bastardo
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Carlos Martinez Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Joaquin Benoit Alex Torres
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Jean Machi Santiago Casilla
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Grant Balfour Jake McGee Joel Peralta
Texas Joakim Soria Alexi Ogando Jason Frasor Neftali Feliz
Toronto Casey Janssen Brett Cecil Steve Delabar Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

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

There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.

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Do you think Allen can run away with the job all year?

Mike Wimmer
Mike Wimmer

He has the stuff to be a borderline top 15 closer the rest of the way. Only problem is the Indians might try and keep his arbitration value down by blocking him for getting 20 saves or so the rest of the way. Especially if the team doesnt get back in the race, they might turn to Shaw or Axford to keep Allen’s value down and increase one of those guy’s trade value at the deadline.