Bullpen Report: June 1, 2016

• It’s the first day of June and Brad Boxberger is headed back to where he spent the first couple of months. After only one appearance, Boxy is headed back to the disabled list with an oblique strain. Early estimates are 4-8 weeks, so feel free to stash him if you have a DL slot, but he’s certainly not must-own unless you feel that 1-2 saves will be the difference in September. The only thing that has kept this bullpen from being Alex Colome’s lock-down special was Boxberger’s impending return (and some vague commentary about him not getting Wally Pipp‘d), so I flipped it to green. Colome has a 1.67 SIERA (which neatly matches his 1.23 ERA) and put together a better May than an already excellent April. One minor concern is a slight recent downtick in velocity, but it hasn’t seemed to hurt anything.

Will Smith was activated yesterday after spending the early part of the season on the sidelines thanks to a torn LCL. While torn LCLs seem like the type of injury that should require surgery, the southpaw has opted for rehab instead and looked good in his minor league tuneups (4/0 K/BB in three appearances). Craig Counsell might be ready to throw him into the fire pretty soon, and he apparently thinks Smith might be an option to close games after a few initial outings. Remember, the original plan was to have Smith and Jeremy Jeffress pseudo-battle for the ninth inning gig in spring training. Jeffress has been rather solid this year, but Smith has a sub-3.00 SIERA for his career out of the pen and (if healthy) could prove to be another elite arm in the late innings. I’m shifting this pen to yellow, and Smith really should be scooped up if you are looking ahead (or want to ‘cuff Jeffress).

• Injury alert: Pedro Strop (not Hector Rondon) was warming in the ninth today in case Jon Lester couldn’t polish off a 2-1 win (spoiler alert: Strop wasn’t needed). Sounds like Hector Rondon is day-to-day with a stiff back, but we know who is second-in-line here. Strop and his 2.20 SIERA make for an excellent speculative gamble, especially if you have some flotsam you can jettison for a couple days to see what’s up.

• Quick notes: Hansel Robles had to leave today’s game with a sprained ankle. It doesn’t sound too serious, but the injury, combined with his poor pitching the last week or so has knocked him off the grid. Francisco Rodriguez, A.J. Ramos, Jeurys Familia, Zach Britton, and Wade Davis all got saves. Like they should.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Tyler Clippard
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino Hunter Cervenka Alexi Ogando
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Mychal Givens
Boston Craig Kimbrel Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Pedro Strop Justin Grimm
CHI (AL) David Robertson Nate Jones Zach Duke
Cincy Tony Cingrani Ross Ohlendorf Blake Wood Jumbo Diaz
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Dan Otero
Colorado Jake McGee Carlos Estevez Jason Motte
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Mark Lowe Justin Wilson Bruce Rondon
Houston Luke Gregerson Will Harris Ken Giles
KC Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Joe Blanton Yimi Garcia
Miami A.J. Ramos David Phelps Kyle Barraclough
Milwaukee Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith Tyler Thornburg
Minnesota Kevin Jepsen Fernando Abad Michael Tonkin Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Jim Henderson
NY (AL) Aroldis Chapman Andrew Miller Dellin Betances
Oakland Ryan Madson Sean Doolittle John Axford
Philly Jeanmar Gomez Hector Neris David Hernandez
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Neftali Feliz
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seung Hwan Oh
SD Fernando Rodney Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter
SF Santiago Casilla Cody Gearrin Hunter Strickland Sergio Romo
Seattle Steve Cishek Joaquin Benoit Joel Peralta
TB Alex Colome Erasmo Ramirez Xavier Cedeno Brad Boxberger
Texas Sam Dyson Jake Diekman Matt Bush Keone Kela
Toronto Roberto Osuna Gavin Floyd Drew Storen Brett Cecil
Wash. Jonathan Papelbon Blake Treinen Shawn Kelley

[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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Heathcliff Slocumb
Heathcliff Slocumb

Gregerson with another BS tonight, this time coughed up a 3 run lead. Meanwhile Giles struck out 2 in his inning of work and Harris worked a perfect 8th while Feliz picked up the win by striking out 4 in 2 IP. There are too many solid options in this pen to tab a favorite IMO but I can’t imagine too many BS are going to be tolerated with all the talent actually getting batters out.


I’m sure a couple more blown saves will change his tune, but, at least about last night’s blown save, A.J. Hinch blamed himself:

“Gregerson was pitching in his fourth game in five days and came into Wednesday seeking a fourth save in his last four outings. Before that stretch, he had two saves and three blown saves from May 7-24. ‘I know I’m fatiguing him quite a bit and so I don’t feel good about it after the fact,’ Hinch said. ‘It’s not ideal to do it.’ . . . ‘It wasn’t his best night,’ Hinch said. ‘It wasn’t a great night for me to put him in that position, but our team picked us all up.'”

From: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/George-Springer-s-walkoff-homer-in-11th-lifts-7958470.php?t=5ce3283b34&cmpid=twitter-premium