Bullpen Report: June 10, 2018

After notching his 12th save of the year yesterday, Cody Allen had an outing to forget against the Tigers on Saturday. Entering a tie game in the bottom of the 12th inning, Allen was able to generate two quick outs on five pitches – striking out Leonys Martin and getting Nick Castellanos to ground out. The next hitter was Miguel Cabrera, who quickly was down 0-2 on a couple of curveballs before lacing a two-out single off the first fastball he saw. Jeimer Candelario would end the game on a 2-0 fastball up in the zone that he deposited to right field for a two-run walk-off jack.

The loss gives Allen three on the year. It was his fifth run allowed in his last five appearances (4 IP), and pushed his ERA up to 4.18 (4.37 xFIP). His F-Strike% (50) and SwStr% (13) are both down from last year, and in turn have negatively affected both his K% (27) and BB% (9.7). I think it’s safe to swap him into the “unstable” group right now based on his recent output. I understand it was his fourth appearance in the last five days, but we need to see a string of positive results. As far as the other Indians relievers, Zack McAllister allowed one hit with two strikeouts in his inning pitched. That’s his second appearance in-a-row in which he hasn’t allowed a run, but he’ll stay yellow due to yielding a run in three-of-his-four appearances prior. Let’s see if he can keep it up. Neil Ramirez worked two innings of one-hit ball. While he didn’t record a strikeout, he was able to hold the opposition off the scoreboard for the sixth-straight time.

All-in-all, Cody Allen will remain the closer despite his struggles recently. With that said, an update came in on Andrew Miller’s knee injury, as he’s set to throw another bullpen session on Monday after having a successful 30-pitch session on Friday. If all goes well on Monday we should see Miller back sometime within the next two weeks or so. Once he returns we’ll likely see Allen continue to receive the majority of the work in the closer role, but a healthy Miller will always take some of it away.

Fireballer Jordan Hicks secured his first save of his career against the Reds today – allowing one hit and striking out the side on 21 pitches. It was his third day pitching in a row. He’s allowed exactly three runs on two different occasions since May 17th. However, he generated 10 clean outings during that time (today marks four-straight) and dropped his ERA to 2.18 in the process. His 6.55 K/9 and 5.18 BB/9 are good for a 1.3 K/BB – fourth-worst among all qualified relievers – but his 60% GB ranks 12th. I’ve placed him in a committee with Bud Norris for now, but this is a situation that’s liable to change on a day-to-day basis.

Bud Norris didn’t make an appearance today, as he worked each of the last two days and has yielded at least one run in four-of-his-last-seven appearances. Unlike Hicks, Norris has a 10.0 K/BB – good for top-8 among qualified relievers. He’s also sitting on a 1.93 SIERA, which is tied with Edwin Diaz for sixth among relievers as well. His .348 BABIP should regress positively in short order, and he’ll likely start rounding back into form somewhat soon, but for now the Cardinals will likely mix-and-match him and Hicks until that time comes.

Sam Tuivailala entered the ballgame when it was 6-3 in the eighth inning. He would labor through the frame, throwing 25 pitches, allowing three hits, including a solo-home run off the bat of Jesse Winker. That’s the third time in-his-last five trips to the mound in which he’s allowed at least one run. His status has been changed to “unstable” for the moment. Even if things were going extremely well, he doesn’t possess a good enough skill in any particular spot to be a super viable commodity in fantasy circles.

With Ryan Tepera and Sueng-Hwan Oh combining to throw 131 pitches (8 IP) over the last week, the Blue Jays turned to Tyler Clippard with one out in the eighth inning to keep the lead at 3-2. While there were men at second and third when he toed the rubber, it didn’t help matters when he walked the first hitter he faced – Trey Mancini – on four pitches to load the bases. He rebounded to strike out Chance Sisco on seven pitches when he chased a splitter in the dirt, and after a mound visit, blew the Blue Jays lead after a wild pitch to Jace Peterson. He would later strike him out but the damage had already been done.

John Axford came in to start the ninth inning and would end up getting the win over his two innings – but it certainly wasn’t easy. In the ninth Axford began the inning allowing a single to Adam Jones and yanked a wild pitch to advance him to second. Manny Machado would be intentionally walked, with both he and Jones advancing to second and third following a line out by Danny Valencia. Axford would squeeze out of the frame unharmed after Adam Jones was called out on a play at the plate and Jonathan Schoop grounded out. Axford still needed 22 more pitches to get through the 10th inning, but he did so despite walking Chance Sisco to secure what would later become his first win of the year.

On the other side of things, Miguel Castro hurled two scoreless innings before giving way to Mychal Givens in a tie game in the bottom of the 10th. Suffice it to say, things didn’t go well as he hit a batter and walked two – including the winning run – leading to his second loss of the season.

Both of these clubs have more secure options that weren’t used today. Darren O’Day was activated from the 10-day disabled list after being held out for over a month with a hyperextended right elbow. Brad Brach will continue to get a few save chances even when Zach Britton returns, as I’m sure the Orioles will want to ease him into things. There’s also the distinct possibility that Baltimore tries to trade Britton after a string of saves. The main lesson, hold on to Brach even when Britton returns. I’ve hesitated on replacing Givens or Bleier in exchange for O’Day since he hasn’t been re-implemented yet. Givens has allowed a run in two-of-his-last-four appearances, so his status has been changed to “unstable.” Regardless, both of them will be replaced on the sheet in short order once O’Day and Britton have their normal roles back.

Tepera and Oh were both held out today, but Tepera in particular has cemented himself as a solid option for the Jays, at least if/when Osuna returns. John Axford may have put himself ahead of Tyler Clippard at this point, but it’ll likely remain a shuffle, which is why I left Clippard in as the third option.

Quick Hits:
Blake Parker converted his fourth-straight save attempt after allowing one hit and striking out one in his inning of work against the Twins on Saturday. It’s his sixth save of the year and drops his ERA to 2.64. Justin Anderson converted his 10th hold behind him in a clean eighth inning.

After Pedro Strop converted a save on Friday, the Cubs leaned on Steve Cishek in the ninth inning on Saturday as he converted his second save of the year. Cubs manager Joe Maddon expressed that everything is ok with Brandon Morrow, they just wanted to get him some extra rest. He’ll be ready to go tomorrow.

Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and Craig Kimbrel combined for three innings of one-hit ball with a 5/1 K:BB ratio en route to a Red Sox win. The save is Kimbrel’s 20th of the year – tied for second among relievers.

Kelvin Herrera notched his 1th save of the year against the Athletics on Saturday. After posting a 1.50 ERA in May, he’s began June with three scoreless outings – striking out four and walking zero.

Shane Greene rebounded from the three-run bomb he gave up yesterday to record a scoreless appearance against the Indians. He didn’t grab a save, but it was his third day in a row.

Kirby Yates – not Brad Hand – registered a save against the Marlins on Saturday. Hand came in for his third hold in the eighth inning – likely to face Justin Bour – getting all three outs in succession on 17 pitches with one strikeout. Yates faced all RHB in the ninth, getting four outs after an error, striking out one. This isn’t a commitee, the Padres just saw a matchup advantage.

Chaz Roe grabbed a four-out save after entering the game against the Mariners with two outs in the eighth inning. It’s his eighth-straight appearance without giving up a run. The Rays situation is still a committee, but Roe is making a strong case to be the main guy right now.

Archie Bradley has now gone seven-straight appearances without allowing a run – striking out six and walking two over 5.2 IP during that time.

Hector Rondon converted his second save opportunity in-a-row against the Rangers on Saturday. It makes 10-straight appearances without allowing a run and drops his ERA to 1.57 for the season. Ken Giles last worked on Thursday.

David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman all posted scoreless frames in Saturday’s win against the Mets. They combined for 1 H, 6 K, and 2 BB over 3 IP. The save was Chapman’s 17th of the year.

On the other end of the “Subway Series” it was Anthony Swarzak getting the nod later in the game than Robert Gsellman. The latter threw 17 pitches – allowing one baserunner – while failing to generate a strikeout. Swarzak faced the heart of the Yankee lineup and yielded a home run to Aaron Judge on his first pitch of the inning. This is still a situation to monitor. I kept Gsellman ahead, but it’s honestly anyone’s guess in terms of who will get the opportunities while Familia is sidelined.

Arodys Vizcaino allowed one hit in the ninth inning against the Dodgers to secure his 11th save of the year. He failed to strike anyone out, but it only took him eight pitches to shut things down. He’s now logged a scoreless appearance in six-straight.

Sean Doolittle snagged his 16th save of the season after allowing one hit and striking out one after entering the game in the eighth inning against the Giants on Saturday. Brandon Kintzler made an early exit due to forearm tightness and will have an MRI tomorrow. He remains on the sheet behind Ryan Madson in the pecking order, but this will likely change depending on his prognosis.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 6/10/2018
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Brad Boxberger Archie Bradley Yoshihisa Hirano
ATL Arodys Vizcaino Dan Winkler A.J. Minter
BAL Brad Brach Richard Bleier Mychal Givens Zach Britton
BOS Craig Kimbrel Joe Kelly Matt Barnes
CHC Brandon Morrow Steve Cishek Pedro Strop Carl Edwards Jr.
CWS Joakim Soria Nate Jones Bruce Rondon Danny Farquhar
CIN Raisel Iglesias Jared Hughes Amir Garrett
CLE Cody Allen Neil Ramirez Zach McAllister Andrew Miller
COL Wade Davis Jake McGee Scott Oberg Adam Ottavino
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Alex Wilson
HOU Hector Rondon Ken Giles Chris Devenski
KC Kelvin Herrera Jason Adam Kevin McCarthy Justin Grimm
LAA Blake Parker Justin Anderson Noe Ramirez Keynan Middleton
LAD Kenley Jansen Erik Goeddel Adam Liberatore Tony Cingrani
MIA Kyle Barraclough Drew Steckenrider Brad Ziegler
MIL Corey Knebel Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress
MIN Fernando Rodney Addison Reed Zach Duke
NYM Robert Gsellman Anthony Swarzak Paul Sewald Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman David Robertson Dellin Betances
OAK Blake Treinen Yusmeiro Petit Lou Trivino Santiago Casilla
PHI Seranthony Dominguez Hector Neris Luis Garcia Pat Neshek
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Edgar Santana
STL Bud Norris Jordan Hicks Sam Tuivailala Greg Holland
SD Brad Hand Kirby Yates Craig Stammen
SF Hunter Strickland Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Edwin Diaz Alex Colome Juan Nicasio Nick Vincent
TB Sergio Romo Chaz Roe Jose Alvarado
TEX Keone Kela Chris Martin Jake Diekman
TOR Ryan Tepera Seung Hwan Oh Tyler Clippard Roberto Osuna
WSH Sean Doolittle Ryan Madson Brandon Kintzler

Fantasy Baseball and Tampa Bay Rays enthusiast. Restaurant manager by day, fantasy analyst by night. Contributor to Rotographs, Baseball HQ, Fantasy Pros, and co-owner of Friends with Fantasy Benefits. Follow me @MikeWernerFWFB.

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5 years ago

The Nationals have a guy named Justin Miller who has been dominant for them in a 9 inning sample. I don’t know much about him, but if he keeps this up maybe he replaces Kintzler for #3 in line for Washington saves?