Bullpen Report: June 11, 2016

As if the Reds bullpen wasn’t frustrating enough, they elected to use their closer Tony Cingrani in the 8th to match-up with Oakland’s 2-3-4 hitters, instead of saving him for the 9th. He did his job and earned his 7th hold of the year, paving the way for Ross Ohlendorf to earn his first save of the season. Ohlendorf made it slightly interesting giving up 2 hits, but managed to strike out Billy Butler with two on to close it out. Save opportunities are few and far between for the Reds, and the usage shown today makes this situation one I will continue to avoid with the exception of the deepest of leagues.

Rockies placed Jake McGee on the DL today with left knee inflammation. This move occurs the day after McGee blew two-run lead giving up four runs, including a three-run homer by Wil Myers. Despite having a 4.98 ERA (4.51 FIP), this was only his third blown save as he was able to convert 15 of 18 save opportunities this season. No official announcement was made regarding who will be the closer while McGee is out. In today’s game, Carlos Esteves received the save opportunity, but Walt Weiss said that was not the plan today. Esteves threw 28 pitches yesterday, so the goal was to have Motte close out the 9th. Motte got a big out in the 8th, but then let the first two runners on in the 9th, leading Weiss to call on Estevez who was able to earn his first save of the season. Estevez has a 4.43 ERA (4.35) along with a nice K rate (26.8%), but a high BB rate (12.2%). Here are some fun small sample size numbers: he has given up more HRs on the road (2) then at home (1), and has more K% at home (31.9%) then on the road (20%). He throws hard with an average fastball velocity of 96.8 MPH and definitely has strong potential. Will he be the everyday, reliable guy? Not too sure about that, hence the yellow designation in the chart. Jason Motte appears to be next in line and has only thrown 6.1 innings since being activated from the DL a couple of weeks ago, so it is tough to get a definitive read on how he will perform moving forward. Based on Weiss’ comments, it seems as if Motte could be in line to get a few saves as well.

Will Harris earned his 3rd save of the season, though it was not pretty. Harris allowed the first three runners on with two of them walking, but then gave up a sacrifice fly and induced a game-ending double play to get the save, and raising his ERA to 0.63. This was the first time Harris has given up a run since his first game of the year on April 7th. That’s 26 games he went without giving up a run. Luke Gregerson earned his 1st hold of the year, pitching a clean 8th and striking out one. Last night, the Astros pen looked strong as Michael Feliz and Ken Giles each pitched scoreless innings, with Giles striking out three.

Jonathan Papelbon (16), Alex Colome (18), Tony Cingrani (6), David Robertson (15), Jeurys Familia (21), Fernando Rodney (12), A.J. Ramos (19), Steve Cishek (14), and Kenley Jansen (17) all earned saves on Friday. Santiago Casilla took the loss on Friday and has been struggling as of late. Still, Bochy says he’s their closer and it doesn’t appear a move is imminent, especially after pitching a scoreless 9th tonight. Brad Brach and Tyler Clippard also earned losses on Friday. Jeremy Jeffress (17), Francisco Rodriguez (18), and Trevor Rosenthal (12) both inherited and worked out of jams to earn saves today.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Tyler Clippard
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino Jim Johnson Hunter Cervenka
Baltimore Zach Britton Mychal Givens Brad Brach Darren O’Day
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 Carlos Estevez Jason Motte Boone Logan Jake McGee
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Justin Wilson Shane Greene Bruce Rondon
Houston Will Harris Ken Giles Luke Gregerson
KC Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria
LAA Huston Street Fernando Salas Cam Bedrosian Joe Smith
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 Brandon Kintzler Fernando Abad Kevin Jepsen 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 Neftali Feliz Tony Watson
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seung Hwan Oh
SD Fernando Rodney Ryan Buchter Brandon Maurer
SF Santiago Casilla Cody Gearrin Hunter Strickland Sergio Romo
Seattle Steve Cishek Joaquin Benoit Nick Vincent
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 Shawn Kelley Felipe Rivero

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

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Kintzler or Estevez? I currently have Kintzler but we have limited season moves, so if it’s a lateral move, I’d rather just stick with Kintzler. Estevez has the sexy fastball but also has control problems and pitches in Coors. Kintzler could turn out to be a Jenmar Gomez situation, especially if Perkins doesn’t come back.


Kintzler is a better pitcher in BB%, ERA, xFIP, SIERA, and I’d say overall. Estevez only has a better K% (assuming FIP is incorrect in saying that Kintzler’s 30% HR/FB% will last). However, the Twins should see a few less save opportunities than the Rockies. I sincerely doubt Kintzler will turn into Jeanmar Gomez, but it seems like a lateral move to drop him for Estevez to me. Molitor DID say Kintzler is going to supposedly share closing duties with Fernando Abad, but if Kintzler doesn’t stumble, I’m not sure why Molitor would switch things up when he didn’t take a 5/6 ERA closer out of his role for around 2 months.


Honestly, I’d go with Kintzler mainly because Estevez pitches in Coors. Even though J Gray has figured out how to pitch there doesn’t mean the rest of those pitchers are safe.


Estevez the better pitcher for the slightly better team and no notice of a committee as there is with Kintz/Abad. I’d go (and did go) Estevez. He’s young, I think his command will improve.