Another day, another save for 39-year-old Koji Uehara of the Boston Red Sox. He fanned one and induced two groundouts to seal his 14th save of the season on 14 pitches. Uehara has now converted 30 consecutive save opportunities dating back to July 6th of last season. Koji owns a 0.63 ERA (1.69 FIP) and a ~33% K-BB% in 27.2 innings of work in ‘14. Something else that caught my eye while cruising Uehara’s player page is his SwStr% over the past three seasons: 18.9%, 18.5% and 18.5%. Have to love the consistency. With my tail between my legs, I’ll have to admit I was totally wrong on this guy heading into this year. I anticipated Father Time creeping up on the old man, but he’s apparently nowhere in sight. Sorry for doubting you, Koji.
Jenrry Mejia left the bullpen with an apparent back injury while warming up this evening. After the game Mejia mentioned the injury was more than just “stiffness” and associated the issue with “pain.” While neither of those comments give us in-depth insight as to what may be going on with the Mets’ closer, if he’s in pain the situation may not be good. We’ll likely learn more in the morning if a stint on the disabled list may be in order or not, but for the time being, I’d look to see if Jeurys Familia or Vic Black are available in your leagues for the speculative add.
Zach Britton notched his sixth save of the season this evening in a 4-2 Orioles victory over the Blue Jays. Britton struck out one, surrendered a one-out single then induced a game-ending double play off the bat to Darin Mastroianni to seal the deal. In 34.2 innings this year, Britton is 3-0 with six saves and a 0.78 ERA (2.97 FIP). Prior to Thursday’s outing, the Orioles ninth-inning man posted a ridiculous GB% of 77.5% thanks to the sinker that he features more than 90% of the time. Since scrapping the fourseamer, slider and changeup, the velocity on his sinker spiked about three ticks. The groundballer is 6-of-7 in save chances since “taking over” the closer’s role in Baltimore and landed in the 24 spot in today’s updated reliever rankings.
Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman each earned a vote for the top spot in today’s updated reliever rankings, but Chapman landed at number one thanks to Colin’s tiebreaker. And shortly thereafter, Chapman celebrated his number one ranking with his 10th save of the season. Chapman surrendered a hit and a walk, but struck out the side en route to the Reds 4-1 victory over the Dodgers. Since returning from the disabled list, Chapman is 9-of-10 in save chances with a 1.20 ERA (0.88 FIP) and a 55% K%.
Quick Hitters: In my middle reliever time slot today, Colin published our updated closer rankings which you can check out here. Ben was on the road and therefore couldn’t contribute to the consensus rankings, but should chime in once he gets internet access. Let us know what you think. Chad Qualls blews his second save of the year today in Houston, but the Astros managed to pick up the victory over the Diamondbacks, 5-4 in extras. A long ball off the bat of Dbacks’ catcher Miguel Montero was the culprit of tonight’s failed conversion. David Robertson fanned two in two-thirds of an inning to pick up his 14th save of the year.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]