Just a few notes from the bullpens today with the left coast games still in progress…
Seung Hwan Oh took the bump in the top of the ninth-inning in a tie game against the Brewers. Oh fanned one, but surrendered a pair of hits including the game winning two-run dinger off the bat of Eric Thames. With Corey Knebel and Jacob Barnes having worked the previous two evenings and Carlos Torres seeing the eighth in tonight’s contest, the Brewers signaled for right-hander Oliver Drake to close out the Cardinals in the home half of the ninth. Drake came on to face the 8-9-1 hitters and promptly fanned the first two and finished off the Cards by inducing a fly ball out from Matt Carpenter to earn his first career save. With Neftali Feliz being designated for assignment, Carlos Torres will slot into the second chair and Drake is looking closely over his shoulder. With the loss, Oh is now 1-3 with 15 saves in 17 chances, a 3.48 ERA (4.03 FIP) and a 8.71 K/9. Both teams remain green.
Hector Neris notched his sixth save of the season in a 19-pitch effort at home against the Red Sox. The right-hander induced a leadoff groundout then sandwiched a free pass between a pair of strikeouts to seal the deal. This is Neris’ second save in in the month of June and just his third since the beginning of May. He was the hot name in the Phillies’ bullpen early in ‘17, so those of you who held on may be rewarded for your patience. Neris likely jumps back into the top spot with the first and second chairs to shake out between a healthy Joaquin Benoit and Pat Neshek. For what it’s worth, Neshek saw the eighth tonight at home in a tie game and eventually earned the win for his clean inning of work — “arguably his best outing of the season.” Going to leave this red for tonight.
A couple of notes regarding changes on the chart:
The Orioles sent Darren O’Day to the disabled list on June 9th, shifting Mychal Givens to the first chair and Richard Bleier to the second chair. O’Day is no longer listed on the chart due to Zach Britton occupying the only DL slot we provide. Mike Wright may normally jump into the second chair as suggested last evening but he’s also a bit banged up with a shoulder and could be headed for the shelf as well. Bleier is a 30-year-old journeyman with little strikeout upside but induces ground balls at a well above average 68% clip.
Jason Grilli is no longer on the chart thanks to his 8.59 FIP and the four homers he surrendered in a 23-pitch effort against the Yankees back on June 3rd — “the worst relief outing in Blue Jays history.” Ryan Tepera and his 16.4% K-BB% and 2.98 FIP over 34.2 frames slides into the second chair. For holds leagues folks, Tepera is three percent and the above mentioned Bleier is zero percent owned in Yahoo! formats.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]