Bullpen Report: June 25, 2015

Jeurys Familia is back. After dealing with a bit of groin tightness, the righty closer saw his first in-game action in about a week this afternoon, cleaning up a 2-0 win for the Metropolitans. Good news for fantasy owners? Familia said he was discomfort-free after the outing, meaning the green light is on going forward. The Mets’ closer has been outstanding this year, notching 20 saves with a minuscule 1.34 ERA. While some regression is to be expected, Familia’s 2.48 xFIP implies that his overall line isn’t going anywhere. It’s been an impressive transformation for the righty, who has seen his velocity tick up 2 mph with his full-time move to the bullpen last year. While he’s always generated big whiffs on his slider, he also is generating 10+% SwStr% marks on both his sinker and four-seamer. It seems like a long time ago we were wondering if Bobby Parnell would regain his old gig before July.

Tyler Clippard helped the A’s finish off a sweep of the Texas Rangers on Thursday, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the easiest save possible (or at least, the one with the biggest lead). It hasn’t been all rainbows and puppy dogs for the former Nat this season, however, as the relief ace has seen both his K% and BB% head the wrong direction, pushing his xFIP to a very unappetizing 5.22. It’s somewhat tough to figure out exactly what’s wrong. From a stuff standpoint, Clippard’s SwStr% is only down a tad and his velocity is essentially where it was last year. His F-Strike% is down to 54%, so it may be a matter of falling behind and either giving out free passes or becoming predictable with pitch selection. Luckily for the A’s, June has been Clippard’s best month so far (3.21 xFIP), which might be useful as the team talks turkey with other squads regarding a trade. It’s worth noting, though, that the A’s are not totally dead in the water in a fairly weak AL West, so they might be hesitant to significantly shake anything up for another few weeks. Evan Scribner is still not a bad add for those in deep leagues.

• Even though David Robertson put up a SV in the roto column, it was anything but easy for the ChiSox stopper this afternoon. Given a three-run lead, he allowed five baserunners (and two runs) before mercifully escaping. Robertson’s rates remain elite (2.32 xFIP), but it’s worth noting that he’s allowed a few more free passes than usual so far in June. No reason to panic, but it would be nice if he would pound the strike zone a bit more and trust his knockout stuff.

Bruce Rondon saw his first big league action since the 2013 season today, fanning both batters he faced. He sat 97 and touched 101, so I’m cool with rolling the dice if you want a high-upside arm. Just don’t expect big things in the WHIP department.

• Quick hits: John Axford wrapped up his 13th save of this season this afternoon at Coors. The righty’s rates are right where they have been the last few years (mid 3.00’s xFIP), but a .258 BABIP is keeping his ERA suppressed. That seems somewhat unsustainable at Coors and the Rockies might move him if they get a good offer, so he’s a sell high in my book. Zach Britton got a little help from the home plate umpire today, but looked sharp after allowing a leadoff single against the Red Sox this afternoon. Tough to argue with his 1.89 xFIP going forward — there aren’t many closers I’d rather have. Daniel Hudson and Oliver Perez both had outings to forget in the aforementioned DBacks/Rockies game. Neither are closing games, but with Addison Reed now in the minors, it seems like Brad Ziegler owners will have at least a few more saves coming their way.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Enrique Burgos Addison Reed
Atlanta Jason Grilli Jim Johnson David Aardsma
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Alexi Ogando
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Jason Motte Pedro Strop Rafael Soriano
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Duke
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Ryan Mattheus Tony Cingrani
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado John Axford Boone Logan LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino
Detroit Joakim Soria Joba Chamberlain Al Albuerquerque Joe Nathan
Houston Luke Gregerson Chad Qualls Pat Neshek
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Yimi Garcia Adam Liberatore Pedro Baez
Miami A.J. Ramos Carter Capps Steve Cishek
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Blaine Boyer Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Bobby Parnell Carlos Torres Jenrry Mejia
NY (AL) Dellin Betances Justin Wilson Chasen Shreve Andrew Miller
Oakland Tyler Clippard Evan Scribner Eric O’Flaherty Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Luis Garcia
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Arquimedes Caminero
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seth Maness Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Brandon Maurer Joaquin Benoit
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland
Seattle Carson Smith Fernando Rodney Mark Lowe
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Kevin Jepsen
Texas Shawn Tolleson Tanner Scheppers Keone Kela Neftali Feliz
Toronto Roberto Osuna Steve Delabar Brett Cecil Miguel Castro
Wash. Drew Storen Casey Janssen Matt Thornton Aaron Barrett

[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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Mike W.
Mike W.

Might be safe to move Carson Smith to yellow. He hasn’t had a ton of chances lately duento the M’s uninspired play, but the more he dominates it seems the harder it will be for them to move away from them. I think McClendon has already backed off his Rodney support publicly.


I’ve grappled with keeping a potentially good starter on a bad team (Matz)or a good starter pitching in general on a bad team (Eduardo Rodriguez) vs. a useful good closer/reliever like Smith on a bad team.

For now, I’ve decided to rotate these guys until they get plucked :). I agree with you, Mike W-Smith is probably yellowed until he blows a few.