Bullpen Report: June 29, 2019

With July on the horizon and the trade deadline set to take center stage after the All-Star break, bullpen hierarchies will remain fluid. Ahead of all of this, things seem to be intensifying in Cincinnati with Michael Lorenzen receiving the save chance against the Cubs on Friday night. Lorenzen converted his fifth save, and third in a row giving up a hit in 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. More intriguing, Raisel Iglesias did not make an appearance in this game with the Reds protecting a three-run lead. Momentum and performance tilt to Lorenzen’s favor to the chagrin of Iglesias owners.

During June, Lorenzen’s surged with 15 strikeouts against two walks in 12.1 innings with a 2.92 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. Iglesias owns a 7:7 K:BB with a 7.11 ERA and 2.37 WHIP in only 6.1 innings of work this month. Prolonged struggles versus left-handed hitters plague Iglesias yielding a .600 slugging percentage and .374 weighted on-base average against them. Iglesias last recorded a save on June ninth and remains 13-for-15 in save chances this year but appears to be on the outside looking in right now. With Lorenzen working 1.2 innings last night, perhaps Iglesias will get an opportunity on Saturday with his owners paying close attention to his usage going forward. A change of scenery could be requested by Iglesias who openly complained about his appearances early in the season. Stay tuned.

Just when it seemed safe to move on from Fernando Rodney, he resurfaces in high leverage. Designated for assignment after a rough start to the season in Oakland, Rodney tied a major league record notching a save for a ninth different team last night. Rodney fired a clean ninth with two strikeouts in Detroit for the Nationals. Sean Doolittle received a much needed night off working in the two preceding games for Washington. There’s no guarantee Rodney will continue to log save chances on Doolittle’s off days, but he enters the closer grid working ahead of Tanner Rainey on Friday night. Rainey did get his fifth hold working around two walks with a strikeout in a scoreless outing in the eighth inning and Javy Guerra his third hold with a clean seventh inning. As for Rodney, we raise a straight brimmed hat which he wears sideways in honor of his father, an accomplished fisherman.

Although Josh Hader continues to dominate as the closer in Milwaukee, his bridge to high leverage remains shaky. Jeremy Jeffress absorbed his second loss. It started with a one out walk to Elias Diaz. Jeffress then allowed a single to Jose Osuna letting Diaz reach third and a Kevin Newman ground out scored the go ahead run. Before Jeffress, Junior Guerra incurred his fourth blown save also allowing a run on a hit and a walk in the eighth inning. Jeffress has given up a run three straight appearances and in four of his last five resulting in seven earned runs over his last 5.1 innings. Guerra’s yielded runs in three of his last four outings leading to five earned runs in his last 4.2 innings. If Milwaukee wishes to return to the postseason, they will need to shore up all facets of its pitching.

Benefiting with the win, Felipe Vazquez fired two clean innings with four strikeouts for his second win. Oddly enough, his last win on April 14th, Vazquez worked two innings and represents his only two inning appearances all season. As for Vazquez, he’s recorded eighth straight scoreless appearances with 13 strikeouts over nine innings allowing only three hits for a tidy .100 batting average against in this stretch and giving up no extra-base hits. Not sure if Pittsburgh would give up Vazquez in a trade, but he could command a hefty return with so many contenders searching for reliable relievers.

Pressed into duty, Alex Colome notched his 17th save with a clean inning striking out one. Prior to Colome, Kelvin Herrera once again struggled serving up a single to Ehire Adrianza starting the ninth inning with a four run lead then a home run to Miguel Sano before being lifted. Herrera’s also fallen upon hard times giving up runs in three straight games resulting in five earned runs his last 1.2 innings. Through 7.1 innings in June, Herrera owns a 7.36 ERA and 1.77 WHIP. With Colome rumored on the trade block, it’s apparent Herrera may not replace him in the ninth inning. This could be shared in situational match-ups by Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall and Jace Fry if indeed Colome gets moved.

Last, but not least, reports surfaced on Friday about the Rockies looking for other options in the ninth inning:

Last night, Scott Oberg warmed up for a potential save chance, but the Rockies extended their lead tacking on three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Oberg recorded a clean ninth with a strikeout securing the win but in a non-save appearance. However, Oberg owns the best numbers in the Rockies bullpen with a 16.6 swinging strike rate and a 22:3 K:BB in 14.2 innings in June. This month, Oberg’s produced a 2.45 ERA, 2.12 xFIP, 0.75 WHIP and 35.2 K-BB percentage. Comparatively, Wade Davis has not fared well and some can be attributed to his oblique injury. Over the last 30 days, Davis has pitched 9.1 innings with a 11.57 ERA, 6.75 xFIP, 2.36 WHIP, a swinging strike percentage of seven and a strikeouts minus walks percentage of zero. Our chart reflects the pending change in the ninth inning, which may not be permanent, but warrants attention.

Quick Hits: Sergio Romo did not miss any time due to his awkward collision with Trea Turner. Romo pitched the ninth giving up a hit with a strikeout in a Marlins four run win. Nick Anderson pitched a clean eighth with two strikeouts…Jose LeClerc issued a walk while striking out one preserving a shutout win for the Rangers in a non-save outing…Luke Jackson worked a clean ninth striking out one for the Braves. A.J. Minter pitched the eighth with two left-handed hitters slated to hit in the first three in the inning. Anthony Swarzak gets his 10th hold stranding two runners preserving a win for Mike SorokaWill Harris garners his second win after the Astros walked-off the Mariners. Roberto Osuna and Ryan Pressly each worked a scoreless inning…Anthony Bass suffers his third blown save coughing up a solo home run to Josh Reddick in the eighth inning, Matt Festa gets the loss…Too often overlooked due to his strong season, Kirby Yates notched his major league leading 27th save with 1.1 clean innings striking out two…Will Smith ceded an earned run in a non-save appearance on two hits and a walk. He’s still a prime trade target, but working out of saves, he owns a 3.97 ERA and 1.06 WHIP allowing nine hits in 11.1 innings. In saves, Smith excels with a 0.86 ERA and 0.57 WHIP giving up only eight hits in 21 innings. Baseball.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 6/29/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Yoan Lopez Andrew Chafin
ATL Luke Jackson A.J. Minter Anthony Swarzak
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Brandon Workman Matt Barnes Ryan Brasier Heath Hembree
CHC Craig Kimbrel Pedro Strop Steve Cishek
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Kelvin Herrera
CIN Michael Lorenzen Raisel Iglesias Amir Garrett
CLE Brad Hand Tyler Clippard Nick Wittgren
COL Scott Oberg Wade Davis Jairo Diaz
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Victor Alcantara
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Will Harris
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Wily Peralta
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Yimi Garcia
MIA Sergio Romo Nick Anderson Jose Quijada Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Junior Guerra Jeremy Jeffress
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Robert Gsellman Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendriks Lou Trivino Yusmeiro Petit Blake Treinen
PHI Hector Neris Juan Nicasio Tommy Hunter David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Carlos Martinez John Gant Andrew Miller Jordan Hicks
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Austin Adams Anthony Bass Hunter Strickland
TB Emilio Pagan Jose Alvarado Chaz Roe Diego Castillo
TEX Shawn Kelley Chris Martin Jose LeClerc
TOR Ken Giles Daniel Hudson Joe Biagini
WSH Sean Doolittle Fernando Rodney Wander Suero Kyle Barraclough


Avid fantasy baseball player and writer. You can find my work here chasing the next save or as the lead fantasy analyst on Fantasy Alarm. Any questions, hit me up on the Twitter machine, @gjewett9

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4 years ago

Love the article and read it every day.
While I like the alphabetical order, one suggestion would be to tier the closers?