Bullpen Report: June 30, 2015

A few bullpen notes as we leave the month of June and officially enter the trade deadline season…

• The Cubs are making me bite my tongue a bit as Jason Motte was called on for the save again, converting his third of the season. Hector Rondon entered the game in the seventh, throwing a perfect inning himself with Pedro Strop also perfect in the eighth. Stubbornly, I’ll still call Rondon the best reliever in their pen but since it’s been almost two weeks since he’s received a save opportunity, it looks like Motte leapfrogged him in the pecking order. To make matters even more confusing, the Cubs could still look outside the organization for more relief options, not to mention Rafael Soriano working his way into form in the minors. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Rondon back in the chair but I’d go Motte then Rondon for now.

A.J. Ramos threw a perfect ninth for his 11th save, lowering his ERA to 1.26. Ramos’ name isn’t often thrown in with the elites, but he’s been nothing but since he took over closing duties for the fish. And with all that said, he might not even be the best pitcher in the bullpen. Carter Capps threw a perfect inning himself with three strikeouts. Capps now has an ERA, FIP and xFIP all under 1.00 with 38 strikeouts in 20.2 innings against only four walks. He won’t touch saves with Ramos (and even Cishek) aboard, but you won’t find a better non-closing option than Capps.

• Quick Hits: Koji Uehara nailed down his 18th save for the Sox, but after pitching three days in a row, he won’t be available tomorrow. Look for Junichi Tazawa to possibly receive an opportunity if a save situation arises. Shawn Tolleson allowed a run but still recorded his 11th save for the Rangers. Joakim Soria has been shaky of late, so it’s concerning to see him allow a hit and a walk but also very encouraging to see him strike out the side. He threw in the ninth, but it wasn’t a save situation.

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) Jason Motte Hector Rondon 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 Pat Neshek Josh Fields Chad Qualls
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Yimi Garcia 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.]

When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias

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Mike W.
Mike W.

Any preference between Motte and Osuna? Both appear to tenuously hold the job, but in the short term who is the better guy to own?


Delabar pitched in the 9th with the team behind today, so Osuna seems to have a hold on the job. But the Jays’ offense seems to crush opponents or not work at all, leaving few save opportunities. Maybe that’s just SSS luck.

Motte seems to have it now, but could be traded and end up the setup guy… Or his arm may prevent him from pitching on consecutive days.

If you owned them both and had to drop one, I think you would drop Motte, right ? I know I would. Osuna is awesome, and has clear shot at the role. And won’t be traded… But could be supplanted if they trade for a closer. I think the Blue Jays will go for another starter, and cross their fingers that Osuna will get the job done.


Osuna has far more upside than Motte, I’d stick with Osuna.


Osuna is far more talented, and he has been put in some really high leverage situations. If they didn’t get Papelbon or K-rod I could see Osuna being real valuable ROS.