Bullpen Report: June 5, 2016

Well, the Houston situation just got interesting. A.J. Hinch said they will are going to use multiple guys to close games. In other words, they are going to use fantasy players favorite term and have committee closers. This is the day after Luke Gregerson blew his fifth save of the season giving up a game-tying homer to Jed Lowrie. In today’s game, Will Harris was given the save opportunity and pitched a clean ninth tallying one strikeout. Gregerson’s K’s are in line with his career norms, but his walks are up and his ERA sits at 4.56, which is a career high. There is still hope he can earn the role back as his FIP is 3.16, which is higher than his career FIP (2.99), but not by much. Though he has struggled pretty mightily in May, so taking this weight off his shoulders may help him right the ship. Harris has been absurd this year posting a 0.34 ERA (1.40 FIP) with improvements in his K% and BB% from last year and his career. Ken Giles may have been called on to close the 9th tonight, but he pitched two scoreless innings last night so he was due the night off. Hinch has indicated that he will use all three guys, and will even throw Michael Feliz into the mix as well.

On Friday, Darren O’Day was placed on the 15-day DL with a hamstring strain. Doesn’t seem like it will be a long stint, but it appears that Mychal Givens will be in next in line behind Zach Britton, though Brad Brach will certainly get some chances. This weekend may have fooled you a bit as T.J. McFarland pitched in the two wins this weekend, earning himself a win on Friday, with Brad Brach seeing no action. McFarland is a lefty and seemed to match up better this weekend, but with the way Brach has pitched (0.91 ERA, 2.28 FIP) and the high K% (27.2) accompanied by a lower BB% (7%), I see him getting more high leverage situations moving forward, along with more holds as he is currently sitting at 7. Givens has also looked strong this season, and even though it’s never good losing a guy like O’Day, the middle of the Orioles pen should be able to hold things down in the 8th until he gets back.

Huston Street earned his first save since being activated off the DL on Monday. He ended the 8th well getting the final out, but had some trouble in the 9th. After giving up a one-out walk to Gregory Polanco, Street gave up a double to Jung Ho Kang and then intentionally walked Starling Marte to get to Sean Rodriguez. Street was able to get the necessary double-play to end the game, getting his 6th save of the year. The K’s are way down for Street this year, as has been his overall velocity. This does not mean he can’t be trusted, but I would certainly tread lightly. When healthy, he is in no doubt the 9th inning guy for the Angels, but I’m worried about some collapses moving forward. He has a 0.90 ERA over 10 innings, but his FIP is 4.82. Those K’s need to come back for me to have more confidence in him.

Quick notes: Jonathan Papelbon earned his 15th save, but struggled giving up two hits and two walks (one intentional) that led to a run. Thankfully for him, the Nationals were up two and the one didn’t hurt them. Sam Dyson is really embracing the closer’s role earning his 7th save today, and also pitched a scoreless inning on Friday to drop his ERA to 1.95 (2.80 FIP). Ryan Madson took the loss on Saturday, after giving up a run in extra innings of a tie game. The typically reliable Tony Watson has struggled recently giving up a total of 7 runs in his last 3 outings. His ERA has skyrocketed to 4.50 (5.04 FIP), and could lose his 8th inning role if this continues.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Tyler Clippard
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino Hunter Cervenka Alexi Ogando
Baltimore Zach Britton Mychal Givens Brad Brach Darren O’Day
Boston Craig Kimbrel Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Pedro Strop Justin Grimm
CHI (AL) David Robertson Nate Jones Zach Duke
Cincy Tony Cingrani Ross Ohlendorf Blake Wood Jumbo Diaz
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Dan Otero
Colorado Jake McGee Carlos Estevez Jason Motte
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Mark Lowe Justin Wilson Bruce Rondon
Houston Luke Gregerson Will Harris Ken Giles
KC Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Joe Blanton Yimi Garcia
Miami A.J. Ramos David Phelps Kyle Barraclough
Milwaukee Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith Tyler Thornburg
Minnesota Kevin Jepsen Fernando Abad Michael Tonkin Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Jim Henderson
NY (AL) Aroldis Chapman Andrew Miller Dellin Betances
Oakland Ryan Madson Sean Doolittle John Axford
Philly Jeanmar Gomez Hector Neris David Hernandez
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Neftali Feliz
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seung Hwan Oh
SD Fernando Rodney Ryan Buchter Brandon Maurer
SF Santiago Casilla Cody Gearrin Hunter Strickland Sergio Romo
Seattle Steve Cishek Joaquin Benoit Joel Peralta
TB Alex Colome Erasmo Ramirez Xavier Cedeno Brad Boxberger
Texas Sam Dyson Jake Diekman Matt Bush Keone Kela
Toronto Roberto Osuna Gavin Floyd Drew Storen Brett Cecil
Wash. Jonathan Papelbon Blake Treinen Shawn Kelley

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

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Who are you targeting between Giles and Harris?


The author does a good job of describing the situation in Houston, but doesn’t give us an actionable recommendation of which direction to point our bow, which is what we want from an expert. Most of us don’t have unlimited bench spots, so what’s the recommendation here, realizing that the situation in murky?

Gimme some dat Gold Bond please
Gimme some dat Gold Bond please

I mean he pretty much explains whats up and I don’t think a recommendation can be made that provides anything more than an educated guess. Giles is the name brand, the guy they paid alot for, so you’d think he’d be the long-term option but he has yet to really be his dominant self (though much better recently)…Harris has sure been amazing this year (longest scoreless streak in MLB) and was great last year as well.

If you are picking 1 guy for immediate saves, I’d go Harris both because of that aforementioned dominance and because he got the save tonight. But can anyone really provide a better recommendation when the manager straight up says he’s gunna be trying them all?