Bullpen Report: June 5, 2017

• Not a standard save in Chicago tonight as Mike Montgomery went 3.1 innings for his second save of the year. Wade Davis had thrown a couple days in a row so Koji Uehara received the save opportunity last night for the Cubs. Wade Davis is now ready to pitch but was actually placed on paternity leave. We won’t take him off the grid for such a short break but look for Uehara to get a look in the ninth if an opportunity arises tomorrow. Montgomery has only pitched out the pen to start the year and although his ERA dropped to 2.21 after tonight’s outing, his 3.78 FIP and 4.29 xFIP and 26 strikeouts against 20 walks in 36.2 innings don’t paint the picture of someone worth rostering at the moment.

Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias each pitched a perfect eighth and ninth respectively to close out the win for the Reds against the Cardinals. Lorenzen has been more good than great but is cemented as the main setup man. Iglesias on the other hand has been outright fantastic, allowing only two earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched this year. His 0.61 ERA is a little misleading but a 3.30 SIERA and 10.79 K/9 are plenty good for fantasy owners. A correction might be on its way and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his ERA jump a bit but both Iglesias’ move to the pen and his role within are rock solid right now.

• No save situation in San Francisco as the Giants scored in the last two innings but Hunter Strickland closed out the end of the eighth with Mark Melancon putting up a zero in the ninth. Melancon started off the season with a loss and found his way to the DL with a minor injury but is pitching to a 2.20/2.19/2.89 line with a 15/1 K/BB ratio. As usual, his lack of elite strikeouts prevent him from being an upper echelon closer but he continues to find a way to finish games efficiently. Since 2013 Melancon has thrown 305.1 innings with a 1.83 ERA. If the Giants don’t get on a major winning streak Melancon could be on his way out but I would still bet on him finding his way to the ninth rather than be relegated to setup duty on a different team.

Kelvin Herrera entered the game in a non save situation and allowed a couple of runs off of a Yulieski Gurriel homer. Herrera’s ratios are still fantastic with a 24/4 K/BB in 23 innings but he’s allowed six homers thus far, inflating his ERA to 3.91. Herrera isn’t an extreme fly ball pitcher and nothing suggests that homers will be an issue for him so in spite of the Royals stinking this season I would consider Herrera somewhat of a buy low opportunity. The homers should even out and you will likely get a closer with an ERA around three with excellent ratios, point to his ERA inching near four and make a deal.

Ken Giles is still the man to own for saves in Houston still but they aren’t lacking quality alternatives as we saw tonight. James Hoyt allowed a homer tonight but also struck out two while getting four outs tonight and now has 30 strikeouts in 17.1 innings. Will Harris lowered his ERA to 2.22 while striking out two in the eighth and now has 27 in 24 innings against only three walks. Michael Feliz finished the game in a non-save situation and also struck out two, bringing his total to 35 in 25.2 innings. While Giles’ job is secure, it’s not out of the question to suggest he’s the fifth best reliever on the team, as I didn’t even mention Chris Devenski. The Astros are in first place for several reasons but their dominant bullpen has certainly been one of the major reasons why.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
ARI Fernando Rodney Archie Bradley JJ Hoover
ATL Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino Jose Ramirez
BAL Brad Brach Darren O’Day Mychal Givens Zach Britton
BOS Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Heath Hembree Carson Smith
CHC Wade Davis Koji Uehara Carl Edwards Jr.
CWS David Robertson Tommy Kahnle Anthony Swarzak Nate Jones
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Drew Storen
CLE Cody Allen Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
COL Greg Holland Jake McGee Mike Dunn Adam Ottavino
DET Justin Wilson Alex Wilson Shane Greene
HOU Ken Giles Will Harris Luke Gregerson
KC Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Mike Minor
LAA Bud Norris David Hernandez Blake Parker Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Josh Fields
MIA A.J. Ramos David Phelps Kyle Barraclough
MIL Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes Neftali Feliz
MIN Brandon Kintzler Matt Belisle Taylor Rogers Glen Perkins
NYM Addison Reed Jerry Blevins Paul Sewald Jeurys Familia
NYY Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard Adam Warren Aroldis Chapman
OAK Santiago Casilla Ryan Madson Liam Hendriks Sean Doolittle
PHI Hector Neris Pat Neshek Edubray Ramos Joaquin Benoit
PIT Tony Watson Felipe Rivero Juan Nicasio
STL Seung Hwan Oh Trevor Rosenthal Matt Bowman
SD Brandon Maurer Brad Hand Ryan Buchter Carter Capps
SF Mark Melancon Derek Law Hunter Strickland
SEA Edwin Diaz James Pazos Nick Vincent
TB Alex Colome Danny Farquhar Tommy Hunter Brad Boxberger
TEX Matt Bush Keone Kela Jose Leclerc
TOR Roberto Osuna Joe Smith Jason Grilli
WSH Koda Glover Matt Albers Shawn Kelley

[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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The Reds somewhat mysteriously tweeted yesterday that Lorenzen may see time in the outfield. FWIW

Oh also, Melancon has a full no-trade as do Posey, Bumgarner, Crawford and Pence. Samardzjia has a list of 21 teams he can’t be traded to. Going to be tough to trade any of those guys.