Bullpen Report: June 6, 2016

• As Paul mentioned last night, there might be a shakeup in Houston but Hinch won’t name a closer besides saying Gregerson will be getting a break. Will Harris received the save last night with Ken Giles having a day off. Whether or not Giles would have received the call, we don’t know. Michael Feliz might also be considered but he threw in the sixth and seventh innings tonight, losing the lead in the seventh after a couple of base hits and a sacrifice fly. Although Feliz might be pitching the best of anyone in Houston, he’s been mostly used as a multiple inning reliever. Luke Gregerson entered the game in a 5-5 game in the eighth inning, suggesting he’s not necessarily the closer but still hasn’t vanished from high leverage innings. Striking out two batters in perfect inning with only eight pitches will help regain the closer chair as well. Ken Giles was called on for the ninth in a tie game and I’ve put him ahead of Harris on the grid below.

Update: I was a little quick to the draw as Giles blew the lead in Houston after publishing. I think the Astros could be somewhat inclined to give Giles a chance at the ninth but failing tonight certainly puts Harris ahead of him. I wouldn’t drop Gregerson but Harris should get the next opportunity.

Andrew Miller threw a perfect eighth and Aroldis Chapman a perfect ninth with Miller receiving his third win and Chapman his tenth save on the year. But for how much longer will they be pitching in New York? The Yankees don’t intend to move them in the near future, which is somewhat common around the draft, but if they’re still far back come July the trade winds will start blowing. Aroldis Chapman will close on any team he’s moved to and Andrew Miller can only increase his value in a trade moving to closer. So, owners of the fireballing lefties need not worry as their stock can only grow if a trade were to happen. We’ll be sure to update rumors regarding the Yankees bullpen and any other relievers as we get closer to the trading deadline.

Kevin Jepsen stunk up the joint again last night and now has a seasonal line of 6.26/5.60/5.11. Minnesota, your closer, woof!  Trevor May looked like the obvious replacement amidst Jepsen’s constant struggles but his rough patch in mid-May put that to bed. However, he’s been better in his last five appearances (four innings pitched, eight strikeouts, one walk, no hits and one earned run) and his 3.24 xFIP is more indicative of how he’s pitched over the season than his 5.13 ERA. Fernando Abad has been great as a Twin this year from the left side and could see some late inning action as well if the Twins were to make a move along with Brandon Kintzler. Meanwhile, Glen Perkins is throwing bullpen sessions but still seems a couple weeks away from returning to Minnesota. Jepsen might lose his job but the moment Perkins returns it’s likely his again. However, it’s important to remember the lessons from Brad Boxberger who came back only to return to the DL immediately later. It’s good to see Perkins make progress, but nothing is certain especially given his recent history.

Raisel Iglesias is currently on the DL with a shoulder injury but once he returns, he’ll be moving to the pen. I don’t think it’s a stretch that once he returns, assuming good health, that he’ll immediately become the best reliever in Cincinnati. However, the main concern for the Reds is getting Iglesias back on track and healthy so even if he’s effective out of the gate they may not put him as the closer where pitching on consecutive days can be a common occurrence. I’d expect Iglesias to be eased in upon his return but after a few weeks he could start breathing down whichever committee chairmen is closing at that moment in Cinci.

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 Justin Wilson Shane Greene 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 Trevor May Fernando Abad 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 Nick Vincent
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 Shawn Kelley Felipe Rivero

[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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I’m not sure I understand your logic with giles/harris. Giles pitched the bottom of the ninth in a tie game on the road. Wouldn’t teams typically save their closer for a save opportunity in that situation?


Not necessarily, closers these days tend to get used in late tied games. Dyson was used tonight by TEX while it was 5-5 and got the win. Though with Giles blowing the game and Gregerson pitching a nice inning, I’d probably put Harris/Gregerson temporarily ahead of Giles. Just how I see things though.


That makes no sense. Dyson was used because his team was at home, thus once they reached the 9th inning he would no longer be able to possibly get a save. Road teams save their closers for a save situation unless they’ve exhausted all other options.

Literally every sign points to Harris closing. He got the save last night and he was being preserved for a save situation tonight. How he can be third on the list makes absolutely no sense to me. I understand that there is some uncertainty, but the only certainty is that Gregerson is out of the role, yet he is still listed 1st.

Side note – why would the Texas situation still be yellow?


Agreed on the Dyson point. I might venture that he is more stable than say Rosenthal (nearly 1BB per inning). While Rosenthal has more leash thanks to his track record he is trying one gnarly noose with that walk rate.