Bullpen Report: June 8, 2016

A.J. Hinch is saying all sorts of things about a committee in Houston. What we do know is that Will Harris has two saves since Luke Gregerson got yanked, with this one coming against Rangers in polishing off a 3-1 win for Doug Fister. We’ve written quite a bit about the ‘Stros ninth inning situation the last few days in this space, so I don’t need to reiterate Harris’ shiny 2.39 xFIP or that his SIERA over the last 5 years is 2.88. With Gregerson getting at least a breather and Ken Giles still not getting a chance to redeem his loss from Monday, Harris jumps to the front of the line in this pen. Worth noting that flamethrower Michael Feliz was used in the 7th inning today (no punchouts, surpisingly). While he’s an interesting arm, the team doesn’t seem to be using him in a fashion to get him on the grid yet.

• Speaking of potential new closers, Brandon Kintzler, not Kevin Jepsen, finished off a 7-5 win for the Twins today. A change has been seemingly on the horizon forever, with Jepsen owning an ugly 6.17 ERA and almost equally ugly 5.15 xFIP. Kintzler has actually been quietly solid for Minnesota this year. While his 17% K% is nothing to write home about, he’s been quite stingy with the free passes, only allowing one in 15.1 innings. With an 8% SwStr%, he doesn’t have the put-away stuff you’d like to see in a ninth inning man, but he’d certainly be an upgrade over Jepsen (although many would). I’d scoop him up everywhere right now, although one save does not a rock solid closer make. I slipped him off the grid for now (although, let’s be honest, Jepsen could easily be DFAed if he keeps pitching like he has), but I still think Trevor May and his 2.59 SIERA is the long-term play in this pen. It’s almost impossible for him to keep posting a 5.00 ERA with a 25% K%-BB%.

Joe Smith hit the DL yesterday. Not quite as exciting with Huston Street in the fold, but a chance for Cam Bedrosian to make his debut on the grid. The 24-year-old has made marked gains in the strikeout department in 2016 (30% versus 22% the past two years), although the SwStr% indicates that some regression might be on the horizon. But even if the new rates are half for real, he could become a key setup man pretty quickly.

• Quick hits: David Robertson worked in a non-save situation. It was pretty ugly, but other than hurting your rates, it didn’t hurt his job security. Will Smith pitched the ninth in a 4-0 lead. Wasn’t quite a save (obviously), but the Fresh Prince remains an intriguing speculative own, especially since Jeremy Jeffress‘ peripherals haven’t been fantastic lately. Jim Johnson is back from his groin injury but Aroldys Vizcaino jumped back on the save train.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Tyler Clippard
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino Jim Johnson Hunter Cervenka
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 Will Harris Ken Giles Luke Gregerson
KC Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria
LAA Huston Street Fernando Salas Cam Bedrosian Joe Smith
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 Brandon Kintzler Fernando Abad Kevin Jepsen 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 Neftali Feliz Tony Watson
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.]





There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.

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bersmr
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bersmr

Harris in the 9th I expected. I was surprised not to see Giles in the 8th, which was instead pieced together by Sipp and Neshek.