Bullpen Report: March 9, 2015

Welcome back to the Bullpen Report, version 2015! A few quick pieces of news, but the main goal of today’s post was to get the grid updated and out there. There will almost certainly be plenty of tuning between now and opening day. We’ll be slowly ramping up activity as the season gets closer and we’ll be back to nightly rundowns soon.

Sergio Romo battled some shoulder soreness earlier this spring but he has now been cleared to begin pitching in games. The good news? He should be ready for opening day. The bad news? He’s still firmly behind Santiago Casilla in the Giants pecking order. That said, Romo may not be a terrible late round flyer — he’s always gotten by on the strength of an elite slider (not velocity), and while he’s regressed a bit over the last few years, Casilla’s mediocre K% (18-20% over last 3 seasons) puts him squarely in the crosshairs of BABIP “luck.” There’s no controversy now, but Romo is one of the more established guys sitting 2nd on the depth chart. If his shoulder stays attached and he can stay near where he’s been the last few years, it’s easy to envision a scenario where he’s back in the ninth inning for a least a little while this year.

Brett Cecil has been temporarily shut down (7-10 days) with shoulder inflammation. I am hesistant to move him in to the “injured” slot because if the timetable linked is correct, he could still see preseason game action around St. Patrick’s Day, which would put him on track for Opening Day (or a few days after). When healthy, Cecil has the potential to be an elite closer, as evidenced by his 33% K% and 2.49 SIERA last year. The logical second-chair is also kind of a murky situation. Aaron Sanchez acquitted himself quite well while tossing in relief upon his big league arrival. While he’s being groomed as a starter this spring, there may not be room for him at the back end of the Jays rotation. Should he slot into the ninth inning gig, he could prove to be a top-shelf stopper, armed with a 97 mph fastball and similarly sparkling peripherals. FantasyPros has Sanchez’s ADP around 251 overall (38th amongst RP); he’s the perfect guy I love to reach for a round early when it is getting late. Draft skills. In this case, draft skills with a pretty good chance of opportunity.

• How much risk are you willing to take? Sean Doolittle has slid to the 23rd RP by ADP, in large part due to a partially torn rotator cuff which will keep him out for the first few weeks of the season. When healthy, the lefty is an first-class arm; his 1.53 SIERA last season was the fifth best in baseball. Shoulder injuries are scary, especially at a position with so much turnover and other volatility. That said, Doolittle is being selected around the likes of Addison Reed, Neftali Feliz, and Joe Nathan. If your league is one where closers aren’t scooped up early, he’s a high-risk/high-reward pick around the 15th-18th rounds. That’s where fantasy leagues are won.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Evan Marshall Brad Ziegler
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jason Grilli Jim Johnson
Baltimore Zach Britton Tommy Hunter Brian Matusz
Boston Koji Uehara Edward Mujica Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Pedro Strop Neil Ramirez
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Duke
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Sam LeCure Burke Badenhop Sean Marshall
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Scott Atchison
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino Rex Brothers
Detroit Joe Nathan Joakim Soria Al Alburquerque
Houston Luke Gregerson Chad Qualls Pat Neshek
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Joel Peralta Brandon League Pedro Baez Kenley Jansen
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jonathan Broxton Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Brian Duensing Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jenrry Mejia Bobby Parnell Jeurys Familia
NY (AL) Dellin Betances Andrew Miller Adam Warren
Oakland Tyler Clippard Ryan Cook Eric O’Flaherty Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Jake Diekman
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Jared Hughes
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Jordan Walden Seth Maness
SD Joaquin Benoit Kevin Quackenbush Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Yoervis Medina
TB Brad Boxberger Grant Balfour Kevin Jepsen Jake McGee
Texas Neftali Feliz Tanner Scheppers Shawn Tolleson
Toronto Aaron Sanchez Brett Cecil Steve Delabar
Wash. Drew Storen Casey Janssen Craig Stammen

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

We hoped you liked reading Bullpen Report: March 9, 2015 by Colin Zarzycki!

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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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Interesting how everyone has Gregerson listed as closer even though Qualls was/is the closer, and nobody from the Astros has even mentioned a possible competition. Also, the new Rays skipper has already uttered the dreaded words “closing experience,” so it’s probably between Balfour and Frieri in TB.