Bullpen Report: May 13, 2013

Edward Mujica recorded his 10th save of the season tonight, throwing a perfect ninth inning against the Mets. In 15 innings pitched Mujica has struck out 15 batters and continued his strike throwing ways by only issuing one free pass, good for a 15.00 K/BB. Not bad. It goes without say that there is regression coming for Mujica as he won’t maintain a .172 BABIP or a 96.8% Left On Base Percentage all year, but you can’t deny he’s pitching quite well with a particularly strong grip on the roll at the moment. Behind Mujica for saves is the young Trevor Rosenthal, who after struggling earlier this season has brought his ERA down to 2.84 and after two strikeouts tonight, he now has 27 in 19 innings pitched with only five walks.  As the eighth inning guy in St. Louis, Rosenthal is a great source for holds who can help your ratios and strikeout totals, and if anything were to happen to Mujica, he’d see the ninth inning again.

• Although Don Mattingly said today that Brandon League is still his closer for now, the fact that he had to address the situation means that League’s job is in big trouble. It also doesn’t help when you have a 6.28 ERA with nine earned runs in your last nine appearances or end the vote of confidence with a “for now.” It probably should have come to this point sooner than it has but it seems like it’s now closer to a matter of when not a matter of if League will lose his job to Kenley Jansen. League’s ugly ERA isn’t a result of some bad luck either as his non existent strikeout ability (4.40 K/9) has led to a disappointing 5.79 FIP. League likely isn’t this bad and should regress closer to his career norms, but Jansen’s always been the better pitcher. To the surprise of no one, Jansen’s had a great year pitching to a 2.29/2.49/2.35 ERA/FIP/xFIP and a 35.1% K%. League’s next blown save might be his last and I’d pick up Jansen if he’s available or look for a more competitive league next year.

• After struggling with soreness on his left side and missing the last few games, Perkins was apparently available to pitch  yesterday and would have pitched tonight, but the Twins scored four runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning removing the opportunity for a save. It looks like Perkins is back but if he were to miss any more time, Jared Burton will continue to be next in line for ninth inning duties in Minnesota.  Glen Perkins 3.55 ERA might seem pedestrian but he has an absurd 40% K% leading to a fantastic 2.05 FIP. I’d like to think it’s because he reads FanGraphs, but no matter the reason Glen Perkins remains a great closing option both in the Twin Cities and on fantasy teams.

• Not that anyone was losing any sleep over Frank Francisco’s rehab, but Frank2 was “diagnosed with mild strain of flexor pronator in right elbow.” Francisco will require 72 hours of rest before he will continue his rehab but whenever he’s finally able to return to pitch, including in Queens, Bobby Parnell looks to remain as closer.

Closer Grid:


Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Heath Bell David Hernandez Matt Reynolds J.J. Putz
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jordan Walden
Baltimore Jim Johnson Darren O’Day Pedro Strop
Boston Junichi Tazawa Koji Uehara Andrew Miller Andrew Bailey
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg Carlos Marmol James Russell Kyuji Fujikawa
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Jesse Crain Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton J.J. Hoover
Cleveland Chris Perez Joe Smith Bryan Shaw Vinnie Pestano
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Wilton Lopez Matt Belisle
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Al Alburquerque
Houston Jose Veras Wesley Wright Hector Ambriz
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Tim Collins
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Jerome Williams Ryan Madson
LAD Brandon League Kenley Jansen Ronald Belisario
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Chad Qualls
Milwaukee Jim Henderson John Axford Michael Gonzalez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Brandon Lyon LaTroy Hawkins Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Joba Chamberlain
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Mike Adams Antonio Bastardo
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal Fernando Salas Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Carter Capps Charlie Furbush
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Jason Frasor Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Casey Janssen Steve Delabar Darren Oliver Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Drew Storen Tyler Clippard

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

We hoped you liked reading Bullpen Report: May 13, 2013 by Benjamin Pasinkoff!

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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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Jonathan Sher
Jonathan Sher

Indians’ close Chris Perez had a sore shoulder Sunday and was not available to pitch. It may be nothing but it’s worth watching. Setup man Vinnie Pestano may be off the DL by week’s end and a bullpen arm that intrigues me is Bryan Shaw, who has become a 1-pitch pitcher with an excellent cutter and hopes to follow, even distantly, in the footprints of Mariano Rivera.