What a difference a year can make for the Oakland bullpen. Last year, the A’s relievers fueled the teams push to the playoffs with a career year by Blake Treinen anchoring the staff. However, last night, Lou Trivino blew the lead giving up two hits and two walks culminated by a Daniel Vogelbach three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Prior to this meltdown, Trivino turned in seven scoreless appearances his prior eight games. Joakim Soria entered the ninth in a tied game to strikeout the side. But, he admittedly ran out of gas in the bottom of the 10th resulting in a walk to Vogelbach, then replaced by pinch runner Dee Gordon who stole second base. A double by Domingo Santana tied the game before an Omar Narvaez single ended in a Mariners walk-off win.
Both Ryan Buchter and Treinen were unavailable leaving the bullpen stretched, especially given the A’s played in four extra-inning games in their last eight contests. It’s also worth noting the bullpen’s last save recorded occurred on April 17th. As a unit, Oakland’s bullpen has five blown saves the last seven games and 10 overall since the 17th of last month. Treinen’s also throwing fewer sliders while using more four-seam fastballs and cutters. He’s getting fewer ground balls (down eight percent this year) with a 4.23 xFIP and 1.30 WHIP. There’s no official word of an injury, and Treinen did throw 35 pitches over three innings on May 10th and 11th. Just track his progress and usage going forward, along with staying up to date on any injury concerns. Many will migrate to Trivino, but, Soria could be in line for save chances if anything happens to Treinen. Stay tuned.
Benefiting from the walk-off win in Seattle, Brandon Brennan garnered his second win to even his record. He worked two innings yielding two hits, an earned run and three walks with a strikeout. Brennan also served up the go ahead home run to Ramon Laureano giving up the lead in the top of the 10th. With Hunter Strickland just starting to throw, and he’s not eligible to return until June fifth, Brennan could be in the picture for saves in a muddled committee with Roenis Elias and possibly Cory Gearrin in the mix.
Just when it seemed safe to trust Hector Neris as the lead arm in the Phillies bullpen, Pat Neshek notched his second save versus the Brewers giving up a hit in a scoreless ninth. Neshek last pitched on May fourth when he recorded his fifth hold despite allowing two runs on two hits. Neris last worked on May 10th and should be in line for the save chance, if provided, later this evening. Adam Morgan worked around two inherited runners in the top of the seventh, after intentionally walking Christian Yelich, and gets the win firing 1.1 scoreless innings of relief. Morgan’s been terrific this year as a setup reliever with eight holds, a 13:3 K:BB and 0.70 WHIP through 14.1 innings.
Another save for the “Undertaker”, Hansel Robles, his fourth with a clean ninth and a strikeout in Minnesota. He’s locked down the save in two of his last three outings. Ty Buttrey allowed two hits and struck out two during his two inning hold. He’s tied for second in the category in the American League and his 27.1 strikeouts minus walks percentage underscores his talent. However, his ability to work multiple innings could keep him in this role until trades pave a way to saves.
Not many fantasy owners targeted Alex Colome in drafts, but, he recorded his eighth save with a clean ninth. He’s dialed back the clock with a 2.12 ERA and 0.71 WHIP along with 17 strikeouts against five walks this season. Colome’s been a bit lucky with an 87 percent strand rate and generating fewer ground balls (35.9 percent) to this point, but his owners will hardly complain. Just plan on some correction going forward.
Quick Hits: Ryan Pressly racked up another scoreless outing with two strikeouts in a clean eighth extending his scoreless streak to 36 innings spanning 37 contests dating back to August 15th of last year. Josh James seems to be turning the corner with a scoreless ninth striking out one. Over his last seven innings, he’s allowed three hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts lowering his ERA from 7.90 to 5.23 in the process…Taylor Rogers appeared on the mound for a two inning stint giving up two hits with two strikeouts. He’s been scoreless his last five contests with two holds, two saves and nine strikeouts in them…Jimmy Sherfy made a guest appearance in the fluid Arizona bullpen working two innings yielding four hits and striking out five. His reward? A potential return to Triple-A for a rested arm. Archie Bradley allowed a run on three hits with two strikeouts. He’s ceded runs in back-to-back outings, in three of his last four appearances and in four of his last six. Less than optimal…Shawn Kelley could return on Thursday, stay tuned to how the Rangers bullpen shifts if he’s activated.