• As Al mentioned last night Jose Leclerc is getting a breather from the closer’s role and we expect Shawn Kelley and Chris Martin to fill in for saves as Leclerc is used in lower leverage situations. I have changed the grid to include Kelley and Martin in a committee with Kelley ahead at the moment although we will have to wait for the next save chance to see which direction the Rangers go. Shawn Kelley has been better this year and has saved games in the past so that’s why he’s ahead for the time being. The Rangers signed Leclerc to an extension this offseason and they gave him a long leash through his struggles this year, so they’re not going to give up on him but until he finds his rhythm again, he won’t be seeing saves.
• Ty Buttrey got his first save with the Angels this year, pitching a scoreless two innings allowing two hits and striking out a pair as well. Cam Bedrosian threw a scoreless 7th inning for his third hold of the year and committee chair Hansel Robles wasn’t used. Buttrey and Robles will continue to see saves with Cody Allen out and even when he returns as they are definitively better pitchers. However, guessing who gets more saves here is a little tough. Although Robles has been great in his own right this year, Buttrey is the best option but as we have seen in Boston with Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier, sometimes it’s the second best option that gets the saves. Both are obviously worth owning and only time will tell if this stays as a committee for a while or if it will go in a single direction.
• Michael Lorenzen was called on for the save last night for the Reds and he successfully closed the door for his second save this season. Raisel Iglesias had the night off and Jared Hughes pitched in the 7th and 8th innings last night in a tie game. The Reds actually have a pretty deep bullpen with other set up options Amir Garrett and David Hernandez not used likely because they were used in previous games as well. In addition to those, their possible best reliever is Robert Stephenson who has taken kindly to the bullpen. At the moment we have Amir Garrett and David Hernandez as next in line behind Iglesias but this situation is prety fluid with Garrett, Hernandez, Stephenson, Hughes, and Lorenzen all pitching fairly effectively and potentially in line for saves if anything happens with Iglesias.
• Hector Neris was called on in the 6th inning to get a tough out with runners on and he finished the inning. After throwing 23 pitches the night before, Neris didn’t get the call for the 7th. We still have him atop the committee for saves in Philly with Robertson still out but it’s clear his usage won’t be completely traditional. Seranthony Dominguez and Pat Neshek both gave up a run in the 7th and 8th innings respectively, not necessarily helping their cases on taking over Neris as the best option in the pen.
• There was no save for Atlanta with a four run lead but A.J. Minter pitched in the 9th, striking out a pair in a perfect inning. Luke Jackson and Jacob Webb have received saves of late but Minter is still the main guy to own. If he can string together a few performances like this it won’t be code red but until then it’s worth keeping an eye on some of the other options.
• Jeurys Familia has been very ineffective this year with a miserable 2.9% K-BB% and now he finds himself on the IL with a sore shoulder. Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman will be the main setup options for Edwin Diaz in the meantime and even when Familia returns he will have to prove he’s effective before he is thrown back into high leverage spots. Sticking with the Mets, for the second time this series Edwin Diaz got the loss against the Reds, this time after Jose Iglesias hit a go ahead homer to break the scoreless game in the top of the 9th.
• Quick Hits: Sergio Romo saved his 5th game for the Marlins last night and although it wasn’t clean, with Romo allowing a homer to Carlos Santana, Romo has received the last few opportunities and could be shedding the committee label. Ian Kennedy saw a two inning save in the first leg of a doubleheader and now has a 1.15/0.82/2.59/2.36 ERA/FIP/xFIP/SIERA. Kennedy’s SwStr% is right around where he has been the last few years which can dampen some of the love but he looks like a new pitcher in the pen and should be owned even if Wily Peralta could see a few more save chances than him. Mychal Givens got 4 outs and 3 strikeouts for his 2nd save. Paul Fry and others might steal a save opportunity with Givens pitching earlier in the game but he’s their most effective reliever and should be the only man owned in the Baltimore pen. Felipe Vazquez (8) and Greg Holland (7) also saw saves.
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