Bullpen Report: May 20, 2015

Drew Storen recorded his 12th save of the year on 15 pitches tonight for the Nationals. Storen is now 12-of-13 in save chances this season and lowered his ERA to 1.04, while his FIP sits at 1.41 in just over 17 frames on the bump. Storen’s K-BB% is currently a career best, possibly due to the slight uptick in velocity, but definitely thanks to a career-best swinging strike rate of 14.5%.

On 10 pitches — eight strikes and two balls — Jonathan Papelbon retired the Rockies in the home half of the ninth-inning to pick up his 11th save of the year in as many chances. The Phillies’ closer fanned two this evening, raising his strikeout rate to 31.5% on the year, while allowing just about 5.5% of opposing batters to reach via the free pass, none of which occurred in tonight’s effort. Outside of being rumored to be on the move in a potential trade at some point this year — even though, that may be a good thing for the 34-year-old closer — Papelbon is putting together a fine season.

His velocity looks pretty consistent with career averages, he’s nailing the first-pitch strike (65.7%) better than he has in his career (63.9%), he’s inducing more swinging strikes (14.6% SwStr%) than he’s averaged during his career (13.4% SwStr%) and he’s luring batters to chase pitches outside of the strike zone (38.4% O-Swing%) better than his career rates (34.9% O-Swing%). If the Phillies are dealing, there’s a lot of teams that could use this version of Papelbon right now and down the stretch.

Both Jim Johnson and Jason Grilli got in some work for the Braves tonight. Johnson, a closer in his previous life and current set-up man in Atlanta, allowed Logan Forsythe to reach on balls, but struck out one and escaped the inning without any damage done. Johnson does have a couple of saves to his name this year, so he can be rostered in deeper formats for those speculating saves based on experience. But he’s the type of guy I’d leave on the bench and slide him into the RP if I know Jason Grilli won’t be available. Speaking of, Grilli also allowed a hit and struck out one in a 14-pitch effort that resulted in his 12th save of the season. The 38-year-old closer is now 12-of-13 in save chances with a 4.73 ERA and a 2.39 FIP.

Quick Hitters: Shawn Tolleson labored a bit, but notched his first save of the season in a 21-pitch outing. He should be added in most formats. Fernando Rodney and Cody Allen each struggled tonight, but managed to pick up their 10th and 8th saves on the season respectfully. Joakim Soria surrendered a leadoff double off the bat of Aramis Ramirez, induced a couple of ground outs and a fly out to notch his 13th save of the season on 18 pitches. Glen Perkins (15) and Huston Street also picked up saves this evening.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Enrique Burgos Addison Reed Evan Marshall
Atlanta Jason Grilli Jim Johnson Cody Martin
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Alexi Ogando Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Pedro Strop Jason Motte
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Duke
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jumbo Diaz Tony Cingrani Sean Marshall
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Scott Atchison
Colorado John Axford Rafael Betancourt Boone Logan Adam Ottavino
Detroit Joakim Soria Joba Chamberlain Angel Nesbitt Joe Nathan
Houston Luke Gregerson Chad Qualls Pat Neshek
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Vinnie Pestano
LAD Kenley Jansen Yimi Garcia Chris Hatcher Pedro Baez
Miami A.J. Ramos Bryan Morris Mike Dunn Steve Cishek
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jonathan Broxton Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Brian Duensing Blaine Boyer Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Carlos Torres Sean Gilmartin Jenrry Mejia
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson Chris Martin
Oakland Tyler Clippard Evan Scribner Dan Otero Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Luis Garcia
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Arquimedes Caminero
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Seth Maness Matt Belisle Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Carson Smith
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Kevin Jepsen
Texas Shawn Tolleson Keone Kela Neftali Feli Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Brett Cecil Roberto Osuna Steve Delabar Miguel Castro
Wash. Drew Storen Aaron Barrett Tanner Roark Casey Janssen

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

In addition to contributing to the RotoGraphs blog, you can find Alan at his own site, TheFantasyFix.com and follow his nonsense on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

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Should be Jason Grilli, not Justin Grilli. Sorry to be that guy.