Bullpen Report: May 22, 2014

-March and April were kind to 41-year-old LaTroy Hawkins. The Rockies’ closer converted all nine of his save chances while holding opposing batters to a .237/.267/.349 slash line and a .273 wOBA in 11.1 innings. However, May tells a different story for the veteran right-hander. He is 2-0 with one save (in two chances) this month, but he’s allowed five earned runs in his last seven appearances. And hitters are slashing .444/.464/.741 with a .513 wOBA against Hawkins across six frames this month. When looking at velocity splits between the months, nothing strikes me as red flag worthy. Hitters seem to be finding the holes a bit more in May (.440 BABIP) versus March/April’s .243 average on balls in play. He’s stranding fewer this month (69% LOB%) as well, so maybe it’s just numbers catching up with the old fella?

Well, despite any of the fancy numbers we have access to, Rockies’ skipper Walt Weiss gave Hawkins the formal support today to members of the media. Weiss noted that he’s not simply judging his closer on the recent rough patch, he “looks at the body of work for the whole season.” If by chance Hawkins’ struggles continue, Adam Ottavino and Rex Brothers appear to be potential choices for the ninth. Ottavino is 0-for-1 in save chances this season, but he’s racked up nine holds, owns a 22.5% K-BB% and has posted a 1.40 ERA (2.19 FIP) in 22 appearances. Left-hander Rex Brothers may have more experience than Ottavino — Rex notched 19 saves last season — but he’s 0-for-4 this season in save opportunities with a 4.6% K-BB% and a 2.70 ERA (4.90 FIP). If I had to add one of these two tonight as a handcuff, it would be Ottavino.

Trevor Rosenthal notched his 14th save this evening in a perfect inning of work. He’s now 14-of-16 in save opportunities with a 4.56 ERA (3.06 FIP) and a 28% K%. Maybe all Rosenthal needed was Jason Motte creeping off the disabled list to get him back in the groove? Not sure if that was the motivator or not, but as a Rosenthal owner, I’m happy with the last two appearances (I did add Motte in both of the leagues I own Rosenthal, though.). Rosenthal’s velocity is still down a tick since the start of the season, but it looks like it’s creeping back up. The spike in line drives (29.6& LD%) and fly balls (44.4% FB%) in the right-hander’s batted ball profile still have me a bit concerned. One day at a time.

-Colin touched on Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli last evening, so make sure to give that a read for the long-term implications of the latter’s return from the disabled list. But while the Pirates’ await Grilli’s return, Melancon continues to put the finishing touches on the close contests for the Bucs. He surrendered two free passes this evening, but Melancon fanned one and held the Nationals scoreless in their half of the ninth to lock down his eighth save of the season. You’re holding onto this guy for as long as you possibly can, as Colin also suggested last night.

Quick Hitters: Tommy Hunter officially landed on the 15-day disabled list prior to today’s game with a left groin strain. Ronald Belisario surrendered two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk, but escaped with his second save of the season. Steve Cishek blanked the Phillies in the top of the ninth-inning in a tie game at home and was promptly rewarded by the Marlins’ bats in the home half of the ninth to scoop the scab win. The Marlins’ closer is now 4-1 with nine saves and a 1.65 FIP on the season. Scott Atchinson served up a solo shot to Nick Markakis in extras this evening, but picked up his first save of the year. Atchinson is an interesting name to keep an eye on with his extreme ground ball rate and a slight spike in velocity through 22 innings on the hill. Holds leaguers may only need apply for the time being, though.

A few more quick hitters: Craig Kimbrel looked especially Kimbrelian this evening, with the exception of plunking Logan Schafer to start the ninth. He fanned the final three batters he faced to pick up his 12th save of the year for the Braves in a 5-4 victory over the Brewers. Jenrry Mejia fanned one en route to the second save of his tenure as closer for the Metropolitans. Mejia is still available in 75% of Y! leagues, for what it’s worth. Grant Balfour blew another save tonight, his second of the season. Balfour owns a 5.96 FIP and a K-BB% of -2.6%. Jake McGee has a 2.11 FIP and a 18.4% K-BB%, just sayin’.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Brad Ziegler Oliver Perez J.J. Putz
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel David Carpenter Luis Avilan Jordan Walden
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Ryan Webb Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Andrew Miller
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Neil Ramirez James Russell Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) Ronald Belisario Daniel Webb Jacob Petricka Matt Lindstrom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure
Cleveland Bryan Shaw Cody Allen Scott Atchison
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino Rex Brothers
Detroit Joe Nathan Joba Chamberlain Al Alburquerque Joel Hanrahan
Houston Chad Qualls Kyle Farnsworth Josh Zeid Jesse Crain
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Joe Smith Michael Kohn Dane de la Rosa
LAD Kenley Jansen Chris Perez Brian Wilson
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Will Smith Brandon Kintzler Jim Henderson
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jenrry Mejia Jose Valverde Jeurys Familia Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Dellin Betances Adam Warren Shawn Kelley
Oakland Sean Doolittle Luke Gregerson Jim Johnson
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Mike Adams Antonio Bastardo
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Justin Wilson Jason Grilli
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Carlos Martinez Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Joaquin Benoit Alex Torres
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Jean Machi Santiago Casilla
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Grant Balfour Jake McGee Joel Peralta
Texas Joakim Soria Alexi Ogando Jason Frasor Neftali Feliz
Toronto Casey Janssen Brett Cecil Steve Delabar Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

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

We hoped you liked reading Bullpen Report: May 22, 2014 by Alan Harrison!

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My closers are as follows: Uehara, Robertson, Hawkins, & Qualls

Britton is available in my league. His stats appear to be much better than Hawkins, and he’s on a winning team, unlike Qualls. I’m only carrying 4 closers due to my opponents having 4 themselves the next 2 weeks (roto league 10 team). Think it’s worth dropping one of those two guys for Britton?