Bullpen Report: May 29, 2015

Greg Holland’s velocity has been up and down this season, but he was hitting his usual ceiling of just above 95 against the Cubs on Friday. He struck out two in his perfect inning, throwing nine of his ten pitches for strikes. It wasn’t a save situation, but he looked sharp in his first appearance since Monday. Wade Davis struck out the side in his perfect eighth to keep his ERA at 0.00 on the year. Pedro Strop had another shaky outing for the Cubs, as he gave up three runs, one of them earned, in a third of an inning. He entered May with an ERA of 0.00 and has raised it to 4.09 with two days left in the month. He’s still sitting next in line for saves behind Hector Rondon, but how long will it be before someone like Justin Grimm takes that spot? The Cubs miss Neil Ramirez in that role.

Darren O’ Day wriggled out of a bases loaded jam of his own making against the Rays on Friday. He gave up two singles and then plunked Logan Forsythe to set himself up for potential disaster. Two strikeouts and a ground out to Manny Machado at third later, and the Orioles were off to the bottom of the ninth with the chance to walk off winners. Since it was a tie game on the road, Kevin Cash chose to call upon Brandon Gomes, Xavier Cedeno and Steve Geltz to massage the winning run home for the Orioles, leaving his best reliever in the pen waiting to protect a lead that never materialized. Jake McGee pitched a perfect eighth and should be ready to pitch on consecutive days at this point.

Sam Dyson got the nod in the eighth for the Marlins over Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris. This was after he took the loss on Wednesday after giving up three runs on two hits and two walks without retiring a single Pirate. It’s not clear if this was just an opportunity for him to get the bad taste from Wednesday out of his mouth, or if it’s Dan Jennings signaling a change in the bullpen order. He was perfect and struck out one, setting the table for A.J. Ramos to notch his third save.

The wonder that is the Rangers bullpen continued to evolve on Friday night. Jon Edwards pitched a scoreless seventh against the Red Sox, walking one and striking out another. He’s walked more batters than he’s pitched innings in an incredibly small sample size. Ross Ohlendorf’s hands were likely sore from the pre-game cow milking contest and gave up two runs via a home run to Hanley Ramirez. Shawn Tolleson came on to pitch a perfect ninth to save the game for the Rangers, his sixth of the season.

Addison Reed is still a strong buy-low candidate, and had another solid outing Friday. He gave up one hit in 1.7 innings and struck out a pair. His velocity is ticking back up and Brad Ziegler is the only thing between him and his old job. Ziegler gave up a run in the ninth but still got the save, his third of the year.

Chad Qualls gave up a game-tying home run to Gordon Beckham in a rare mis-step for the Astros bullpen. Pat Neshek and Luke Gregerson each pitched scoreless innings with a total of four strikeouts between them. Josh Fields and Tony Sipp combined to give up three in the eleventh, allowing David Robertson to come in and nail it down for the White Sox. Josh Donaldson isn’t on the Astros, so he came away unscathed and reached double digits in saves on the year.

Of Note: Aroldis Chapman saved his eighth of the year, striking out two and giving up a single to Bryce Harper on a 102 mph fastball. I don’t think I could hit a car with a bat if it was driving past me at that speed. Glen Perkins pitched a third of an inning and gave up a home run to Chris Colabello with a runner on. He took his first loss on the season. Trevor Rosenthal shut out the Dodgers in the ninth for his 14th save of the year. Huston Street faced four batters, retired them all, striking out two of them for his 15th save of the year. Tyler Clippard retired one batter for his sixth save. Will it be his last for a while? Is it Doolittle time yet? Keep a close eye on this series over the weekend. Fernando Rodney walked Jason Kipnis and then gave up a triple to Ryan Raburn. His ERA is up over 7.00 now, and he saved his 14th game. Craig Kimbrel looked like the Craig Kimbrel we remember, striking out two in a perfect inning, setting the stage for his Padres to hit a walk-off grand slam against his counterpart, closer and best Pirates reliever, uh, Rob Scahill? Oh yeah, tie game on the road, you need to save your best reliever for a lead! Mark Melancon did nothing and his team lost. Hunter Strickland grabbed his second hold, and if you like strikeouts and holds, you’ll grab him too. Santiago Casilla earned save number 15, even though he gave up a home run to Freddie Freeman and walked another Brave.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Addison Reed Daniel Hudson Enrique Burgos
Atlanta Jason Grilli Jim Johnson Luis Avilan
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 Zach McAllister
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 Carter Capps Steve Cishek
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jonathan Broxton Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Blaine Boyer Brian Duensing Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Carlos Torres Sean Gilmartin Jenrry Mejia
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson Chris Martin
Oakland Sean Doolittle Tyler Clippard Evan Scribner
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 Carson Smith Tom Wilhelmsen Danny Farquhar
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Kevin Jepsen
Texas Shawn Tolleson Keone Kela Ross Ohlendorf Neftali Feliz
Toronto Brett Cecil Roberto Osuna Steve Delabar Miguel Castro
Wash. Drew Storen Aaron Barrett Casey Janssen Casey Janssen

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

Darren contributes to RotoGraphs when he isn’t watching the Braves or shoveling snow. Follow him on Twitter @shinesie.

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Got the wrong Rondon bro in the Cubbies write up 🙂