Bullpen Report: May 30, 2017

A couple of quick notes from Memorial Day:

Tony Watson got the win after Andrew McCutchen hit a walk-off homer which is nice but it also meant that he blew the save (his third of the season) as well. On the year Watson has a very mediocre 4.03/5.31/4.82 ERA/FIP/xFIP pitching line. As a lefty without considerable swing and miss stuff, Watson may not be long for closing in Pittsburgh. Behind him we have Felipe Rivero and Daniel Hudson and I would look to grab Rivero pretty soon if you’re looking for saves. Although he is also a lefty, his 0.68/2.80/2.90 pitching line with nearly a 27% K% is more in line with what one expects out of their closer. Tony Watson might not have much leash left and I’m moving this situation to red as I would rather sound the alarm a tad early over having you pass on placing a bid on Rivero.

• We might have a committee in San Diego. Brad Hand received two save opportunities earlier but the last two, including last night, went to Brandon Maurer. I am going to keep Maurer in the closer’s chair for now as he received the most recent saves and was the closer to start the year. However, Hand showed he could handle the job if Maurer were to falter again. Maurer has a 6.00 ERA but 20 strikeouts against only 4 walks indicates he’s actually pitched quite well, in spite of his .351 BABIP and 51.7% LOB%. If Maurer pitches like his underlying numbers indicate, Hand may not see many more save opportunities but a manager won’t be so patient as an ERA climbs up from 6.00.

And onto tonight’s full slate of games but light in terms of bullpen notes:

Roberto Osuna pitched a clean ninth for his tenth save of the year against the Reds. Michael Lorenzen kept the game close, throwing three scoreless but Blake Wood gave up the lead allowing Osuna a save opportunity.  After tonight’s outing, Osuna has 22 strikeouts against only two walks in 19.2 innings. Josh Donaldson hit his first homer since returning from the DL and if he’s up and running again he should help give Osuna a few more save opportunities. The Jays had a very rough start but are at 25-27 and three games back in the Wild Card. They were assumed to be sellers early but now might hold the squad together which should only help Osuna.

Alex Colome is undoubtedly the closer, but behind him it’s a bit unclear. Danny Farquhar allowed three runs in 0.2 innings tonight and Chase Whitley allowed four baserunners and two runs in one inning. Both are in the mix in the back of the Rays bullpen along with Ryne Stanek, Jose Alvarado, and Tommy Hunter who threw two scoreless innings tonight, although he entered the game in the fifth with starter Matt Andriese leaving the game in the second. I don’t know that the Rays would go to the rookies Stanek or Alvarado if something were to happen to Colome so I’m placing Farquhar (in spite of tonight’s outing) and Hunter behind him.

• A few changes: Adam Ottavino was placed on the DL, moving Jake McGee to setup and Mike Dunn behind him. Those are two southpaws so Chris Rusin, Scott Oberg or Chad Qualls could see some higher leverage innings as well. I moved Tony Zych off of the grid in place of Nick Vincent. Edwin Diaz reclaimed his closer’s chair and Vincent and James Pazos look to be behind him in the pecking order.

• No save in Houston but Chris Devenski pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth with Michael Feliz throwing a scoreless ninth. I have seen Devenski listed on several closer charts but I’m keeping him off of ours for now as he still seems more likely to throw multiple innings than be used primarily as a set up and if anything were to happen to Giles I don’t see the Astros looking to put Devenski in the ninth. Luke Gregerson slot on the grid might not be secure with a 5.66 ERA and James Hoyt and Michael Feliz behind him. Before tonight’s game, Devenski had been less than stellar allowing six runs in his previous 9.2 innings pitched so it’s nice to see him put up a few zeros. On the year Devenski now sits at 2.90/2.12/2.30 in 31 innings with 47 strikeouts, three wins and two saves. Other pitchers might be a little better in one inning spurts but Devenski’s volume still makes him pretty unique.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
ARI Fernando Rodney Archie Bradley JJ Hoover
ATL Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino Jose Ramirez
BAL Brad Brach Darren O’Day Mychal Givens Zach Britton
BOS Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Heath Hembree Carson Smith
CHC Wade Davis Carl Edwards Jr. Hector Rondon
CWS David Robertson Tommy Kahnle Anthony Swarzak Nate Jones
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Drew Storen
CLE Cody Allen Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
COL Greg Holland Jake McGee Mike Dunn Adam Ottavino
DET Justin Wilson Alex Wilson Shane Greene
HOU Ken Giles Will Harris Luke Gregerson
KC Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Mike Minor
LAA Bud Norris David Hernandez Blake Parker Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Josh Fields
MIA A.J. Ramos David Phelps Kyle Barraclough
MIL Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes Neftali Feliz
MIN Brandon Kintzler Matt Belisle Taylor Rogers Glen Perkins
NYM Addison Reed Fernando Salas Paul Sewald Jeurys Familia
NYY Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard Adam Warren Aroldis Chapman
OAK Santiago Casilla Ryan Madson Liam Hendriks Sean Doolittle
PHI Hector Neris Joaquin Benoit Pat Neshek
PIT Tony Watson Felipe Rivero Daniel Hudson
STL Seung Hwan Oh Trevor Rosenthal Matt Bowman
SD Brandon Maurer Brad Hand Ryan Buchter Carter Capps
SF Mark Melancon Derek Law Hunter Strickland
SEA Edwin Diaz James Pazos Nick Vincent
TB Alex Colome Danny Farquhar Tommy Hunter Brad Boxberger
TEX Matt Bush Keone Kela Jeremy Jeffress Jose Leclerc
TOR Roberto Osuna Joe Smith Jason Grilli
WSH Koda Glover Shawn Kelley Matt Albers

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

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

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Heathcliff Slocumb
6 years ago

Baez worth a pickup over Rondon in holds league? Seems like Maddon is using Rondon a lot less in high leverage situations now.

Francis C.
6 years ago

IMO, yes, if holds are your goal. Baez seems like the main 8th inning guy and lately, Carl Edwards, Jr. has been getting the 8th for the Cubs. Though the other day, Uehara started the 8th and Edwards got the last out of the inning. Still, there are too many mouths to feed in Chicago and I’d rather have the primary 8th inning guy there.