Bullpen Report: May 4, 2016

• Well, it finally happened — Jeanmar Gomez finally blew a save. It wasn’t pretty either, as the righty was touched up for two runs on three hits and a pair of walks. The outing was ugly enough to bring his (SSS) xFIP from 3.27 to 3.81, which is actually not too far off last year’s 3.98 mark. We’ve mentioned here a couple times that Gomez is probably just good enough to hold onto the gig when things are going well, but he doesn’t have enough swing-and-miss stuff to avoid bad stretches where guys are making solid contact and putting the ball in play. He has been used a lot lately (8 times in the Phillies last 12 games), so maybe a day or two off will do him good. I expect he’ll get the next save opportunity, but we’ve kept him yellow even through the “good times” for a reason. I’ll slide Hector Neris (2.05 xFIP, 43% K%) ahead of David Hernandez (2.26 xFIP, 39% K%) based on his save a couple games ago (when Gomez was getting a day off). However, it wouldn’t be shocking if either of them (or even Andrew Bailey) saw run in the ninth inning for Philly at some point going forward.

Jake McGee worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for save number 7. He seems to have calmed down after his implosion against the Dodgers last week, so why am I writing about Jake McGee? Be wary. McGee’s only struck out four of the 44 batters he has faced this year. His fastball velocity is down 1.5 mph from last year and over three ticks from two years ago. SwStr%? Down. F-Strike%? Down. There are a lot of warning sirens here — I have very few shares of Jake McGee, but the one place I have him, I’m peddling him. The unfortunate thing? There is no Adam Ottavino lying in wait this year. Chad Qualls (the current second chair) hasn’t been awful, but he hasn’t been very good either. Boone Logan is the Rockies’ best reliever by peripherals, but a large part of that is because he’s facing lefties. Ottavino is starting to ramp up his rehab, but we won’t see him until mid-July at the absolute earliest (and it’s ambitious to think he’ll be lights out right away). Miguel Castro offers hope when healthy, but having to hit the DL with shoulder injuries in April scare me. There isn’t anyone lying in wait in Albuquerque, either, so maybe this is just a bullpen we don’t want to play with this year.

Ross Ohlendorf pitched in the closest thing the Red have had to a save situation in a few games, coughing up a run while entering with a four-run lead in the ninth today. Ohlendorf is somewhat similar to Jeanmar Gomez — probably good enough to go on a run of mediocrity in the ninth, but posts somewhat pedestrian peripherals (4.09 xFIP last year, 4.30 so far this year), so he’ll likely never achieve a firm grasp. A couple bright spots to point out — both the fastball velocity and whiff rate are up a tad, so there’s reason to believe he could sneak past last year’s peripherals. Helping him is the fact that the Reds bullpen has been extra awful (above and beyond the norm) as of late. Tony Cingrani has the whiffs, but is walking nearly one out of every five batters he faces. Caleb Cotham’s somewhat uninspiring stuff has caught up to him the last few games. Perhaps the reliever who looked best for this team in the early going is Dan Straily, but he now seems to be one of the team’s most stable rotation cogs after only a few turns. Ohlendorf feels like the guy to own right now and I’m not sure I’d speculate too much behind him. Jumbo Diaz has a 9/1 K/BB in 5.2 innings in Triple-A and posted a 2.84 SIERA last year. To be honest, he’s the guy I’m buying in deeper leagues; he’s not even on the big league roster.

• Quick hits: Kevin Quackenbush just hasn’t had it early on for the Padres, so Ryan Buchter makes his debut on the grid. I’ll move Fernando Rodney to green for now, but that’ll go back to yellow the next time he doesn’t shoot arrows. Alex Colome has looked good enough to take hold of Tampa Bay’s closer job for now, we’ll see where he is when Brad Boxberger is ready. Huston Street is the guy when healthy in Anaheim, but Joe Smith is the guy when Huston Street is not healthy. He’s green until Street hits the rehab trail.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Tyler Clippard
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino Jim Johnson Jason Grilli
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Mychal Givens
Boston Craig Kimbrel Koji Uehara Carson Smith
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Pedro Strop Justin Grimm
CHI (AL) David Robertson Nate Jones Zach Duke
Cincy Ross Ohlendorf Tony Cingrani Caleb Cotham Jumbo Diaz
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado Jake McGee Chad Qualls Boone Logan Miguel Castro
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Mark Lowe Justin Wilson Bruce Rondon
Houston Luke Gregerson Ken Giles Pat Neshek
KC Wade Davis Joakim Soria Kelvin Herrera
LAA Joe Smith Fernando Salas Jose Alvarez Huston Street
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Chris Hatcher Yimi Garcia
Miami A.J. Ramos David Phelps Kyle Barraclough Carter Capps
Milwaukee Jeremy Jeffress Tyler Thornburg Michael Blazek Will Smith
Minnesota Kevin Jepsen Trevor May Casey Fien Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Hansel Robles
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Chasen Shreve Aroldis Chapman
Oakland Ryan Madson Sean Doolittle John Axford
Philly Jeanmar Gomez Hector Neris David Hernandez
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Neftali Feliz
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seung Hwan Oh
SD Fernando Rodney Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter
SF Santiago Casilla Hunter Strickland Javier Lopez Sergio Romo
Seattle Steve Cishek Joel Peralta Nick Vincent Joaquin Benoit
TB Alex Colome Erasmo Ramirez Xavier Cedeno Brad Boxberger
Texas Shawn Tolleson Sam Dyson Jake Diekman Keone Kela
Toronto Roberto Osuna Drew Storen Brett Cecil
Wash. Jonathan Papelbon Blake Treinen Shawn Kelley

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

There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.

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Ryan Brockmember
8 years ago

Good to see Rodney get back to green, I think people are really sleeping on the fact that his ineffectiveness in early 2015 was a blip in an otherwise good-to-great run from 2012 til now.

Skoolboy Jim
8 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Brock

Fernando Rodney? I’d feel safer holding a lead bringing Bobby Ayala out of retirement.