Bullpen Report: May 5, 2016

Somewhat quiet night on the bullpen front tonight…

Luke Gregerson certainly did not look great tonight, coughing up three runs in a tie game and talking the loss. With the outing, the righty’s xFIP climbed to a palatable, but less exciting 3.16 on the young season. While the Astros’ closer hasn’t really hasn’t been striking too many guys out (20% K%), he has been inducing ground balls at a Zach Britton-like rate (71%) which is one of the reasons both xFIP and SIERA seem happy with him in the ninth inning. His closest competition likely remains Ken Giles, who didn’t have a great outing himself today. While most folks have jumped ship on Giles and his 9.26 ERA, it’s worth noting that he’s off to a pretty unlucky start, with a .382 BABIP and a 61% strand rate. His fastball velocity is right where it was last year, and it’s not like he’s walking a ton of guys. Unfortunately, he seems to be pretty far away from save opps right now, but I’d hold in deeper leagues — the rates should be back soon enough.

• Speaking of Zach Britton, he returned from his ankle injury today to pick up a “W” in the Orioles 1-0 win over the Yankees. Britton fanned three batters in 1.1 innings and seemed to be operating on all cylinders, so assuming nothing crops up from beat writers about him being sore tomorrow, roll him back out there with confidence. His 1.31 xFIP and 71% GB% show he’s picked up right where he left off at the end of 2015.

• Those of you in deeper keeper or dynasty leagues, here’s a name to add to the watch list. Joe Jimenez is closing in high-A for the Tigers right now and he’s continuing his trend of posting absurd strikeout numbers. Prior to this season, Fangraphs’ own Dan Farnsworth rated him the number eight prospect in the Detroit system (rare praise for a MiLB guy working exclusively as a reliever), noting his mid-to-upper 90s heat and high-end slider. Yes, he’s still a few steps away from the big leagues but he turned 21 this offseason and we’ve seen young relievers fly through systems and/or skip levels (Keone Kela, Miguel Castro, and Roberto Osuna all jump to mind). It’s not out of the question for him get a taste of the big leagues later this season if all goes well and he may have a good shot to notch high-leverage innings at Comerica as early as 2017.

• Grid notes: Moved Ryan Madson to yellow and he’s gotten 6 of the last 7 saves for Oakland. I’ll also temporarily leapfrog John Axford over Sean Doolittle for second chair right now based on usage the last week or so. However, with Doolittle’s fastball back to 94 mph and a healthy 12% SwStr%, Axford only seems to be sitting in a vulture situation in the present — my guess is Doolittle is more likely to see saves this season if an extended Madson absence occurs in the future. Jake Petricka hit the DL today, but I had already moved Zach Duke ahead of him in the depth chart yesterday. If you were (for some reason) stashing Petricka in hopes of multiple White Sox implosion/injuries, you can cut bait.

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 John Axford Sean Doolittle
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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wily momember
8 years ago

i dig joe jimenez. worth noting that he was a bit of a sensation in tigers camp this spring, to where i saw various jokes along the lines of “ok now we can stop fantasizing about him breaking camp with the team” once he was finally sent out.

also it’s been said he was only sent to high-A for the weather in florida during the early going, so he’ll probably be in AA sooner than later. and AA for a reliever that dominant who doesn’t appear to have major control problems is already pretty close to being a phone call away.