Bullpen Report: May 9, 2017

Buckle up boys and girls, we have a real closer carousel in Detroit and San Francisco!

Mark Melancon was placed on the DL today by the Giants with a mild right pronator strain and while it’s not known how long Melancon will be out for, it’s good to hear that it’s “mild” rather than something unnerving like severe. Melancon had apparently been throwing through some discomfort which is a bit disconcerting but the Giants decided  it’s now time to give him some rest. In his place it looks like Derek Law will receive save opportunities  with Hunter Strickland, Josh Osich and George Kontos behind him. Considering Melancon might have been throwing through what ailed him this doesn’t seem to to take him out for too long but saves are saves are saves so Law is worth grabbing if he’s unowned and even if Melancon only misses the minimum. The biggest predictor of injuries is current/past injuries as well so if any of this lingers, Law could be in line for a higher save total than the initial mild diagnosis. While Law is closing he likely won’t have a long leash to start, consider this red.

• In Detroit the Tigers finally made a switch removing Francisco Rodriguez from the ninth with lefty Justin Wilson. It’s assumed that Francisco Rodriguez will have a chance to regain his job but color me a bit unconvinced. K-Rod is pitching better than his numbers indicate but Justin Wilson is the best pitcher in that bullpen and that’s unlikely to change after a few low leverage innings from K-Rod. I’ve moved Justin Wilson to the closer’s chair with Alex Wilson behind him. I’ve kept K-Rod on the grid for now as I believe he’s more likely to see the ninth than Shane Greene or Blaine Hardy  but those two will likely be pitching ahead of him until he starts improving. Of course if K-Rod doesn’t turn around his ERA he’ll be removed from the grid. Normally a change in closer is a default red but with Wilson so far ahead of the pack here, I’m going to keep this at yellow.

Zach Britton will be on the shelf for 6-8 weeks. I feel it’s always a good bet to bet the over on the estimated timeline for a player’s return to injury so consider me a bit of a skeptic on this timeline, if anything. It’s a damn shame for Britton owners and Brad Brach owners will rejoice and go to sleep wondering how they feel about rooting for someone else’s misfortune regarding their health.

• Washington. Woof. This situation is an utter mess [insert political joke here]. Matt Albers was the most recent closer in the District but he blew a save in his last appearance so tonight the Nationals went with Enny Romero…who promptly blew a two-run lead. In more hopeful news Koda Glober is starting a rehab assignment tomorrow and Shawn Kelley should be back soon, so the mess will get a little bit cleaner moving forward. But, it’s still a mess. Shawn Kelley should immediately return to the ninth upon his return and his ability to stay there will be based strictly on performance and he will mostly be benefiting from getting the first shot. Koda Glover will linger but if Kelley is doing the job, Glover will likely move to set up with Albers, Romero, Joe Blanton, Blake Treinen and whoever else the Nationals want to get away with. It’s been said here and many other places, but the season saves leader for the Nationals isn’t currently on the team. It’s a bit to early to guess who will be available via trade but consider the David Robertson rumors or the Lorenzo Cain/Kelvin Herrera rumors to have some legs.

• Quick Hits: Seung Hwan Oh picked up his eighth save with a perfect ninth inning. I love how Trevor Rosenthal looks this year but he remains a top setup option and less so a vulture saves guy. Kelvin Herrera (5) and Edwin Diaz (7) picked up saves and Hector Neris and A.J. Ramos both allowed runs in the ninth of tie games. Ramos’ job is secure, Neris not so much. Philly has been yo-yoing Joaquin Benoit and Neris since they made a change which has been frustrating to the fantasy world. It remains possible that Benoit sees another if not the next opportunity but I’m still betting on Neris to end the season with a higher save total than Benoit.

Closer Grid:


Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Fernando Rodney JJ Hoover Jorge de la Rosa
Atlanta Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino Jose Ramirez Mauricio Cabrera
Baltimore Brad Brach Darren O’Day Mychal Givens Zach Britton
Boston Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Heath Hembree Carson Smith
CHI (NL) Wade Davis Hector Rondon Koji Uehara
CHI (AL) David Robertson Tommy Kahnle Anthony Swarzak Nate Jones
Cincy Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Drew Storen
Cleveland Cody Allen Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
Colorado Greg Holland Adam Ottavino Jake McGee Mike Dunn
Detroit Justin Wilson Alex Wilson Francisco Rodriguez
Houston Ken Giles Luke Gregerson Will Harris
KC Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Peter Moylan
LAA Bud Norris David Hernandez Blake Parker Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Luis Avilan
Miami A.J. Ramos Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough
Milwaukee Neftali Feliz Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes
Minnesota Brandon Kintzler Matt Belisle Taylor Rogers Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Hansel Robles
NY (AL) Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard
Oakland Santiago Casilla Ryan Madson Ryan Dull Sean Doolittle
Philly Hector Neris Joaquin Benoit Jeanmar Gomez
Pittsburgh Tony Watson Felipe Rivero Daniel Hudson
St. Louis Seung Hwan Oh Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist
SD Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter Brad Hand Carter Capps
SF Derek Law Hunter Strickland Josh Osich Mark Melancon
Seattle Edwin Diaz Nick Vincent Tony Zych Steve Cishek
TB Alex Colome Danny Farquhar Chase Whitley Brad Boxberger
Texas Matt Bush Jeremy Jeffress Keone Kela Jose Leclerc
Toronto Roberto Osuna Joe Smith Jason Grillih
Wash. Matt Albers Enny Romero Blake Treinen Shawn Kelley

[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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Leclerc is on the DL, and Pruitt got sent down today. Sorry, don’t mean to nitpick. I’m just interested to find out who you think would be up next. Chase Whitley in Tampa Bay? Perhaps Keone Kela in Texas?


It would really help if Texas ever got a save opportunity. Ever. I feel like it’s been a month! (It’s been two and a half weeks, but still)