Bullpen Report: May 9, 2018

Roberto Osuna was arrested in Toronto on Tuesday morning and charged with assault, and shortly thereafter, the Commissioner’s Office placed him on administrative leave. Osuna is scheduled for a June 18 court date, and meanwhile, Major League Baseball will be conducting its own investigation under the joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy.

With James Paxton tossing a no-hitter against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night, Toronto had no need for a closer. John Gibbons put the team’s closer situation in its proper perspective, given the seriousness of the charges against Osuna; he has yet to indicate who might fill the ninth-inning role. General manager Ross Atkins stated that Osuna could be out longer or shorter than the default seven-day leave period for an investigation, depending on how the investigation progresses. During that time, Ryan Tepera and/or Seung Hwan Oh would presumably be called upon in save situations.

The Brewers will get Corey Knebel (hamstring) back for Wednesday’s game against the Indians. There has been no word as to whether he will immediately be entrusted with save situations. If he is, then Josh Hader’s perfect two innings to close out the Indians on Tuesday night might be the last save he gets for a long while. Even in the absence of saves, Hader should have plenty of fantasy value in just about any format, given his likely contributions to strikeouts, ERA and WHIP.

Keynan Middleton (elbow) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday night, and he could rejoin the Angels in the next few days. In a Mike Scioscia bullpen, you can never be entirely sure what the roles will be, but given that no one stepped up in Middleton’s absence, it seems safe to assume that the 24-year-old will resume his role as the Angels’ closer.

The Tigers placed Alex Wilson on the 10-day disabled list on Monday with torn plantar fascia in his left foot, and Buck Farmer has wasted no time in taking over his seventh-inning setup role. Farmer recorded holds in Monday’s and Tuesday’s games against the Rangers, and in the latter contest, Farmer retired all four batters he faced — two by way of a strikeout. After struggling for much of April, Farmer has allowed one earned run over his last 7.2 innings, striking out 12 batters while walking three.

With the Tigers entering the bottom of eighth inning on Tuesday with a 6-2 lead, Joe Jimenez was presumably brought in to finish the bridge to Shane Greene, as has been Ron Gardenhire’s wont, but three hits, two runs and just one out later, he got the hook. Jimenez got through his first 10 appearances of the season without allowing an earned run, but since that streak, he has yielded seven runs over 7.1 innings with only five strikeouts and a 10.0 percent called strike rate. If these trajectories continue, it could be just a matter of time before Gardenhire starts using Farmer in the eighth inning. Shane Greene has been getting into a groove in his latest outings (eight strikeouts, no walks, one unearned run in 4.1 May innings), but Farmer is still not a bad speculative pickup in the event that Greene regresses.

Quick hits: Ken Giles and Hector Neris rebounded from recent meltdowns to record saves on Tuesday night. Giles allowed just a Matt Chapman single in a scoreless inning against the Athletics, while Neris struck out Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford after taking over from Tommy Hunter with one out in the top of the ninth…Brad Boxberger ended a string of six straight scoreless appearances by allowing an Enrique Hernandez solo homer that sent the Diamondbacks’ game against the Dodgers into extra innings. The home run gave Boxberger his first blown save of the season, after he began the year by converting 11 straight saves…Adam Ottavino gave up at least a run in an appearance for only the second time in 19 tries this season and for the first time since April 15. He allowed two runs on a Justin Upton homer that left the park with a 105.3 mph exit velocity (per Baseball Savant)…Joakim Soria pitched the eighth inning of a game in which the White Sox were on the wrong end of a 9-5 score against the Pirates. He had not pitched in four days and was likely just getting some work…The Braves recalled prospect Luiz Gohara on Tuesday, but the lefty will be pitching out of the bullpen…Ryne Stanek, who struck out 29 batters in 20 innings for the Rays last season, made his 2018 debut for Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. He held the Braves scoreless for 1.2 innings, notching four strikeouts but also walking two batters and uncorking a wild pitch.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 5/9/2018
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Brad Boxberger Archie Bradley Yoshihisa Hirano
ATL Arodys Vizcaino A.J. Minter Dan Winkler
BAL Darren O’Day Brad Brach Mychal Givens Zach Britton
BOS Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Joe Kelly
CHC Brandon Morrow Carl Edwards Jr. Steve Cishek
CWS Joakim Soria Nate Jones Bruce Rondon Danny Farquhar
CIN Raisel Iglesias Jared Hughes Wandy Peralta
CLE Cody Allen Nick Goody Zach McAllister Andrew Miller
COL Wade Davis Adam Ottavino Jake McGee
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Buck Farmer Alex Wilson
HOU Ken Giles Chris Devenski Brad Peacock
KC Kelvin Herrera Brian Flynn Brad Keller Justin Grimm
LAA Jim Johnson Justin Anderson Cam Bedrosian Keynan Middleton
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Ross Stripling
MIA Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Jacob Barnes Corey Knebel
MIN Fernando Rodney Addison Reed Zach Duke
NYM Jeurys Familia AJ Ramos Robert Gsellman Anthony Swarzak
NYY Aroldis Chapman David Robertson Dellin Betances
OAK Blake Treinen Lou Trivino Santiago Casilla Ryan Buchter
PHI Hector Neris Tommy Hunter Edubray Ramos Pat Neshek
PIT Felipe Vazquez George Kontos Michael Feliz
STL Bud Norris Greg Holland Jordan Hicks Dominic Leone
SD Brad Hand Kirby Yates Craig Stammen
SF Hunter Strickland Tony Watson Sam Dyson Mark Melancon
SEA Edwin Diaz Juan Nicasio Nick Vincent
TB Alex Colome Sergio Romo Jose Alvarado
TEX Keone Kela Jake Diekman Jose Leclerc Chris Martin
TOR Ryan Tepera Seung Hwan Oh Tyler Clippard Roberto Osuna
WSH Sean Doolittle Ryan Madson Brandon Kintzler

Al Melchior has been writing about Fantasy baseball and sim games since 2000, and his work has appeared at CBSSports.com, BaseballHQ, Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster and FanRagSports. He has also participated in Tout Wars' mixed auction league since 2013. You can follow Al on Twitter @almelchiorbb and find more of his work at almelchior.com.

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