Bullpen Report: Monday, June 22, 2015

• After losing the closing gig earlier this year, we figured that Addison Reed could have regained his role with improved performance in lower leverage innings. However, since then he’s only struggled and has now been demoted to AAA. It stands that Reed could theoretically still regain his familiar role in the ninth, but he’s far off the radar as of now. With Reed’s demotion comes Enrique Burgos‘ return from the 15-day DL. Burgos has nasty stuff, generating tons of strikeouts and is in someways the antithesis of current closer Brad Ziegler who has a paltry 4.50 K/9. Ziegler is converting the opportunities he’s given though, and his grasp on the job is fairly secure. Once Burgos gets a few innings under his belt, he could leapfrog Dan Hudson in the pecking order.

• With Brett Cecil’s collapse of late and after throwing 33 pitches last night, the Jays turned to Roberto Osuna for a 6-out save. Osuna delivered, walking one but striking out five for the two inning save, the first of his caeer. As of now it remains to be seen if this is a more permanent change or if Cecil was simply unavailable but my money is on this being something more significant and have put Osuna on top in the grid below. At the tender age of 20 years old, Osuna has been effective all year and could see the lion’s share of saves moving forward. Additionally, Steve Delabar who has been pitching quite well in 17 innings this year (1.06 ERA/3.46 FIP) could see some saves and/or more responsibility in the eighth for those in Holds leagues.

Pedro Strop, Jason Motte and Hector Rondon pitched the last three innings yesterday but that order went Strop-Rondon-Motte in tonight’s game, confusing fantasy owners in leagues everywhere. It should be noted that although Rondon got the save yesterday, it was Motte who was called on for the ninth with Rondon pitching in extras. Motte has been the least effective reliever of the bunch (3.42 ERA/4.43 FIP) and struggled a bit tonight, allowing two hits including a Joc Pederson home run en route to earning the save. So, in spite of looking like the first option in the last two games, we still don’t really know how this will shake out. To make matters even more confusing, as Darren pointed out, Neil Ramirez and Rafael Soriano will be joining the club at some point as well. As of now, it seems as the Cubs are in committee mode with Rondon and Motte receiving saves but if forced to choose one, I would go Rondon.

• There isn’t necessarily any closer controversies in Detroit but Joakim Soria’s recent struggles continued tonight, allowing a homer in a non-save situation. Soria has now allowed runs in four consecutive appearances, many via the long ball. Soria still has excellent command but he has regressed a tad this year with his strikeout and swinging strike rates (7.8%) both in decline. The same organization that was so committed to Joe Nathan isn’t going to now look to Joba Chamberlain and Al Albuerquerque for the ninth, but Soria will have to find a better cure for his gopheritis this year (21.2% HR/FB%). Soria still has a respectable ERA (2.93) after this bad stretch, but if some poor sequencing allows for homers with more runners on base, his ERA can rise real quick.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson Enrique Burgos Addison Reed
Atlanta Jason Grilli Jim Johnson David Aardsma
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Alexi Ogando
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Jason Motte Pedro Strop Rafael Soriano
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Duke
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Ryan Mattheus Tony Cingrani
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado John Axford Boone Logan LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino
Detroit Joakim Soria Joba Chamberlain Al Albuerquerque Joe Nathan
Houston Luke Gregerson Chad Qualls Pat Neshek
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Yimi Garcia Adam Liberatore Pedro Baez
Miami A.J. Ramos Carter Capps Steve Cishek
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Blaine Boyer Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Bobby Parnell Carlos Torres Jenrry Mejia
NY (AL) Dellin Betances Justin Wilson Chasen Shreve Andrew Miller
Oakland Tyler Clippard Evan Scribner Dan Otero Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Luis Garcia
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Arquimedes Caminero
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seth Maness Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Brandon Maurer Joaquin Benoit
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland
Seattle Carson Smith Fernando Rodney Mark Lowe
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Kevin Jepsen
Texas Shawn Tolleson Tanner Scheppers Keone Kela Neftali Feliz
Toronto Roberto Osuna Brett Cecil Steve Delabar Miguel Castro
Wash. Drew Storen Casey Janssen Matt Thornton Aaron Barrett

[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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I agree with Osuna likely being the closer now, but don’t be surprised if Cecil gets the save opportunity if there is one tomorrow or Wednesday. Osuna has been heavily worked and is likely not available tomorrow and maybe not Wednesday.


I agree after 2 IP tonight, Osuna may get a bit of a break. I think we’ll see Delabar in the 9th before Cecil. Every Blue Jays loss in the past few weeks has been due to the bullpen, mainly Cecil, so I can’t see him back in there for awhile.