Bullpen Report: September 17, 2016

A quick bullpen report as many head-to-head guys head into the last week of the semis.

– It appears the end of times may be upon us for Santiago Casilla. The maligned Giants’ stopper had already given up his stranglehold on the closer gig but kept hurting San Francisco’s playoff chances by taking a blown save/loss last night to the Cardinals. Admittedly, he didn’t get a clean inning, as Sergio Romo put a runner on before him, but that didn’t mollify fans. Casilla hasn’t been really that different of a pitcher in 2016 than his last couple seasons (outside of luck-based factors controlling his ERA). That said, relief leverage (especially in September) is a “what have you done for me lately kind of thing?” and Casilla’s ERA over the last month is ~8.00. With no RP pitching exceptionally well in this bullpen, it’s a bit of a dice roll to who is up next. Sergio Romo has the pedigree and a decent ERA over the last month, but he’s walking too many guys. Hunter Strickland is somewhat the opposite — unproven, decent peripherals, but bad performances lately. Derek Law and Will Smith might get the next shot (depending on handedness) but only Bruce Bochy knows. I’d stay away from here unless desperate.

– Third blown save for Brandon Kintzler on Saturday. The righty doesn’t fit the prototypical mold of a ninth-inning guy, only fanning 15% of the batters he’s faced. His success has come from limiting free passes (3%) and maintaining decent ball-in-play numbers. There has been some comment chatter the last couple weeks why we haven’t moved him green — I’d probably call him “chartreuse” at this point. He’s probably locked in for the remainder of the season, but he’s also a low strikeout guy giving up hard-hit balls 30% of the time. It isn’t unreasonable to think he could go through a stretch of 2-3 games where he torpedoes your ERA/WHIP and finds himself taking a breather from the 9th for a team not in contention. I’m still running him out there, myself, but just keep in mind he’s not as safe as some of the lower-end green options who have the punchout stuff.

Craig Kimbrel got 4 outs against the Yankees in his 2nd consecutive day of work. This is only the second time in his career he’s pitched more than one inning on zero days of rest. He’s looked good the last two nights (6 batters, 6 K’s) but don’t be shocked if the Red Sox let someone like Koji Uehara or (gulp) Joe Kelly (didn’t pitch yesterday) see a high-leverage spot late in the game, particularly if it’s closer to a 4-run lead than a 1-run one.

– Quick hits: Seung Hwan Oh returned to pick up the win in the game that Casilla lost. Activate him across the board. Wade Davis looked good pitching for the first time in nearly a week — make sure you haven’t forgotten him on the DL/bench. Ken Giles bounced back from a blown save in his last appearance to polish off the Mariners. It’s too bad for the ‘Stros he had that hiccup the other night, but he’s otherwise a solid bet to finish the season strong.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Daniel Hudson Randall Delgado Jake Barrett
Atlanta Jim Johnson Mauricio Cabrera Ian Krol Arodys Vizcaino
Baltimore Zach Britton Brad Brach Mychal Givens Darren O’Day
Boston Craig Kimbrel Koji Uehara Brad Ziegler Carson Smith
CHI (NL) Aroldis Chapman Hector Rondon Carl Edwards
CHI (AL) David Robertson Nate Jones Matt Albers
Cincy Tony Cingrani Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen
Cleveland Cody Allen Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
Colorado Adam Ottavino Jake McGee Carlos Estevez Scott Oberg
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Alex Wilson Justin Wilson
Houston Ken Giles Luke Gregerson Will Harris
KC Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Luke Hochevar
LAA Andrew Bailey J.C. Ramirez Mike Morin Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Joe Blanton Pedro Baez
Miami A.J. Ramos Fernando Rodney David Phelps
Milwaukee Tyler Thornburg Corey Knebel Blaine Boyer
Minnesota Brandon Kintzler Ryan Pressly Taylor Rogers Glen Perkins
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Fernando Salas
NY (AL) Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard Adam Warren
Oakland Ryan Madson Sean Doolittle John Axford
Philly Jeanmar Gomez Hector Neris David Hernandez
Pittsburgh Tony Watson Neftali Feliz Felipe Rivero
St. Louis Seung Hwan Oh Kevin Siegrist Jonathan Broxton
SD Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter Brad Hand
SF Will Smith Derek Law Sergio Romo
Seattle Edwin Diaz Steve Cishek Nick Vincent Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Alex Colome Brad Boxberger Xavier Cedeno
Texas Sam Dyson Jake Diekman Matt Bush Jeremy Jeffress
Toronto Roberto Osuna Joaquin Benoit Jason Grilli
Wash. Mark Melancon Shawn Kelley Blake Treinen

[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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