Bullpen Report: September 24, 2016

Stretch run for leagues, so let’s break down some of the questionable bullpens as you push towards that head-to-head or roto crown.

– The entire Houston bullpen has been leading bullpen headlines the last few days. Friday night, Ken Giles had a potentially fantasy-losing outing, giving up 6 earned runs against the Angels. While it is of little solace to owners, the outing wasn’t as terrible as the numbers suggested, with a couple close pitches and a lot of weak contact (aside from a two-run dinger) going against Giles. That said, he definitely wasn’t available Saturday and managed to get in the news anyways thanks to being smoked on the wrist by a liner during BP. With Giles down, the rest of the bullpen perhaps dashed Houston’s slim playoff changes by giving up 9 runs late in the game.

So who to roll the dice with this week? Giles appears to have avoided major damage, but can only be considered day-to-day, especially with the Astros’ season circling the drain. I wouldn’t expect too much out of him, although I’ll leave him first chair until we know he’s gone for the rest of the year — his 2.47 FIP in the 2nd half is among RP leaders. Luke Gregerson probably gets the nod if Giles does get shut down, although he wasn’t great yesterday. Gregerson has worn down since the all-star break, seeing his FIP jump by more than a run (although still a respectable 3.71). Also an option might be Will Harris, who served as the Houston closer earlier this season. Like Gregerson, however, he’s tailed off peripherally after an elite start.

– Philadelphia may be a committee but not sure it’s worth the ERA/WHIP risk touching this bullpen. Jeanmar Gomez had torpedoed your rates over the last few weeks before he was pulled from the ninth a few nights ago. So what did the Phillies do? Oh, only nearly blow a 10-0 lead against the Mets. Hector Neris (the popular second-in-line here) was not good yesterday, giving up a run on a couple hits and a walk. Interestingly, it was
Michael Mariot who got the ninth and walked a tightrope to pick up the SV, although the righty owns an ugly 14.5% BB% and 6.13 FIP in 19 innings, so I’m not sure I’d squeeze for juice here. I think Neris is the “safest” guy to try and stream for a free SV or two, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Pete Mackanin give Gomez another shot given the mediocrity of his other options. Still a little surprising that David Hernandez hasn’t gotten even a little run here, but his walk rate is in the double digits this year, too. Seriously, unless you absolutely need the SV, not worth it.

– Quick hits: Sergio Romo appears to have a leg up in the Giants’ committee with back-to-back saves. He’s the guy I want to own if I’m trying to scab with this bullpen. I noticed the Royals used Wade Davis in the 8th and Kelvin Herrera in the 9th yesterday. While it would be interesting to see a flip here, it seems more likely that the Royals wanted to get Davis some work in a close game and their rally off Francisco Rodriguez necessitated Herrera’s usage in the 9th. Brad Ziegler got a save Friday night, but it seems the Red Sox would rather play matchups with him if possible. He’s still behind Koji Uehara and is only a closing consideration if both Craig Kimbrel and Uehara have worked a lot in the last couple days.

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 Pedro Strop
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 Ryan Dull John Axford
Philly Jeanmar Gomez Hector Neris Michael Mariot
Pittsburgh Tony Watson Neftali Feliz Felipe Rivero
St. Louis Seung Hwan Oh Kevin Siegrist Jonathan Broxton
SD Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter Brad Hand
SF Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland Derek Law
Seattle Edwin Diaz Steve Cishek Nick Vincent
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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Man, you guys really fell off toward the end of this season. Thanks for doing this column with consistently for a while though!