First, the ?’s.
Second, the historical K%’s.
And of course, the Grid…
1) The ?’s
Angels at Twins: Glen Perkins has a sore neck (received a MRI after tingling, but there was no structural damage). Ron Gardy said he should be back within a few a days so I wouldn’t jump to the waiver wire for anyone. We didn’t get a chance to see who would have had the opportunity to close out the games for the Twins tonight. While it was presumably Jared Burton, he received the loss, getting beat by a Albert Pujols double after a single (Cron) and walk (Trout) and then Anthony Swarzak let in the inherited runner. Huston Street earned save #37. That’s 3 straight appearances for Street and he could potentially use the day off tomorrow. He only has 2 k’s in through his last 5 appearances, and his win yesterday came from a blown save. He induced only 1 whiff from 6 swings tonight.
Astros at Athletics: Sean Doolittle had a successful bullpen session today and should be activated next week. Until then, it’s still Eric O’Flaherty closing out games. David Wiers called O’Flaherty a wild-card for the closing role prior to the season and the ground ball rate (58+%) and weak contact (.213 BABIP) holds true. Tonight, Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless 9th for the win. Heck, if you’re own a hold league, why not own the entire Oakland bullpen next year?
Chad Qualls remains under the weather with a case of the shaky qualls. He let both of Scott Feldman’s inherited runners score and then gave up the winning single to blow a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 9th. I would think and hope that Tony Sipp is next up for the closing role. Other than a shellacking on 8/25 (4BB and 4 ER without recording an out), he’s been lights out since 8/12 (12 K’s, 0 BB’s and only 1 hit). Yesterday, he struck out 4 of 7 batters. I’d like to see him with the gig.
Giants at Tigers: Since, August 17th, here are the end-game decisions: 8/21 Save: Santiago Casilla (12); 8/27 Win: S. Casilla (2); 8/28 Save: S. Casilla (13); 8/30 Save: S. Casilla (14); 9/1 Loss: S. Romo (4); Tonight’s Save: S. Casilla (15). I guess I will reluctantly change the Giants’ grid line to green below. Sergio Romo also gave up a dinger tonight for good measure albeit from Miguel Cabrera.
Phillies at Nationals: 3 blown saves (another tonight), a 9.00 ERA and a 2.00+ WHIP in the past couple of weeks and it sounds like Rafael Soriano will take a few days off, work on his mechanics and specifically his slider. Up until 8/15, he had a 26% whiff/swing rate on his slider. Since, the slider whiff rate actually went up to 31%, but the homerun rate on the pitch jumped 23%. He nixed the sinker so maybe that has something to do with it: hitters catching-up/maybe sitting on the pitch at times. In the meantime, Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard might share duties. Both are uber-capable. Clippard has the much better swing and miss stuff, but Storen has been flawless since the beginning of August. I’d have to lean toward Storen for that reason.
Blue Jays at Red Sox: In yesterday’s Bullpen Report, Allan noted that Edward Mujica will now consume 9th inning duties for the Sox. Tonight confirmed that as he received the 2-out save. The Jays continued to use Aaron Sanchez in high impact situations. After getting within 1-run, they brought him on in the 7th. He struck out one in a scoreless frame. I daydream about what the Mets could have given the Jays in conjunction with Dickey for Sanchez in addition to Syndergaard and d’Arnaud.
2) The Historical K% (all 2014 performances highlighted in yellow):
- If Aroldis Chapman keeps this up, he will break Craig Kimbrel’s 2012 K% record of 50.2%. He struck out 2 more Mets tonight for his 30th save of the year.
- He’s no 2012 or 2011 Craig Kimbrel, but the 2014 Craig Kimbrel still winds up at #20 on this all time K-rate list. In a perfect 10th, he faced the heart of the Marlins lineup and got Solano to strikeout swinging in between Yelich and Stanton.
- Dellin Betances is already there (with 125 strikeouts after another perfect inning and 1K tonight against the Royals), but Brad Boxberger is now only 4K’s away from being the 2nd reliever in this historical year to 100K. He struck out 2 O’s tonight on 12 pitches; 9 for strikes. The O’s offered and whiffed 4/7 times.
- Jonathan Papelbon is great again this year: 1.64 ERA; 35 Saves. Yet, the Phillies Fans (at least their organization for financial reasons) still want him gone: they have Ken Giles waiting in the wings. Giles should jump into the top 15 on this last after another perfect inning with 2 K’s against the Nationals tonight. I don’t know how many times I looked at my 2 dynasty leagues that use K/9 and saw at least 2 innings and 3 K’s from Giles and Boxberger combined. In one of these leagues, I have Koji Uehara (sitting now), Greg Holland and Kenley Jansen as well. I’m probably keeping them all outside of Uehara. P.S., we don’t even use saves.
- Lastly, and this is more from watching the interaction/delivery than looking at the numbers, but I think Yadier Molina’s return pumped confidence back into Trevor Rosenthal. I’m turning St. Louis back to green without hesitation…
3) The Closer Grid:
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter