Bullpen Report: Sunday, July 19, 2015

Joe Blanton got his first career save on Sunday. He touched 93 and generated three whiffs with his twelve pitches. Even with this dominant outing, there will be no changes to the Royals grid. This was simply a chance for Ned Yost to rest his entire pen as the Royals are facing a tough slate coming out of the break. They started the weekend with a doubleheader, and the off day that was scheduled for this Thursday has been replaced with a trip to St. Louis between home dates with the Pirates and Astros. They don’t get a reprieve until August 3.

Cody Allen didn’t have a wonderful weekend, and for any of you who have him as your Scoresheet closer, lunchtime tomorrow is probably going to be not awesome. He gave up a run in a third on Saturday, and gave up another on Sunday on three hits. He did strike out three Reds in his 1.7 weekend innings. In that game Aroldis Chapman did a number of cool things. He struck out five, including his 500th career strikeout. He became the fastest to that number, reaching 500 in 292 career innings. He threw the most pitches that he’s thrown in a single outing, with 44. The Reds host the Cubs for four games, including a Wednesday doubleheader, so if J.J. Hoover is available and you’re desperate for a save this week, pick him up tonight and hope he gets a chance tomorrow. He threw 23 pitches on Friday and 12 on Sunday, so he should be very much available Monday night if needed.

Ken Giles had an afternoon to forget Sunday, but it doesn’t affect his spot on the grid. He gave up four hits and a couple of runs, only one of them earned, and was charged with the blown save. For the Marlins, Carter Capps mowed through the Phillies in the eighth, striking out a pair. A.J. Ramos didn’t record an out in the bottom of the ninth and surrendered a walk-off shot to Jeff Francoeur. It was the first earned run he’s surrendered in over a month, and his spot as closer remains secure.

Shawn Tolleson endured his second consecutive rough outing, as he gave up a two-run home run to Hank Conger, but still got the save as he was given a lead of three to work with. His velocity is fine, he’s just hit a couple of bumps. Keone Kela looks to have to stuff to close and he’d be the choice of many, but based on usage, I’d say Tanner Scheppers would be next in line for saves if Tolleson doesn’t right the ship quickly. Keep an eye on this situation this week.

Sunday Notes: Fernando Rodney couldn’t keep the game tied in the Bronx in the eighth, giving up a solo shot to Mark Teixiera. That allowed Dellin Betances to earn his sixth win, and Andrew Miller sewed it up for his 20th save of the year, striking out a pair. Roberto Osuna struck out three Rays as he finished the game in a non-save situation. Jeurys Familia gave up an extra-inning home run to Kolton Wong, blowing his third save of the year. He did strike out the side. Trevor Rosenthal was the only reliever that didn’t come out of the pen on Sunday. He threw 33 pitches Friday night and has had some issues throughout the season with a sore right arm. Definitely keep a close eye on this as the week goes on. If Jordan Walden’s return is a few weeks away, he may not be a terrible pickup in a deep league if you have a DL spot to spare. Santiago Casilla has 24 saves now after he shut out the Diamondbacks in the ninth. Enrique Burgos was sent to AAA and David Hernandez takes his spot on the grid. Rafael Soriano was recalled by the Cubs, and there’s no reason to think that he won’t work his way onto the closer grid. He did close for Joe Maddon when he was a member of the Rays, saving 45 games in 2010, so there is familiarity there.

Notes From Saturday: Carson Smith grabbed his seventh save as he protected a two-run lead. He did make the game a little more interesting by giving up a run. Fernando Rodney got a one-out hold in the eighth. Brad Boxberger pitched the eighth and Jake McGee got the ninth and the save in Toronto. Facing the top of the Jays order in Reyes, Donaldson, Bautista and Encarnacion, Kevin Cash elected to go with Boxberger. It wasn’t the smoothest inning of work, but getting Donaldson to hit into a key double play allowed him to escape unscathed. There’s no reason that McGee couldn’t have handled the Jays buzzsaw, as he’s held righties to a .163 wOBA on the year, but Cash played the percentages, and you can’t really blame him. Nationals righty Casey Janssen solidified his precarious hold as next in line on the grid with a perfect eighth inning of the game suspended from Friday, striking out two and snagging a win. Drew Storen saved it, his 28th. Sergio Romo went an inning and a third and grabbed his first save. This isn’t a case of him getting the closer gig, so there’s no need to change the Giants grid. Greg Holland blew his third save of the year, allowing the White Sox to plate two and tie it in the bottom of the ninth. Wade Davis had another perfect inning with two more strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 0.44 in the process. Kenley Jansen gave up a two-run rocket to Bryce Harper. If you love power vs. power, then you loved that at bat. Bruce Rondon gave up two runs and four hits and I just can’t keep him on the grid. He did bounce back with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning Sunday. Behind Joakim Soria there are no defined roles, but if I had to guess, and I do, Neftali Feliz is going to get the first save opportunity that Soria doesn’t. This can still change depending on what additions the Tigers make before the trade deadline. Both closers in Oakland blew saves, as Glen Perkins and Tyler Clippard took turns giving up ninth inning runs. It was the first blown save for Perkins and the third for Clippard. Drew Pomeranz pitched the tenth and got the win, but he’s not going to be replacing Evan Scribner as next in line for saves, not with righties reaching him to the tune of a .333 wOBA. Edward Mujica is my bet to be next in line. Jonathan Papelbon(15), Zach Britton(24), Francisco Rodriguez(21), Craig Kimbrel(25) all earned Saturday saves.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson David Hernandez Addison Reed
Atlanta Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino David Aardsma Jason Grilli
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Alexi Ogando
CHI (NL) Jason Motte Hector Rondon Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Putnam
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Ryan Mattheus Tony Cingrani
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado John Axford LaTroy Hawkins Boone Logan
Detroit Joakim Soria Neftali Feliz Al Albuerquerque Joe Nathan
Houston Luke Gregerson Pat Neshek Chad Qualls
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Kelvin Herrera
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Fernando Salas
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Juan Nicasio Yimi Garcia
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
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson
Oakland Tyler Clippard Edward Mujica Drew Pomeranz Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Luis Garcia
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Jared Hughes
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Seth Maness Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Brendan Maurer
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
Toronto Roberto Osuna Steve Delabar Brett Cecil Miguel Castro
Wash. Drew Storen Casey Janssen Aaron Barrett

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

Darren contributes to RotoGraphs when he isn’t watching the Braves or shoveling snow. Follow him on Twitter @shinesie.

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I think you could consider changing Toronto to yellow. Osuna really loves closing, and takes his game up a notch with the game on the line, so I doubt they take it from him. That being said, Sanchez is going to the bullpen (post game announcement) after one final stint in AAA Buffalo, and did a great job in the 9th last year. Still, I think it may merely put Sanchez on the grid, not threaten Osuna’s job.

It is also an Extremely Clear Sign (ECS!! ECS!!) that the Blue Jays intend to fix bullpen issues internally, AND they may be making the finishing touches on a deal for a starter… Because Sanchez should have taken Doubront’s spot in the rotation this coming Sunday, and now he won’t be. I doubt they PREFER Doubront over Sanchez, so I’m betting there is a third pitcher coming. I know they want to limit Sanchez’s innings, but I can’t picture them starting Doubront until that innings cap is a lot closer.

I really like Doubront, by the way. I hope he eventually gets a shot, like Estrada did, but I think he needs to work on a few things first.