Bullpen Report: Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Kevin Cash went with arguably his best reliever in the eighth inning of a tie game in Chicago, with the heart of the White Sox order coming up. He set them down and with the game still tied, he went with Brandon Gomes to face the bottom of the order, saving Brad Boxberger for the tenth inning to try to keep the Rays alive. After Adam Eaton singled to lead off the inning, he ended up at third after a fielding error on his steal attempt of second. After retiring one, Boxberger was ordered to load the bases by intentionally walking both Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera. He then walked in the winning run. He’s still in the closer seat for now and his line isn’t as bad as it looked as two IBBs and an error played a huge part. For the White Sox, David Robertson was dominant, striking out four in his extended two-inning outing.

In Denver, Tommy Kahnle pitched the ninth for the Rockies, trailing at home by two, with the hopes of keeping it close. This is generally a job handed to the closer, pitching the ninth at home to in a tight game, and Kahnle pitched well, striking out a pair in his scoreless frame. The man he hopes to replace, John Axford, pitched the seventh, but gave up two runs on three hits. He did strike out a pair, but it was not a very good outcome for Axford. Look for Kahnle to justify his spot on the closer grid. For the Mariners, Lloyd McClendon wanted to do everything he could to give Carson Smith a blow and hold him to one hitter. Fernando Rodney came on with one out in the ninth and proceeded to give up a pair of runs, allowing the Rockies to tie the game. As Ryan Divish points out in that linked piece, among other things, Rodney was coming off five consecutive scoreless innings. This doesn’t change the Mariners grid, as it was already red.

Cody Allen’s recent rough patch continued, as he gave up three runs against the Angels, blowing the save. Since July 18, he’s been touched for a .529 BABIP. He’s only given up one home run in that span, and still has a 30.8% K-BB%, with zero walks. So it’s not walks and homers that are killing him, it’s the .529 BABIP. It’s just a blip, and I’m not concerned with his effectiveness going forward.

A.J. Ramos gave up at least a run in his third consecutive appearance, making it a total of seven earned runs in his last 3.3 innings. As we pointed out on Sunday, with Carter Capps on the shelf and Ramos struggling, this is a situation to keep an eye on. Even after giving up four earned his last time out, it may be a combo of Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris looking at some save opportunities in the near future. For the Mets, newly acquired lefty Eric O’Flaherty gave up four earned on four hits, Hansel Robles was charged with another pair, leaving Jeurys Familia to come in to save a game the Mets led by eight going into the inning. He gave up a pair of hits, but did retire a man to get his 29th save.

With Shawn Tolleson getting the night off after appearing in five of the past six games, the Rangers turned to Jake Diekman in the eighth and Sam Dyson in the ninth. Dyson finished off the Astros for his second save as a Ranger, and as a result of his seeing two save opps recently, I’m switching him and Diekman on the grid. I think they’ll both get you an even number of holds, but it looks like Dyson will get the save opportunities when Tolleson is unavailable.

Of Note: Koji Uehara notched his 24th save on the year. Mark Melancon gave up a run, but still got his 34th save. For the Cubs, Rafael Soriano went on the 15-day DL with shoulder issues, and he’s been replaced on the grid by Pedro Strop. Kenley Jansen struck out the side in a dominant ninth for his 20th save. With Aaron Sanchez serving the first of his three-game suspension and Roberto Osuna having pitched three of the previous five days, John Gibbons called on the trio of Brett Cecil, Mark Lowe, and LaTroy Hawkins to nail it down. They didn’t give up a run and Hawkins earned his third save. Alex Wilson grabbed his second save since Joakim Soria was traded to Pittsburgh, coming on after Blaine Hardy retired the first two Royals in the ninth inning. Bruce Rondon struck out two and gave up a hit in a scoreless eighth inning of work for his third hold. After Corey Knebel was unable to close out a six-run lead in the ninth for the Brewers, they called on Francisco Rodriguez to get the final two outs and his 25th save.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson David Hernandez Addison Reed
Atlanta Arodys Vizcaino David Aardsma Jason Frasor Jason Grilli
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Brad Brach
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Alexi Ogando
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Jason Motte Pedro Strop Rafael Soriano
CHI (AL) David Robertson Jacob Petricka Zach Putnam
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Ryan Mattheus
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Zach McAllister
Colorado Tommy Kahnle Rafael Betancourt Justin Miller
Detroit Alex Wilson Bruce Rondon 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 Jim Johnson Pedro Baez
Miami A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn Bryan Morris Carter Capps
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jeremy Jeffress Will Smith
Minnesota Glen Perkins Kevin Jepsen Trevor May
NY (NL) Jeurys Familia Tyler Clippard Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) Andrew Miller Dellin Betances Justin Wilson
Oakland Edward Mujica Fernando Rodriguez Drew Pomeranz Sean Doolittle
Philly Ken Giles Luis Garcia Jeanmar Gomez
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Joakim Soria Tony Watson
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist Steve Cishek Jordan Walden
SD Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Brendan Maurer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Hunter Strickland
Seattle Carson Smith Fernando Rodney Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Brad Boxberger Jake McGee Steve Geltz
Texas Shawn Tolleson Sam Dyson Jake Diekman Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Roberto Osuna Aaron Sanchez Brett Cecil
Wash. Jonathan Papelbon Drew Storen Casey Janssen

[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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Lloyd McClendon must be in the running for worst manager of the decade, with how he’s handled Rodney’s struggles…

Matt Williams
Matt Williams

I agree.