Bullpen Report: May 30th, 2012

Dale Thayer entered in the bottom of the ninth this afternoon with the hopes of preserving a 6-6 tie to send the Padres and Cubs to extras. Thayer surrendered a lead-off single to Bryan LaHair before serving up a walk-off two-run long ball to Darwin Barney.

Huston Street took to the bullpen at Wrigley Field this afternoon for a high-intensity session, and if he feels well tomorrow, the Padres’ closer could head to Class A Lake Elsinore on Friday to begin his rehab assignment. Prior to hitting the disabled list earlier this month with a right shoulder strain, Street converted each of his four save opportunities while strutting a 6.50 K/BB and a 2.10 xFIP in just under ten innings. Street, the Padres’ highest paid player at $7.5 million, figures to regain the closer’s role once given a clean bill of health.

Heath Bell earned his third save in as many days, giving him ten on the season. In his last three trips to the hill, Bell has surrendered just two hits, two walks and has whiffed six batters. Those with shares of Bell have good reason to believe their closer has overcome his early season misfortune and turned the corner. However, I won’t feel safe sending Steve Cishek to the wire until Bell proves he can sustain this success over a few more outings.

Brian Fuentes surrendered a game-winning three-run homer to Josh Willingham on Tuesday evening in Minnesota, blowing his first save since stepping into the closer’s role earlier this month. When discussing the blown save with reporters, Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin noted that “he has confidence in the veteran and (you) shouldn’t overreact to one blown save.” Acknowledging that fans may be looking to see a new face in the ninth, Melvin continued to say he likes having Ryan Cook pitch the eighth inning, and unless Fuentes fails to convert future chances, that’s where he’ll probably remain. Cook’s K/BB (1.50) isn’t the prettiest, but the youngster did pitch an impressive 21 scoreless outings prior to Monday.

Craig Kimbrel notched his 15th save of 2012 this evening, fanning two of the three Cardinals he faced. Kimbrel is 15-of-16 in save chances this season, has racked up a 14.00 K/9 and a 2.56 xFIP in 21 innings pitched prior to tonight. Although the Braves’ flamethrower needs to reduce the free passes (5.0 BB/9), many will argue Kimbrel is baseball’s top current closer.

For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here is a matchup you may be able to exploit.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Vicente Padilla vs. DET

The Boston Red Sox have called upon Alfredo Aceves in each of the last four days. Look for Vicente Padilla to get a shot at the save tomorrow should Boston be in position. Padilla is 1-for-2 this season in save chances with a modest 3.50 K/BB.

Closer Grid:

  Closer First Second Injured
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Bryan Shaw  
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jonny Venters Eric O’Flaherty  
Baltimore Jim Johnson Pedro Strop Matt Lindstrom  
Boston Alfredo Aceves Franklin Morales Daniel Bard Andrew Bailey
Chicago (NL) James Russell Shawn Camp Carlos Marmol
Chicago (AL) Addison Reed Hector Santiago Matt Thornton  
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Sean Marshall Jose Arredondo  
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp  
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Matt Reynolds  
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel  
Houston Brett Myers Wilton Lopez David Carpenter  
KC Jonathan Broxton Greg Holland Aaron Crow  
LAA Scott Downs Ernesto Frieri Jordan Walden  
LAD Kenley Jansen Josh Lindblom Javy Guerra  
Miami Heath Bell Steve Cishek Edward Mujica  
Milwaukee John Axford Francisco Rodriguez Jose Veras  
Minnesota Matt Capps Glen Perkins Alex Burnett  
New York (NL) Frank Francisco Jon Rauch Bobby Parnell  
New York (AL) Rafael Soriano David Robertson Boone Logan  
Oakland Brian Fuentes Ryan Cook Grant Balfour  
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Chad Qualls  
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Juan Cruz Jason Grilli  
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Fernando Salas  
San Diego Dale Thayer Andrew Cashner Luke Gregerson Huston Street
San Francisco Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Javier Lopez  
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Brandon League Charlie Furbush  
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta J.P. Howell Kyle Farnsworth
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Koji Uehara  
Toronto Casey Janssen Jason Frasor Darren Oliver Sergio Santos
Wash. Tyler Clippard Sean Burnett Henry Rodriguez Drew Storen

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

We hoped you liked reading Bullpen Report: May 30th, 2012 by Alan Harrison!

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In addition to contributing to the RotoGraphs blog, you can find Alan at his own site, TheFantasyFix.com and follow his nonsense on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

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Say Hey Kid

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