Bullpen Report: September 1, 2014

Hoping you all had a wonderful Labor Day, and ideally an extended weekend, as we leave August behind and say hello to September here at the Bullpen Report…

Steve Cishek threw a perfect ninth inning for his 32nd save of the year today. Cishek struggled a bit/had some poor batted ball luck in August but he’s put up zeroes in his last three outings and his job certainly remains safe on the Marlins. Cishek received the save opportunity against the Mets after Carlos Torres and Jeurys Familia struggled in relief, giving Miami the lead. Familia is still first in line for saves behind Mejia, who hasn’t been Mr. Sturdy all season but still has a hold on the job.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Grind: 9-1-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. The Final Month
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Tuesday Picks
  4. Table

FanDuel has unleashed the World Fantasy Baseball Championship; a week-long, $5,000,000 celebration of Fantasy Baseball in Las Vegas! The WFBC has something for everyone, from the $250,000 single-entry championship, to the live $3,000,000 DFBC Final in Las Vegas.

Remember to use promocode FANGRAPHS to get your huge 100% deposit bonus up to $200. Click here to win your seat ticket.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bullpen Report: August 31, 2014

- We have a committee! Santiago Casilla is no longer the lone dog at the backend of San Francisco’s bullpen, but rather, Sergio Romo will also get some save opportunities. Manager Bruce Bochy was quoted as saying, “I’m going to try to keep these guys fresh… I’m going to try to ham and egg it with those two the rest of the way in the eighth and ninth.” Aside from making fantasy owners think twice about skipping brunch this weekend, Bochy’s comments pave the way for an uptick in Romo’s value and a downturn in Casilla’s. Romo’s peripherals aren’t what they once were, but he and Casilla are neck-and-neck in the xFIP department, so expect both to be useful pieces as co-closers. Hopefully Casilla owners have the roster space to scoop up Romo to take the stress of guessing out of the equation, though.

Read the rest of this entry »

RotoGraphs Audio: The Sleeper and the Bust 08/31/2014

Episode 161

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is now live!

Jason Collette and Nicholas Minnix play a little “Guess who leads the league in. …” before they discuss, among other items, Adam Dunn to the Oakland Athletics; Andy Wilkins; Dilson Herrera; Felix Doubront; Justin Masterson (or, more appropriately, his potential replacements); Kevin Quackenbush; Jonathan Broxton; Miguel Cabrera; by request, Mike Minor and Adam Eaton; and, of course, some two-turn pitchers.

As usual, don’t hesitate to tweet us or comment with fantasy questions so that we may answer them on our next episode. Read the rest of this entry »


Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: August 31, 2014

Today’s Roto Riteup was written while watching the film “Old School.” The part with The Dan Band slays me each time I watch it (warning: language).

On today’s agenda:
1. A strong outing for Jake Peavy
2. Jake Odorizzi cruises
3. Another quality start for Michael Pineda
4. The daily five

Want to win $10,000 playing Opening Day fantasy baseball?  All first time depositors get a free entry into this contest by clicking the link!

Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Grind: 8-31-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Yelich
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Monday Picks
  4. Table

FanDuel has unleashed the World Fantasy Baseball Championship; a week-long, $5,000,000 celebration of Fantasy Baseball in Las Vegas! The WFBC has something for everyone, from the $250,000 single-entry championship, to the live $3,000,000 DFBC Final in Las Vegas.

Remember to use promocode FANGRAPHS to get your huge 100% deposit bonus up to $200. Click here to win your seat ticket.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bullpen Report: August 30, 2014

Dodgers at Padres: Joaquin Benoit‘s shoulder pain his back and Kevin Quackenbush should be owned in all leagues and perhaps for the rest of the season:

It’s not yet known when Benoit will be available again. At this point, maybe assume 11 days like the last timeframe since it’s similar pain.

Yankees at Blue Jays: Future starter/ace, current september bullpen asset, Aaron Sanchez looked great striking out 3 in 2 scoreless innings for his first major league save. He threw 19 of his 28 pitches for strikes. And on 12 swings, the Yankees were only able to put the ball in play 3 times. His minimum fastball velocity was 96 MPH. The one breaking ball he threw was a beaut. to Derek Jeter on a 2-2 count. Probably anyone other than Jeter would have chased (just missed low). He’s only given up 1 ER in his last 8 appearances with a 12K:1BB ratio. IMO he’s got a great Sinker-Fourseam-Curveball repertoire in conjunction with the velocity to succeed longterm. He’s only thrown 3 Changeups thus far, but I’d assume that remains part of his starting repertorie. If so, more whiffs should come; the groundball induction is already apparent; and his command (4.3% BB-rate) thus far is a huge bonus.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: August 30, 2014

Today’s Roto Riteup was written while listening — and watching — the 100th episode of the podcast The Partially Examined Life. I am by no means a philosopher and even calling me a dilettante in the field would be generous, but I do find the realm fascinating.

On today’s agenda:
1. Welcome back, Yadier Molina
2. Hyun-Jin Ryu to start tomorrow
3. Justin Turner has been on fire
4. The daily five

Want to win $10,000 playing Opening Day fantasy baseball?  All first time depositors get a free entry into this contest by clicking the link!

Read the rest of this entry »

Bullpen Report: August 29, 2014

Reds at Pirates: The Josh Harrison show included a triple in the bottom of the 8th that gave the Pirates the lead for a Mark Melancon save (#25).

The Reds didn’t need Aroldis Chapman on this day after Jonathan Broxton blew the hold in the 8th, but check out this tweet from our Jeff Zimmerman:

Open up the file, copy and paste it all into excel and sort by the last column, swingingstrikes. Using a 10-pitch qualifier, Aroldis Chapman owns the #1 whiff rate (his Changeup although he doesn’t use the pitch often and recently nixed it) at 94+%. He also owns the #14 whiff rate (his devastating Slider) at 71+%. His other coded pitches including the 101 MPH Fastball also induces a 50+% whiff rate. He still has a 51.8% overall K-rate which would one-up Craig Kimbrel’s 2012 MLB record of 50.2%.

Rockies at Diamondbacks: Addison Reed notched save #31 and is having a great season from a command perspective. Relative to last year, his K-rate jumped almost 4% backed up by the best contact and swinging-strike rate of his career. He also dropped his BB-rate by over 2%. The bad luck/park effect deflating his surface stats is a 14.7% HR/FB ratio (up 8% although a huge IFFB-rate kept the HR/FB ratio down last year). A Top 40 (for RP) 5.00 K/BB ratio is keeping him very valuable for fantasy leagues and saves, but the ugly Balls In Play breakdown (.57 GB/FB ratio) will keep the ERA inflated. I have no issues keeping him as a 3 category (SV, K, WHIP) closer next year with the potential to take a step forward at only 26.


Phillies at Mets: Jenrry Mejia earns save #20 striking out the side in the 9th. It’s the type of game I hope to see a lot of next year as a Mets fan: 7IP from the starter (let’s say Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard hopefully); a clean inning out of Jeurys Familia as the set-up man and Jenrry Mejia closing the door. He’s the 2nd youngest Mets pitcher to 20 saves still under 25 years of age. Clearly more successful as a reliever and under contract until 2019, Mets found their closer of the future. This was his 3rd straight scoreless appearance (4K:0BB and 1 H), but he’s only pitched 3 of the last 7 days due to physical ailments: back tightness and a calf issue. Hopefully he remains healthy until the offseason when he will under go hernia surgery. I’ll change the Mets from red to yellow within the grid below because it’s clear that it’s Mejia’s job. It’s yellow vs. green because of his aches and pains.

Quick Hits:

Cubs at Cardinals: The R2MM (Regression to the Means Monster) hit Pat Neshek today like a ton of bricks: Javier Baez doubled in 2 and then Jorge Soler drove himself and Baez in on one swing. I love all the random Cubbie tweets we see: you know – something along the lines of “OMG” and “Bryant-Baez-Soler-Russell-Alcantara-Rizzo-Castro” with a “Vogelbach” and/or “Almora” sometimes thrown in. Enjoy Cubbie fans. Enjoy. Seriously, I’m a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota…enjoy.

Marlins at Braves: Craig Kimbrel earned save #40 tying him with Greg Holland for the Major League lead. The only thing you can whine about is that it’s his 2nd appearance in a row without a strikeout. He threw 10 pitches: 6 for strikes. Only 3 were swung at (no whiffs induced).

Yankees at Blue Jays: David Robertson racks up save #35 and 1 SO in 1.1 perfect innings. Oh look, a bar of soap.

Ah well…No Brad Boxberger or Ken Giles appearances today.

Ensure that you check out Jeff’s MASH reports for the status of Sean Doolittle and others.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Brad Ziegler Oliver Perez
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden David Carpenter Shae Simmons
Baltimore Zach Britton Tommy Hunter Andrew Miller
Boston Koji Uehara Edward Mujica Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Neil Ramirez Kyuji Fujikawa
CHI (AL) Jacob Petricka Zach Putnam Matt Lindstom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Scott Atchison
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino Rex Brothers
Detroit Joe Nathan Joba Chamberlain Al Alburquerque Joakim Soria
Houston Chad Qualls Tony Sipp Josh Fields
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Jason Frasor
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Jason Grilli
LAD Kenley Jansen Brian Wilson Brandon League
Miami Steve Cishek Bryan Morris A.J. Ramos
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Will Smith Brandon Kintzler Jim Henderson
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jenrry Mejia Jeurys Familia Vic Black Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Dellin Betances Adam Warren
Oakland Eric O’Flaherty Luke Gregerson Dan Otero Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Jake Diekman Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Jared Hughes
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Pat Neshek Seth Maness Jason Motte
SD Joaquin Benoit Kevin Quackenbush Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Dominic Leone
TB Jake McGee Brad Boxberger Grant Balfour
Texas Neftali Feliz Neal Cotts Shawn Tolleson
Toronto Casey Janssen Aaron Loup Brett Cecil
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

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

Stream, Stream, Stream: 2x SP 9.1-9.7

First a look at the running totals through half of week 20:

41-29 record
3.91 ERA
7.5 K/9
2.6 K/BB
1.33 WHIP

And since some of you have asked some questions, click here for a link to the spreadsheet I keep with all the numbers.

Also a brief side note: I (redacted) up and typed out a comment and failed to hit ‘post’ when made aware that Jimmy Nelson wouldn’t get two starts last week. I was going to advise owners to go with Jarred Cosart, and I have failed you. Sorry.

Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wOBA in parentheses:

Kevin Gausman – 6.2% ESPN/14% Y!/61% own, 34% start CBS – v. MIN (.315), @TBR (.309)

Gausman has basically reached the point where one can see the stuff is there, it’s just time for the results to start matching. At times he’s gotten strikeouts, and at times he’s gotten grounders. He’s struggled with home runs, but since rectified that. The walks are up, the walks are down, and the walks are back up again. But this is a 23-year-old kid with a big fastball, a nasty splitter, and a shot to the the Orioles ace for the foreseeable future. It’s disappointing to see how he’s been handled this year, but consider where the Orioles are and where Gausman is statistically this year. OK, maybe that isn’t fair, but at some point you need them worse than they need you. The Orioles have certainly used Gausman to have the biggest divisional lead in baseball to this point, but it’s been a total team effort that the club arguably could have done with or without him. The Twins offense has been red-hot in August, but was also just shut down by Liam Hendriks. It’s a mixed bag with that bunch. The Rays are exactly in the middle of the road, but have been dismal (.286 wOBA) in August. Read the rest of this entry »