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Bullpen Report: September 21, 2014

• As Dan mentioned last night, Edward Mujica is sticking at closer for the Red Sox for the remainder of the season, and recorded his eighth save of the year today. Mujica won’t rack up the strikeouts for the Red Sox or your fantasy team but for the season’s final weeks, he’ll be the guy in the ninth in Boston and could net your team a few more saves.

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Bullpen Report: September 8, 2014

• No save situation for the Tigers today but Joe Nathan, who has been struggling with elbow tenderness of late, threw a scoreless ninth inning.  Joakim Soria threw a simulated game today and when he returns, he might be used as the 7th-inning option. Joba Chamberlain pitched the eighth allowing an earned run in the process but looks secure as the main setup option behind Nathan, even when Soria is back.

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Bullpen Report: September 2, 2014

• As we mentioned last night, Kevin Quackenbush is currently closing for the Padres at the moment and today we learned we can expect that to continue for at least the next 8-10 days according to Corey Brock. With Benoit on the shelf until then, Quackenbush should get another couple of save opportunities, and maybe even a few more as it’s unclear how the Padres will deal with Benoit as we approach the end of the season.

• Sean Doolitte played catch/had a catch today from 90 feet but there is still no date on his return. However, it doesn’t “seem” to be too far off, if you are in need of saves and someone dropped Sean Doolittle due to some roster crunch, I’d definitely take a look at him. The A’s are trying to win the division and Doolittle could be back in his familiar rule as soon as he’s comes off of the DL.

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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.

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Bullpen Report: August 26, 2014

• Up 4-3 heading into the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon was called on for the save tonight and he converted it for his 33rd of the year. However, of more interest as this point is setup man Ken Giles, who struck out three in a perfect frame while earning a win in the process. On the year Giles has 47 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched with a 1.38/1.48/2.00 ERA/FIP/xFIP. Regardless if Papelbon remains in Philadelphia this year and next, Giles is worth owning and he’s certainly worth noting for next year as he’ll be one of the top non-save relievers in the league who could even see some saves if a few things shake out in his favor.

Jenrry Mejia has battled various ailments and some sub par performances recently, but he threw a scoreless inning tonight allowing one hit and recording a strikeout for his 19th save of the year. There has been some chatter about Mejia being shutdown at some point this season, and it’s not completely misguided given his injury history and his hernia that will require offseason surgery, but nothing has come from the Mets camp so I’d continue to expect Mejia to close from here on out. Of course, with that said Jeurys Familia remains a necessary handicap for Mejia owners.

• Nothing comes easy for Joe Nathan these days but he was able the throw a perfect ninth tonight for his 28th save. Joakim Soria isn’t due back immediately but he should return soon from his oblique injury and when he returns, Nathan will have to have a few more outings like tonight to avoid losing his hold on the ninth inning.

• No save situation for the Royals, but Wade Davis got his seventh win and with an ERA well under one (0.78) and 86 strikeouts, Davis is making the James Shields trade somewhat palatable right now for Royals fans. Davis was able to get the win because Glen Perkins blew the save for the Twins in the ninth, his fifth of the season after a two-run homer from Alex Gordon.

• Rough night for Casey Janssen as he allowed four runs against the Red Sox. He actually threw a scoreless 10th inning but fell apart in the top of the 11th. Janssen had a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings over the first half of the season but since then has been very hittable. In 14.2 innings in the second half thus far, Janssen has allowed 20 hits and 14 runs. I wouldn’t say his job is in danger over the final month for the Jays, but if his struggles persist, the Jays could look to shut his season down given his injury history as well.

• Quick Hits: Mark Melancon notched his 23rd save for the Pirates tonight, putting up zeros against the Cardinals. Zach Britton threw a perfect ninth for his 28th save lowering his ERA under two to 1.98. Hector Rondon recorded save number 22 for the Cubs and overall has had a nice season for them. With the young cavalry coming for the Cubs and the potential for them to open up their wallets this offseason, Rondon should be a solid closing option again next year with a likely more formidable team around him. There have been some Chad Qualls trade rumors floating around, but right now he’s still on the Astros and got his 15th save for them this evening against the A’s, after Luke Gregerson blew the lead in the eighth.

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 Jeremy Affeldt Sergio Romo
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.]

Bullpen Report: August 25, 2014

• Unfortunately for Sean Doolittle owners, he was recently placed on the DL with an “intercostal strain.” Dan Otero, who had recently been demoted to AAA, has been recalled to Oakland to replace Doolittle. According to Susan Slusser, Eric O’Flaherty is likely to fill in as closer (at first), becoming a must own in all fantasy leagues. As of this writing, O’Flaherty was warming up to pitch in the ninth inning with a save situation, a promising sign for teams looking for saves.  We’ll update the grid as we get more information but for now it seems like O’Flaherty in the lead with Luke Gregerson and Otero setting up. Ryan Cook is also worth a look as he could get some saves as well, but it seems like Melvin wants to keep Gregerson and Otero in their familiar setup roles. It’s worth noting that O’Flaherty is a lefty but that didn’t seem to affect Melvin’s decision to use Doolittle as closer and in 189.2 career innings against righties O’Flaherty has a .306 wOBA against, so it’s not as if opposite handed hitters feast off of him.

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Bullpen Report: August 19, 2014

Apologies for a more abbreviated Report tonight but I’ll be sure to hit the comment section hard throughout the day tomorrow.

Trevor Rosenthal blew his fifth save late last night, continuing some of his recent struggles. Pat Neshek has had an incredible season thus far and is worth owning regardless of how well Rosie is pitching but he’s certainly more of a must add considering Rosenthal has allowed earned runs in his last three outings. However, Mike Matheny is still behind Rosie and it’s worth putting his struggles in some context. From July 8th to August 13th, Rosenthal allowed only two earned runs in 14.1 innings pitched with a 19/4 K/BB and since then has walked 6 batters, allowing four earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched. If Rosenthal was a starter we would chalk it up to a bad outing, but as a closer it carries more meaning, often more than is deserved.

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Bullpen Report: August 18, 2014

Jenrry Mejia‘s woes continued in today’s game against the Cubs. Mejia entered in the ninth inning with the Mets down 2-1 and allowed two runs off of a Javier Baez homer. Mejia has dealt with a calf issue previously and will need surgery on a hernia in the offseason and it’s clearly affected his performance of late. As of this writing, Terry Collins hasn’t said anything about Mejia’s role moving forward but Jeurys Familia should be owned in all league’s, check your wire immediately.  It’s also worth noting that with knowledge of all these ailments, Terry Collins had Mejia pitch the fourth time in five games, probably not the smartest decision by his manager. A few weeks ago I felt safe assuming Mejia as the Mets closer on opening day 2015 but there is a real chance Familia takes the role this year, muddling Mejia’s chances next year along with Bobby Parnell who should be back from TJ surgery. Also of note, Vic Black recorded two outs in today’s game, lowering his ERA to 2.01. Although he profiles as a potential closer, he’s still behind Familia in the pecking order but that may be the best for his future health on the Mets.

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Bullpen Report: August 12, 2014

Steve Cishek had the night off and the Marlins went with Bryan Morris to start the ninth inning with a three run lead. After recording two outs and allowing two base runners, Mike Dunn came on for the one out save against the lefty Matt Adams. As we noted last night Cishek’s job is still safe but today’s outing gives us some insight into the pecking order behind him. I’m in agreement with the grid as Morris and A.J. Ramos set the table for Cishek. However, as a solid LOOGY, Dunn could steal a save opportunity or two when a tough lefty arises.

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Bullpen Report: August 11, 2014

Matt Lindstrom will be activated tomorrow and while he may see some time in the ninth inning before the year is over, I wouldn’t drop Jacob Petricka just yet. Petricka isn’t as good as his ERA suggests (2.02) but he’s done well enough to merit holding the job over a just off the DL Lindstrom. If you really need saves then take a flier on Lindstrom but he only has value if he’s seeing the ninth inning as he doesn’t have swing and miss stuff and is unlikely to even help your ratios. However, those in holds leagues could take a more serious look, as Lindstrom should find his way into some later, higher leverage innings, even if it’s not in the ninth.

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