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Bullpen Report: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

• There is no word on who the next closer in Toronto will be as a save situation did not present itself tonight but we do know that Brett Cecil is officially outSteve Delabar entered the game in the ninth inning down by a run. He proceeded to allow a homer to Asdrubal Cabrera and a walk to Brandon Guyer but then retired the next three batters. Tonight’s outing likely won’t play a role in Delabar’s role in the pen and although there might be a current committee in Toronto without a closer announced, I’m still buying more stock in Roberto Osuna.

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Bullpen Report: Monday, June 22, 2015

• After losing the closing gig earlier this year, we figured that Addison Reed could have regained his role with improved performance in lower leverage innings. However, since then he’s only struggled and has now been demoted to AAA. It stands that Reed could theoretically still regain his familiar role in the ninth, but he’s far off the radar as of now. With Reed’s demotion comes Enrique Burgos‘ return from the 15-day DL. Burgos has nasty stuff, generating tons of strikeouts and is in someways the antithesis of current closer Brad Ziegler who has a paltry 4.50 K/9. Ziegler is converting the opportunities he’s given though, and his grasp on the job is fairly secure. Once Burgos gets a few innings under his belt, he could leapfrog Dan Hudson in the pecking order.

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Bullpen Report: June 16, 2015

• A quick recap from last night: Greg Holland entered a non-save situation up six runs but ended up handing Wade Davis a save opp after allowing five baserunners and three earned without recording an out. Jeurys Familia has been quite good this year but he blew his second of the year. Similarly, Brett Cecil couldn’t hold onto the lead in the same game, blowing his second save chance as well. Cecil, unlike Familia, has not been particularly great this year and also hasn’t been handed many save opportunities, even with Toronto’s recent winning ways. A.J. Ramos (9), Jason Grilli (17), Shawn Tolleson (9) and Luke Gregerson (16) all recorded saves. Kevin Siegrist received and nailed down his second save of the year as Trevor Rosnethal was unavailable due to “tightness”.

• For the second game in a row Kevin Siegrist received a save opportunity and for the second game in a row he recorded a save. The tightness in Rosenthal was “a little sore after Saturday” but a DL trip is not likely at the moment for Rosenthal. We will take Matheny’s word and Rosenthal is said to be progressing but any injury to a pitcher is worthy of concern and I would pick up Siegrist in even shallow leagues. At worst you waste a roster spot vulturing for a save, but if Rosenthal’s arm doesn’t improve you could be picking up a high quality closer.

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Bullpen Report: June 9, 2015

Sorry for the delay on this folks, but here’s a recap from last night…

• In case you felt that the Cubs bullpen situation wasn’t confusing enough, the Cubs decided to bring Rafael Soriano into the mix. We are less interested in the contract particulars here at the Bullpen Report and instead are curious how he will play out in Chicago’s pen. Soriano has yet to pitch this season so he will start off in the minors but speculation is he could be in Chicago around July 1st.  Rafael Soriano wasn’t particularly thrilling last year for Nationals, which helps explain why he wasn’t picked up this offseason but a 3.19/3.08/3.92 ERA/FIP/xFIP pitching line last year is useful. It’s also similar to what Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop have done this year. When Soriano is ready the Cubs are looking at three similarly talented right-handed relievers with Jason Motte lingering as well. However, it should be noted that Soriano seemed to break down towards the end of last year. Whether that’s a sign of what to expect from Soriano moving forward or whether the time off should help him, we will have to wait and see to find out.

I’m inclined to think that while Soriano is toiling in the minors, one of Rondon, Strop or Motte will grab a hold on the ninth inning but maybe this is setting up to be a real committee.

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Bullpen Report: June 8, 2015

Before we talk tonight’s news and notes, please check our updated consensus rankings for Relief Pitchers.

• I’m upgrading the Cubs situation to Def Con 3, also known as red, as Joe Maddon says he is not locked on one closer for the ninth. We might be entering semi-official committee status in Chicago. Hector Rondon will still be a major fixture in the back of the bullpen, he did pitch the eighth inning last night, but it doesn’t look as though he will consistently see the ninth as he had previously. Pedro Strop will also see save situations, and should be picked up in all leagues. Jason Motte is also an intriguing option for those in need of saves but I would expect Strop or Rondon to be called on next. Strop and Rondon have been similarly effective out of the bullpen this year, with Strop exhibiting more swing and miss stuff (17.4% SwStr%!) than Rondon, even though it’s Rondon who actually throws harder. Consider this situation fluid, but whoever can record a few clean innings in the upcoming games could end up providing save totals for your fantasy team.

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Bullpen Report: June 2, 2015

• Steve Cishek has been demoted to the minors to work on his mechanics. Specifically, he’ll be moving to Double-A Jacksonville where the Marlins are “hoping pitching coordinator Charlie Corbell (Cishek’s minor-league pitching coach) can help him find his groove.” The Marlins are trying to get Cishek back on track but considering the way A.J. Ramos is pitching, I wouldn’t bet on Cishek returning to the ninth inning quite yet. Ramos allowed three base runners in today’s outing but struck out two en route to a scoreless inning for his fifth save of the year.
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Bullpen Report: June 1, 2015

Hoping you all had a nice Monday, enjoying my birthday. Here are a few quick updates from the weekend before we get into tonight’s action:

• Since being removed from the closer’s role, Addison Reed has made a few adjustments, leading to increased velocity on his slider. He’s put up zeroes in his last four appearances and he might be inching his way back into saves in Arizona.  Brad Ziegler has been a little shaky of late, and while he’s still closing in Arizona at the moment, it might not be long before a change is made as Chip Hale hinted at using Reed in the ninth again. This situation has now been upgraded to Code Red.

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Bullpen Report: May 19, 2015

• I mentioned A.J. Ramos last night but failed to note that Steve Cishek was on the losing end of the game, allowing the go ahead run on three hits and a walk. Cishek’s ERA/FIP/xFIP pitching line now stands at 8.22/4.91/4.76 with nine walks and 13 strikeouts in 15.1 innings. There has been chatter on Cishek regaining the role again, but I still feel Ramos’ job is relatively safe at the moment. Sure, the Marlins could try to save money on Ramos via arbitration and give Cishek the job but Dan Jennings, regardless of his exact title now, wants to win games and unless something changes, using Cishek in high leverage spots doesn’t give them the best chance.

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Bullpen Report: May 18, 2015

• Darren talked about Neftali Feliz yesterday and now we know that he’s no longer the closer. The exact roles haven’t been redefined, but a 5.51/4.19/4.48 ER/FIP/xFIP line from Feliz can’t be tolerated in the ninth inning any longer. It’s not a velocity issue, as Feliz is in line with last year in that regard and more a simple regression. Although Feliz had a 1.99 ERA last year it was all smoke and mirrors with peripheral stats suggesting his ERA should be 4.00+. He’s now regressed and finds himself out of the closing mix for now, and possibly the rest of the year. Shawn Tolleson should be the insta-add now as he’s been the most effective reliever on the Rangers. However, with no defined roles of yet, they could look to Keone Kela or even the recently called up Tanner Scheppers. I would highly recommend using some FAAB budget or a waiver claim on Tolleson, with Kela as more speculation.

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Bullpen Report: May 15, 2015

• After some struggles this year, Addison Reed‘s (7.20/3.64/4.43 ERA/FIP/xFIP) hold on the closer’s role has loosened. While Chip Hale thinks that Reed will get the job back, he will be used in earlier innings for now as he works through “mechanical changes.” Expect Brad Ziegler to get the first save opportunity that arises, so if he’s available on the wire be sure to get in your claims ASAP. Additionally, Dan Hudson could see some higher leverage work as well with Reed displaced and everyone moving up a step. Hudson is kind of toiling in between relieving and possibly starting but he struggled today, allowing two runs, ballooning his ERA to 6.00. Evan Marshall who figured to play a more prominent role in the pen is now pitching in AAA. Other intriguing names are Randall Delgado who looks a bit better out of the pen and Enrique Burgos, who’s control might prevent him from being trusted much but has massive swing and miss stuff, showing it off today with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Oliver Perez blew the lead and received the loss today, but with his 6.52 ERA he’s still likely more of a LOOGY long term.

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