• After blowing the save last night against the Giants and receiving the win, Cubs closer Kyuji Fujikawa has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. The Cubs plan to go with a committee approach but Marmol won’t be part of that committee, leaving the save opportunities to Shawn Camp and James Russell while Fujikawa is on the shelf. Teams in need of saves should certainly look towards Camp and/or Russell but unless you are desperate, the roster spot used on a mediocre reliever hoping to chase a few saves on a committee might not be worth it. Rafael Dolis was called up for Fujikawa and although he received a few save ops last year, he has a 6.18 ERA in the majors and mediocre peripherals throughout his minor league career. Shawn Camp’s better than his seasonal 6.75 ERA but with a career 6.2 K/9 and 4.09 FIP, if you’re not in a very deep or NL-Only league, he might hurt hurt your roster if he’s not getting consistent saves. James Russell, like Camp has uninspiring numbers and should only be owned if you really need the saves.
• Fujikawa received the lucky win last night because Sergio Romo blew his first save of the season in the bottom half of the inning, giving up a home run to Dioner Navarro and a walk-off double to Starlin Castro. Romo’s job isn’t in any danger but the Giants will be careful with his work load. After pitching on Thursday and Friday Romo had the day off today and Santiago Casilla came in for the two inning save, his first of the season. On Romo’s off days, look for Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt to get the save opportunity. If anything were to happen to Romo, it would be Casilla’s job but let’s hope that won’t be the case as it would be a shame to not be able to see Romo’s slider on a regular basis. Several managers let their closers/relievers pitch three days in a row but I’d wager that the Giants won’t let that happen much with Romo, making Casilla and Affeldt speculative pickups on games where Romo has pitched on consecutive days.
• With Rafael Soriano resting on Friday having pitched in the previous three games, the Nationals turned to Drew Storen to close this afternoon and he proceeded to blow his first save of the season. Tyler Clippard was even shakier in the eighth inning allowing four batters to reach base, three via bases on balls. Storen is next in line in DC and has pitched well thus far, striking out six batters with only one walk in his five and a third innings pitched. Meanwhile, Clippard has struggled early on in 2013, specifically with his control (7.94 BB/9). I have no evidence to suggest that Tyler Clippard is breaking down but it might be worth nothing that he has pitched more innings out of the bullpen since 2010 than any other reliever in baseball.
• Joel Hanrahan is still the closer in Boston but there is no doubt that the leash has tightened up over the last few days. Hanrahan walked the first two batters in the ninth inning in today’s outing before Koji Uehara had to come in to clean his mess. On the season Hanrahan has now walked six batters in four and two thirds innings pitched, giving up six earned runs and three home runs. Hanrahan’s control is particularly concerning because he struggled in that area last year with a 5.43 BB/9. If Hanrahan can’t get back on track, look for Andrew Bailey to take over. Bailey pitched a perfect eighth inning today and has yet to allow a run this season, pitching to a 1.10 FIP. Uehara might get a look at the ninth as well, but the Red Sox are reluctant to overuse him or pitch him too many days in a row as he’s been somewhat fragile over his career. However, with a 14.33 K/BB last year and a career 2.67 FIP as a reliever, Uehara has the skills to pitch in the ninth inning and/or help out the ratios for your fantasy team.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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