Bullpen Report: April 15, 2013

• With Joel Hanrahan out with a hamstring injury Andrew Bailey came on for his first save opportunity of the year and proceeded to blow the lead, allowing an RBI single to Ben Zobrist who knocked in Desmond Jennings after he singled and stole second. Fortunately for Bailey owners, the Red Sox scored in the bottom half of the inning, getting Bailey the win. Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless eighth inning and while he might be the best reliever of the bunch in Boston the Red Sox don’t want him to pitch on consecutive days too often, limiting his potential to close games consistently, if at all this season. Still, as I mentioned previously, with a 14.33 K/BB last year and a career 2.67 FIP as a reliever, Uehara can be a useful fantasy player for many teams. Bailey may have blown the save, but he’s still pitched great this year (0.74 FIP/15.19 K/9) and significantly better than Joel Hanrahan. Hanrahan hasn’t lost the job, but if he doesn’t pitch well upon his return, it won’t be his for much longer. In spite of today’s results, pick up Bailey if you need saves.

• Due to a tricep strain, Sergio Santos will be placed on the DL tomorrow. Santos was an intriguing speculative saves pick in drafts this year with Casey Janssen returning from shoulder surgery in the offseason. However, Janssen has pitched great this year, and continued so tonight, picking up his fourth save against White Sox. In five innings in 2013 Janssen has given up one run and struck eight batters with four clean saves. It’s safe to say that Janssen’s job is secure but with Santos out, if anything were to happen to Janssen, Steve Delabar would be the next man up. Only seven pitchers had a higher K/9 than Delabar last year and with his strike out potential and closeness to the ninth inning, consider adding Delabar if you’re in need of strikeouts, ratio help or want to bet on Janssen’s shoulder health and/or success this year. 

• The Cardinals bullpen mess didn’t necessarily get much cleaner this evening. Mitchell Boggs entered the game in the ninth inning tonight but in a non-save situation with the Cardinals up four runs. Boggs pitched a scoreless ninth but also allowed two batters to reach base. I’m not going to change the Closer Grid until there is more substantial evidence, but Mike Podhorzer made a great case calling Mujica the Cardinals closer and earlier this evening St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Joe Strauss sent out this tweet. Additionally, Jennifer Langosch tweeted “Had one more baserunner reached in ninth, Edward Mujica would have been in game.” While Edward Mujica very well could have been the closer for tonight’s game, nothing seems official for the season quite yet. Either way, Mujica is a must add for teams in need of saves or with an empty roster spot as you never know who will run away with the closer job.

Closer Grid:


Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Heath Bell
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jordan Walden
Baltimore Jim Johnson Pedro Strop Darren O’Day
Boston Joel Hanrahan Andrew Bailey Koji Uehara
CHI (NL) Shawn Camp James Russell Carlos Marmol Kyuji Fujikawa
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Jesse Crain Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Joe Smith
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Wilton Lopez
Detroit Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel Phil Coke Bruce Rondon
Houston Jose Veras Wesley Wright Hector Ambriz
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Tim Collins
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Sean Burnett Ryan Madson
LAD Brandon League Kenley Jansen Ronald Belisario
Miami Steve Cishek Jon Rauch Ryan Webb
Milwaukee Jim Henderson John Axford Michael Gonzalez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Brandon Lyon LaTroy Hawkins Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Joba Chamberlain
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Mike Adams Antonio Bastardo
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Mitchell Boggs Trevor Rosenthal Edward Mujica Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Carter Capps Stephen Pryor
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Jason Frasor Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Casey Janssen Steve Delabar Darren Oliver Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Drew Storen Tyler Clippard

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

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When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias

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