• Suffering through a hamstring injury, the Red Sox placed closer Joel Hanrahan on the Disabled List today. As we have said, expect Andrew Bailey to continue to replace Hanrahan in the closer’s role. While there is no timetable on Hanrahan’s return, it doesn’t figure to be too bad of an injury. However, considering how poor Hanrahan was pitching this season, he won’t be given such a long leash upon his return. Andrew Bailey should be owned in all leagues and while Hanrahan is out, teams desperate for saves or interested in helping their ratios can take a flier on Koji Uehara.
• Earlier in the day Jesse Rogers tweeted that the Cubs are still going with a closer by committee approach. Shawn Camp, who is in that committee, struggled again tonight giving up two runs off of an Adrian Beltre in only two-thirds of an inning. Rogers also said that Dale Sveum gave “no thought” to Russell closing, but with Camp’s struggles and Marmol being Marmol, some cream has to rise to the top at some point. Enter Kevin Gregg? The Cubs signed Kevin Gregg recently, and although I never thought I’d be close to recommending a team picking him up in 2013, he apparently came to Chicago because he felt he had a chance to close. Similar to Detroit bringing in Jose Valverde, I wouldn’t necessarily look Kevin Gregg’s way but it goes without say that any name that could be in the mixer for saves for the Cubs is worth monitoring. Without any specific word for now, I’ll keep the order we have now but with Sveum stating that Russell isn’t their closer after Camp’s struggles, my gut tells me Marmol might be given another shot soon.
• Ryan Madson had a bullpen session today and threw all of his pitches “without one bit of pain.” Madson should start a rehab assignment next week and if all goes well, hopes to be activated by May. In his absence, Ernesto Frieri is currently closing in Los Angeles/Anaheim and is doing a solid job with a 3.40 FIP and a 43.5% K%. As usual, Frieri hasn’t exhibited ace control and gives up a ton of fly balls (only 30% ground ball rate this year which would actually be a career high) but he strikes out so many batters it doesn’t really matter. If there aren’t any set backs I don’t expect Madson to close right away for the Angels in his first games returning from Tommy John surgery, but he was brought in to pitch the ninth inning and it may not take long for him to reclaim the spot. If Frieri’s strikeouts were in the ninth inning all season he could rank as one of the best closers in baseball but if I could sell Frieri as a full time closer I might just see what I can get. Additionally, if you have a spot on your roster, Ryan Madson is a solid pickup for those in need for saves.
• Greg Holland owners can sleep a little easier tonight with Kelvin Herrera allowing three home runs and four runs tonight in his outing tonight. Holland will still have to pitch better than he has (5.70 FIP) to keep his job, but he certainly has a little more breathing room with Herrera allowing his first runs of the season.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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