Bullpen Report: April 21, 2013

Greg Holland gave owners a double dip in the saves category tonight, with Kansas City winning both games in a split doubleheader at Fenway today. He faced six batters and whiffed five of them (although the Red Sox were fairly indiscriminate in their strikeouts this weekend). More importantly, he gave up zero free passes, dropping his (small-sample) BB% from a terrible 26% to a still-terrible-but-slightly-less-so 20%. He did still have trouble with his breaking ball a few times, throwing a couple 55-foot sliders in the second game, but his fastball had enough life to get out of jams. He’s regained a stranglehold on the ninth inning, especially since Kelvin Herrera took a loss and blown save on Saturday.

Andrew Bailey looked a little Jekyl and Hyde during his weekend innings. On Saturday, he closed out an emotion win in Beantown, although only after giving up a solo homer and putting the go-ahead run on base. 13 of his first 16 pitches were above the middle half of the strike zone as he struggled to get on top of both his fastball and offspeed stuff. In a non-save situation on Sunday, however, he looked much sharper, tossing a clean ninth with a couple strikeouts in the ninth. Reports came out this weekend that Joel Hanrahan experienced renewed soreness in his hamstring, which could force his absence to be longer than the minimum 15 days required. Each additional day gives Bailey a better shot to wrestle the job away from Hanrahan. He just needs more performances like Sunday and less like Saturday.

Jim Henderson looked solid wrapping up his fourth save on the season, striking out two Cubs while polishing off a 4-2 win. Some people remain lukewarm on Henderson, but he now has a sparkling 2.25 SIERA during his brief big league career. His almost 15% SwStr% is fantastic and lines up well with his similarly impressive 34% career K%. Henderson doesn’t give away baserunners, sporting a super sexy 8.7% (future Mrs. Zarzycki requires a single-digit walk rate). It’s hard to believe a guy who didn’t start pro ball until his age 24 season and didn’t crack the majors until he was almost 30 could suddenly vault his way into the league’s elite closers but Henderson is trying. Make sure he’s gone in your league. John Axford has pitched better recently, tossing 4.1 scoreless innings spread out over five appearances, but may need Henderson to struggle to get another crack at the ninth inning. If Milwaukee’s Dennis Quaid wannabe keeps pitching the way he has, that’s going to be near impossible.

Chris Perez had a rough ride today, loading the bases (albeit with an intentional walk) against the ‘Stros before wriggling out with a one-run win. While Perez’s rates are slightly worse than they were last year, they are well within the envelope of early season variability. Owners should be aware that last season’s 1.80 ERA wasn’t indicative of his true talent level, which is probably better represented by his 3.04 2012 SIERA. That said, there are no huge red flags. One of his big improvements last year was getting his BB% into the single digits and it’s still there (so far) this year. I’m not a huge fan because he could be a trade chip come July (and until last year he was very pedestrian), but even though there was some Twitter clamor during the ninth today, his job is safe.

Phil Coke gave up a home run to Mark Trumbo in the 13th inning today. There’s a reason why he’s not a great option against righties. Wilton Lopez blew a save since Rafael Betancourt was unavailable. He might be useful as a speculative own come June/July, but mixed leaguers can leave him on the wire. Jason Grilli notched save number seven. Congrats everyone who bought in on him late in drafts. Always draft skills.

• Late addition, but Mitchell Boggs was awful tonight giving up four hits (and four runs) while only recording one out to turn a 3-3 tie into a 7-3 deficit. Edward Mujica is the man to own in St. Louis, and I’m just going to go ahead and move Boggs behind Trevor Rosenthal. He’s essentially droppable in all leagues unless you play in something deep enough where everyone from the below roster grid is owned.

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 Andrew Bailey Junichi Tazawa Koji Uehara Joel Hanrahan
CHI (NL) James Russell Shawn Camp 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 Wilton Lopez Matt Belisle
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 Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal Mitchell Boggs Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Carter Capps Charlie Furbush
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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There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.

23 Responses to “Bullpen Report: April 21, 2013”

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  1. asdfasdf says:

    I think you meant Wilton Lopez, not some strange combination of Wilton Lopez and Jose Veras :)

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  2. Jake says:

    is Broxton dropable in a 10 team 6×6 w/holds? I want to pickup tazawa

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    • I would. I think Tazawa could give you top-10 non-closer rates. Assuming both project roughly equal in the HLD cat, Broxton’s only *real* value is as a hedge against Chapman for saves.

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      • Jake says:

        Joe ortiz, tazawa, or broxton?

        also, whjat do you think is a good deep-sleeper source for saves

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      • Until I see more from Ortiz, I’d rank them Tazawa, Broxton, Ortiz.

        As for speculating on saves, see the closer grid and look for guys on yellow/red teams that are second/third in line.

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  3. Lance says:

    Who do you think has more potential in Detroit for saves & decent numbers: Valverde or Rondon? Worth stashing either?

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    • Not a huge fan of either. If I had to speculate, I guess I’d grab Rondon because he’s actually looked decent in the minors but neither really intrigues me all that much. Rondon’s raw stuff is about the only intriguing thing between the two but that’s offset by his Marmolian control.

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      • Jake Stone says:

        Al Al struck out 5 in 2 innings Sunday. 20 pitches. Does he have any chance for saves?

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  4. J-Rod says:

    Isn’t Uehara ahead of Tazawa in the Sox pecking order? He has better career numbers (0.91 WHIP, .207 BAA) and has been the 8th inning setup guy for Bailey. Just picked him up in a holds league.

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    • Uehara is ahead in terms of leverage but Farrell has said a couple times that he is treating him gentle because of his age/injury history. I doubt he’d get the out-and-out job if both Bailey and Hanrahan bit the dust.

      Fantastic pickup in a holds league (even with today’s HR). Shouldn’t have been available.

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  5. Ruki Motomiya says:

    I tried to take Grilli late, but he got taken about 2 picks before me. :(

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  6. Awesome sauce says:

    It’s pretty clear Russell is not the closer, or even part of committee, if you look at his usage over the last week.

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  7. good day says:

    i just took henderson from waiver. and dropped perez.
    good choice? or bad choice??

    thank you^^

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  8. jon says:

    Colin – I’m in a SVHDs league where I’ve targted 8th inning guys exclusively. I’ve been rolling with Pestano, Hernandez, Herrera and I recently added O’Flaherty. I’ve basically been keeping an eye on who’s getting a lot of 8th inning work on teams that often carry leads into the 9th.

    Whom would you rate the top RPs with Holds as most important, though we also count W and K/9.

    Most guys are available: Tazawa, Uehara, Crow, Belisle as well as the guys I mentioned above. Thanks!

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    • I’m very bullish on guys like Tazawa and Uehara. High K/BB is vital in a good RP, I let the rest of the pieces fall into place. Holds will come with high-leverage situations.

      Alan Harrison is going to cover holds leagues in more depth on Thursday mornings.

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  9. stu says:

    What do you think of AJ Ramos on the Marlins as a deep sleeper for saves?

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    • Not a huge Cishek fan, so I could see Ramos getting saves down the line if things broke the right way.

      He won’t kill rates, so feel free to speculate in a deep league. I just wouldn’t be excited any move is imminent. Marlins have other more experienced guys they might turn to if Cishek falters as well (not that I like any of them, either). Plus they are a low-win team, which makes owning their closer frustrating regardless of who it is.

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  10. Jake says:

    Between Janssen, Balfour, and Perez could you rank them ROS?

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  11. Dylan says:

    Greg Holland or Glen Perkins?

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