Bullpen Report: April 22, 2014

• The Yankees activated David Robertson from the DL today but he didn’t enter tonight’s game against the Red Sox. Shawn Kelley did an admirable job filling in but the ninth inning definitely belongs to David Robertson in the Bronx. If Robertson’s healthy, his above average control and elite strikeout ability could easily make him a top ten closer. Of course we all know that, it’s why we drafted him as such just a few months ago. Of more interest might be Dellin Betances, who’s 0.93/1.59/2.15 ERA/FIP/xFIP and 14.90 K/9 could make him a more major player in the back of the Yankees bullpen as the season goes on. Adam Warren received a save opportunity this season, but projecting these guys forward Betances will likely provide more value with his strikeouts, and once he develops a trust with Girardi he could see more consistent meaningful innings.

• Whether you call it a “setback” or an “annoyance”, Blue Jays reliever Casey Janssen‘s recovery has been slowed down as he remains on the DL but hopes to start a minor-league rehab assignment next week. Sergio Santos is 5/6 on save opportunities in place of Janssen but he has struggled mightily with his control, walking eight guys in only 6.1 innings pitched along with three wild pitches. Santos likely had a chance to run away with the closers role with Janssen on the shelf but his struggles have left the door ajar. Janssen wouldn’t be thrown into the ninth inning immediately upon his return, but if he’s able to come back in the next month or so, and Santos continues to walk the field, Janssen could become a nice source for saves.

Trevor Rosenthal pitched around a couple of walks for his sixth save of the season. Rosie’s job is a secure as anyone’s and he’s a perfect 6/6 on saves this year but his season has been slightly disappointing ratio wise. He’s striking out fewer guys and walking more but he also won’t maintain a 47% LOB% all season. However, Rosie owners should not worry, with a 96 mph heater and a 13.3 SwStr% I fully expect Rosenthal to be a top option at the position, just as we expected in the beginning of the season.

Joba Chamberlain recorded the last out for the Tigers tonight for his first save of the year. At first glance 4.05 ERA might sound like the same story from Joba but he’s actually been quite impressive with 11 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Joba is throwing fewer fastballs this season and it’s worked by generating more swings and misses (15.8 SwStr%). He also has a career high 76.9 first pitch strike percentage. Joba’s throwing more strikes and getting more swings and misses than ever and is certainly worth rostering for ratio help and holds. Joe Nathan is still very much the Tigers closer, he was even getting warm tonight just in case he was needed but he’s had a bit of a rough start to the season He’s converted 3/5 saves but has a 7.04/5.91/4.44 ERA/FIP/xFIP along with some declining velocity on his fastball (91 mph in 2014 compared to 92.2 mph in 2013). Nathan’s velo could warm up with the weather and his salary should earn him a very long leash but Joba’s fast start could vault him to next in line if anything were to happen with Nathan.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed J.J. Putz Brad Ziegler
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden David Carpenter
Baltimore Tommy Hunter Darren O’Day Ryan Webb
Boston Koji Uehara Edward Mujica Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Pedro Strop Hector Rondon Jose Veras Kyuji Fujikawa
CHI (AL) Matt Lindstrom Daniel Webb Ronald Belisario Nate Jones
Cincy Johnathan Broxton Sam LeCure J.J. Hoover Aroldis Chapman
Cleveland John Axford Cody Allen Bryan Shaw
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino Rex Brothers
Detroit Joe Nathan Al Alburquerque Joba Chamberlain
Houston Josh Fields Matt Albers Chad Qualls Jesse Crain
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Joe Smith Kevin Jepsen Dane de la Rosa
LAD Kenley Jansen Chris Perez Brian Wilson
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jim Henderson Will Smith Brandon Kintzler
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Kyle Farnsworth Gonzalez Germen Jose Valverde Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Shawn Kelley Dellin Betances
Oakland Luke Gregerson Sean Doolittle Jim Johnson
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Carlos Martinez Kevin Siegrist Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Joaquin Benoit Alex Torres
SF Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Grant Balfour Heath Bell Joel Peralta
Texas Joakim Soria Alexi Ogando Jason Frasor Neftali Feliz
Toronto Sergio Santos Steve Delabar Brett Cecil Casey Janssen
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

[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


31 Responses to “Bullpen Report: April 22, 2014”

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  1. jobathehut says:

    Is ryan cook worth holding? He looks to be back in a groove.

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    • maxjusttyped says:

      With Gregerson blowing a save tonight, I’d hang on to Cook for a little while longer.

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      • jobathehut says:

        Ended up dropping him about 10 minutes prior to the Gregerson blown save. It really seems as if the A’s will keep Cook in a 8th inning type situation.

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    • It’s all dependent on your league of course but Cook’s worth holding. It might be more for ratios than the best speculative save target. But, the other targets like a Germen could hurt your team whereas Cook likely won’t.

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  2. troy says:

    Interesting time for Webb to enter today’s game. Out because threw three innings earlier this week, the white Sox Put him out there in the 7th down by 6. Any rational to that?

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    • Lindstrom’s likely getting the chances until he implodes. Webb hadn’t pitched in a while after his huge outting, so they probably just wanted him to get some work. I imagine he’ll be back in a setup/hold/next in line role right away.

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  3. purpleJesus says:

    Ouch. Just watched Gregerson blow another one

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  4. sailenac says:

    Im a Kimbrel owner. Should I add Walden or Carpenter?

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    • FeslenR says:

      I’d add Walden, he seems to have his fastball and command back.

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    • I’m going with Walden as I find him the better option. But, it’s worth noting he entered in the 7th inning today. With that said, it was a tie game with two on and no out, a high leverage inning if there is such a thing and he responded by striking out the side.

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  5. OneTimer says:

    Good question.

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  6. Dalman says:

    Nice last couple of days for Fields, including a 1-2-3 three strikeout outing and a clean inning for the save last night. Should be enough, at least temporarily, to continue to hold the #1 spot in the Houston rankings.

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  7. Satoshi Nakamoto says:

    Would any rotographs author be willing to write an article about the best middle relievers for getting cheap Wins?

    Non-closers and non-8th inning RPs who enter games during tie or close games?

    Jean Machi comes to mind. And some of the Brewers and Pirates RPs.

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    • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

      I think these guys are worth an article of their own. Their situations are likely less pressure filled than what 8th/closers deal with. They also enter games with runners on and if they score it doesn’t hurt their ERA, yet they’re still in line to collect a cheap Win if their team rallies.

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    • Atreyu Jones says:

      Is there a reason you are excluding 8th inning types? They are usually the best relievers for getting wins.

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      • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

        Because the 8th inning guys usually enter the game when their team already has the lead, so they can’t get a cheap Win.

        I want to identify each team’s RP they use during a tie game or maybe down by a couple runs.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        8th-inning guys get into enough tie games to have them accumulate wins – especially tie games in the 9th on the road when the managers are saving their closer.

        I don’t have data to back it up, but I think the relievers who generally have the most W’s are setup guys and not middle relievers.

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    • For what it’s worth, 8th inning types have less of a chance of hurting your ERA and WHIP since they are most likely the better relievers on the team. Also, if a regular old MR enters a tie game in the sixth and his team gets him the lead, he still needs the bullpen to not allow any runs. A lot more things need to happen for a lesser middle reliever to get a win than the setup men.

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  8. Don Von Handburger says:

    I want to use 2 relievers in my SP spots (so they have to be SP-eligible in Yahoo). I have Ogando, and am thinking about adding Wade Davis or Tyler Thornburg. Is there anyone as good as them that I am forgetting about?

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    • Bob the Dog says:

      David Phelps and Carlos Torres should both be SP eligible, but I think Davis and Thornburg are better bets for Ks and Holds.

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      • Don Von Handburger says:

        Thank you. My league doesn’t have holds, so I am interested in Phelps and Torres.

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  9. pauly says:

    Any worry about Mujica’s loss in velocity or just the fact that he’s giving up runs every time he’s called on? Should we look elsewhere in Holds leagues?

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    • mcdizzle says:

      I gave up on mujica after last night. grabbed zach britton. considered phelps. but with nova gone its either nuno or phelps into the rotation. also with robertson back is it phelps, kelley, warren or betances for most holds? i’m guessing kelley gets the 8th, phelps or warren for the 7th ??? whats the guess?

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      • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

        My guess is that Robertson gets injured again or becomes ineffective and Betances becomes the closer.

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      • Andrew says:

        Can you stop posting 5 comments on every article of baseless speculation based on invented narratives and gut feelings?

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      • Kelley should lead that bunch for holds and as the obvious next in line, he could net saves if/when Robertson is in need of a day off.

        Right now it looks like Warren ahead of Betances but Betances career will only be in relief. Nova is out for the year, if the Yankees rotation has any other hits to it, Phelps or Warren might be summoned to the rotation. If you’re in desperate need for holds in a super deep league, Warren might be your guy but I’d rather hang my hat on Betances long term., even within this season.

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    • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

      Yeah I wouldn’t use Mujica in any format. Gives up too many HRs which is bad for the AL East parks.

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  10. Bucky Goldstein says:

    I’m still holding onto Jim Henderson and have been hoping he gets his closer gig back. The dynasty league I’m in is VERY deep and scraping a closer off the waiver wire is next to impossible, so I don’t want to let him go if he has a legit shot of getting 9th inning duties back. Cut bait or hold on?

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    • It depends what you are cutting him for. K-Rod is only under contract for this season so Henderson could see innings in the ninth next year, but that’s a looooong time from now to speculate as they may turn to other options, especially if his struggles continue.

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  11. zak says:

    Cook or Rondon?

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