Bullpen Report: April 30, 2013

April showers bring May flowers, and the last Bullpen Report of April.

• With Joel Hanrahan on the DL, Andrew Bailey has done quite well saving five games with a 1.78 FIP and a stellar 42.6% K%. There has been speculation on who will close once Hanrahan returns, and now that he’s back the latest seems to be that Bailey will continue to close. Sean McAdam says that’s the plan “for now” and that both are “on board with the arrangement.” I suppose if Hanrahan turns it around in the seventh and eighth innings that he could reclaim the ninth, but with the way Bailey is pitching it’s hard to say that’s a likely scenario. Bailey is no beacon of health, and Hanrahan’s return as well as the great depth in the Sox pen (Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa) might lead to a Hanrahan opportunity to keep Bailey fresh, but my guess is Bailey keeps the job all year.

Mariano Rivera came in for the final out tonight and recorded his 10th save of the year for the Yanks. Even at 43 years old Rivera still leads the league in saves (10) with an ERA of 1.74 and 11 strikeouts to only one walk. Rivera is so good and consistent that he’s only really mentioned on these parts when he tears his knee but nonetheless, it’ll be sad when he retires after the season.

• The Edward Mujica train continues to go with no signs of stopping. Mujica nailed down his fifth save of the season striking out the side in the ninth inning. It wasn’t the bottom of the lineup either as Mujica K’d Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce to end the game. Mujica has always been known for his excellent control, but his 9.9 K/9 would be the highest of his career and it might be somewhat sustainable as Mujica is getting more swings and misses thus far with a career high 13.8% SwStr% in 2013. Mujica was a mile away from saves before the season and once he got the job I doubted that he’d keep it but at this point his hold his strong and he might be one of the more productive closers in the game.

Greg Holland gave up two hits in a non-save situation this evening but has thrown seven consecutive scoreless innings without allowing an earned run while striking out 14 batters. Holland scared us a little bit early on this season with his bout of blown saves but with Herrera supporting an ERA over five and Holland back on track, his grasp on the ninth inning is strong like it was before the season started.

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 Darren O’Day Pedro Strop
Boston Andrew Bailey Joel Hanrahan Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg Carlos Marmol James Russell 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 Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Phil Coke
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 A.J. Ramos
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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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

13 Responses to “Bullpen Report: April 30, 2013”

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  1. Brett says:

    Holland has pitched 7 straight innings without allowing an earned run, but one of them wasn’t scoreless. Saturday night he gave up 2 unearned runs following an error by Hosmer.

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  2. The Humber Games says:

    Between Axford, Hanrahan, Putz, Gregg, lots of happenings in the later games.

    You should publish this an hour later than you do, if possible. Good article though, always interesting info :)

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    • Thanks! I know, it can be frustrating when there is news in the west coast games that we can’t talk about. But the purpose of the timing (~1130) is so that owners in leagues that require lineup changes before midnight have a chance to make their moves.

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  3. James R. says:

    Watched the Holland “Unearned Run”. The first hit was a dribbling swinging bunt down the 3rd base line. Not solid contact at all. Then Hosmer’s fumbling attempt to field a very playable ground ball and toss to the pitcher covering. All that was followed by a ringing shot in the alley. Certainly he pitched well enough to close out that inning with no problems if not for poor defense and bad luck. Those 4-outs will get you every time.

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  4. Billy M says:

    When does Hanrahan become droppable in shallow leagues? Or has he already reached that point?

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    • I’d say in shallow leagues he might be at that point? It might help to have some reference on what other closers/set up men are on the wire before making a decision but if you aren’t dying for saves, Hanrahan does not look good atm.

      At this point, Jon Axford is closer to saves than Hanrahan.

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      • Billy M says:

        All closers are owned, though they are not quickly snapped up when a new closer moves into that role.

        Only a handful of ‘firsts’ are owned: O’Flaherty, Marmol, Broxton, Jansen, and Peralta. Motte is the only other player in the table that is owned.

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      • If new closers aren’t snapped up so quickly, I’d say Hanrahan is droppable. In that scenario, you’d have a decent chance in reacquiring Hanrahan if he were to regain the role. In the meantime, he’s pitching poorly and Bailey quite well.

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  5. Ian says:

    Given the happenings last night, who’s closer to saves right now between David Hernandez and John Axford?

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    • Henderson has been fantastic but last I heard from Roenicke, Axford was close to getting the job back due to pitching well of late.

      Hernandez is probably the better pitcher to own if they aren’t getting saves but I’d say Axford at the moment is closer to saves. Plus, there is always the proven closer Heath Bell lurking around in Arizona if Putz does indeed fail.

      Axford isn’t great but he can get strikeouts and his manager has said he might close in the near future.

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      • Of course, after I write that Axford has a poor outing today — giving up four hits and four runs (three earned) in only two-thirds of an inning.

        Axford won’t be reclaiming the job soon with performance like that, and Hernandez’ better skills probably make him the better own right now.

        Bullpens are fickle.

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  6. K_r_i_s_k_o says:

    What are the chances Kevin Gregg holding on to the job all year long?

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