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