Bullpen Report: April 9, 2013

• It wasn’t a save situation but Joaquin Benoit entered the game in the ninth today, giving up two hits and one run via a Colby Rasmus homer. The Tigers still haven’t officially announced a closer but it sure seems like the ninth inning, at least when not facing a tough lefty, belongs to Benoit. He hasn’t run away with the job only pitching to a 4.15/6.72/5.09 ERA/FIP/xFIP thus far but consider him the closer in Detroit until further notice.

Jason Motte has not been cleared to throw and won’t for the next couple of weeks. If Motte’s elbow doesn’t look better by early May he might be looking towards Tommy John Surgery , ending his season. This is obviously bad news for Motte but quite good news for Mitchell Boggs and Trevor Rosenthal owners. While the job currently belongs to Mitchel Boggs, if Motte is out all year I have a hard time believing Rosenthal’s arm will only be left to use in the setup innings.

For tonight, Rosenthal continued to set up Boggs, pitching a scoreless eighth with Boggs doing the same in the ninth. It wasn’t a save situation, but Boggs owners have to be pleased with the outing compared to last night (0.1 IP, 6ER).

Rafael Soriano tweaked his leg on Saturday in what was a “non-issue” but he struggled en route to his third save of the year today giving up two runs off of an Alex Rios homer. I’ll take Davey Johnson‘s word on the injury being a non-issue but Soriano hasn’t been all that great to start the year either with four earned runs in four and a third innings pitched.  While Soriano’s job isn’t in any jeopardy he’s also not as good as his 2.26 ERA last year would indicate and any potential injury concern regarding Soriano is certainly worth monitoring.

• Out of the closer role and inserted into the eighth inning, John Axford struggled tonight letting three Cubs reach base before leaving the game with bases loaded and one out. Alfredo Figaro relieved Axford and allowed all three inherited runs to score.Yesterday, Roenicke said that Axford will close again when he “gets his stuff back” and for now, Jim Henderson is closing and we might have to wait a little while to see Axford in the ninth again.

In the same game, Kyuji Fujikawa came in for the save and received his second save of the season and of his career. His job isn’t necessarily secure but like Axford, Marmol is a mess and Fujikawa will be getting saves in the near future at least.

• Sticking to what he said, Ned Yost went to Greg Holland for the save tonight. Holland was able to close the door but needed 27 pitches do it while allowing three guys to reach base.  As we all know, Kelvin Herrera is starting to breath down Holland’s neck as a 20.25 BB/9 won’t cut it for much longer. Still, a save is better than a blown save and Holland remains the ninth inning option for the Royals.

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 Joel Hanrahan Andrew Bailey Koji Uehara
CHI (NL) Kyuji Fujikawa Shawn Camp Carlos Marmol
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Jesse Crain Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Joe Smith
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Wilton Lopez
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 Bryan Morris
St. Louis Mitchell Boggs Trevor Rosenthal Edward Mujica Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Carter Capps Stephen Pryor
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Jason Frasor Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Casey Janssen Sergio Santos Steve Delabar
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

18 Responses to “Bullpen Report: April 9, 2013”

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  1. majnun says:

    That seems like a leap with Benoit… They had a five run lead. He’d be my bet for next save opp but the text is pretty strong.

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  2. ulysses says:

    would you drop jansen(LAD) for rosenthal? I really like jansen to take over for league but rosenthal seems so much more in sight…

    roto btw.

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    • jim says:

      jansen has elite ratios which rosenthal is unlikely to match, that would be a bad move

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    • This is a tough question but Jansen has a longer history of success and closing so I’m not sure I’d drop him for Rosenthal. I’d obviously pay close attention to the STL closing situation and maybe see if there is someone else I could drop for Rosenthal but unless it’s a deep league, you’re probably best with Jansen for now.

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  3. UDownWithOBP says:

    Who do you see getting more saves by the end of the year: Fujikawa or Benoit?

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  4. CommonKnowledge says:

    Bryan Morris is closing in AAA yet you have him listed as 2nd alternative on the Pirates.

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  5. ulysses says:

    I have Holland and Herrera just in case… I really want to pick up Rosenthal, would you rather lock in the royals closers and wait for it to play out or take a chance on dropping Herrera for Rosenthal in hope to have 2 closers?

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    • If Rosenthal is still available in your league now, what are the chances that if you drop Herrera that he gets picked up?

      If he would stay on the waiver wire I’d say your best potential bet is to snag Rosenthal and hope you could be the first to grab Herrera if Holland has another rough outing.

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      • J. Bowman says:

        So if both Rosenthal and Herrera are available, you’d bid an extra dollar of FAAB on Rosenthal (or at least put him first in the waiver order)?

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  6. Phil says:

    Think Valverde ends up with a shot at closing in DET? Thanks for the fun articles. p

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    • I don’t think he will, there is a reason Detroit let him go originally because he’s a worse pitcher than Benoit, Dotel, Coke and Alburquerque.

      There is no risk involved in DET picking up Valverde now and throwing him in the minor leagues but I think Valverde will have to pitch well in the minor leagues AND have all of the names listed above fail before getting a chance to save a game in Detroit on a regular basis.

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  7. Akermite says:

    I’m in a saves and holds league, and I have Pestano and Peralta starting and Herrera on my bench. I hate to waste a bench spot on a reliever. I’m thinking drop Peralta. What say you, Benjamin and/or crowd?

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    • Chris says:

      Peralta turned into an elite Holds option last year. I would try to keep him, but the real question would be, who are you adding?

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      • Akermite says:

        I think you’re misunderstanding me. I have two RP spots, currently filled by Pestano and Peralta. I also have Herrera, on the bench. I don’t think a RP is the best use of a bench spot, so I’m thinking I should drop one of those three. Of those three (Pestano, Peralta, Herrera), I feel like Peralta is the odd man out.

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      • Akermite says:

        Actually, maybe you weren’t misunderstanding at all. My SP’s have been a little shaky (Price, CJ Wilson, Parker, Masterson), so a prospect like Tepesch or Archer is tempting. Or, I could go Mike Zunino.

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    • If you only have 2 RP slots and your league counts Holds and Saves, then you might benefit from having a guy that might net you saves in Herrera…are you forfeiting saves?

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      • Akermite says:

        It’s a combined SV+HD stat, so one is as good as the other. (Five pitching categories are: K, QS, ERA, WHIP, SVHD.) (It’s also AL-only, though I don’t think that’s particularly relevant to my question.) Looking at the last couple years, it seems that the top few setup guys do about as well as the mid tier of closers. So, I feel fine about going with setup guys instead of closers. In fact, I dropped Veras to pick up Peralta.

        The real key here, I suppose, is looking at the number of games these teams (CLE, TB, KC) will be leading and therefore the number of opportunities for saves or holds. Plus there’s the smaller, but not insignificant, effect these guys will have on K, WHIP and ERA totals. Pestano and Peralta lead the AL in holds last year, but Peralta is getting a little long in the tooth. And while Herrera is comparatively new to the setup/closer conversation, it sure sounds like he has the talent to stick. The longer I talk about it, the more I think I should drop Peralta and pick up an interesting pitcher off waivers, trusting Herrera to at least match Peralta’s contribution.

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