In an effort to publish some of the essential bullpen news and notes over the weekend, there’s a good chance you’ll see me or one of my esteemed colleagues here on Saturday mornings going forward.
Here’s a few items that stuck out to me during Friday’s games:
-Rafael Soriano notched his 29th save of the season last evening, but it didn’t come easy. Soriano allowed an earned run on three hits before sealing the 5-4 victory for the Nationals over the Bucs. Both Rafael Soriano & Tyler Clippard have appeared in three consecutive days. Therefore, Drew Storen could make for a decent streaming closer option today.
-Once again, the Metropolitans asked Jenrry Mejia to take the bump in the ninth-inning of a save situation despite having a sports hernia. Mejia pitched an effective ninth-inning on 20 pitches (14 strikes) and fanned one to collect his 18th save of the year. The Mets are 10.5 games back in the National League East and appear to have just a 0.2% chance of making the playoffs via the Wild Card. With that said, will the Mets consider shutting their closer down soon to allow him to go under the knife and be ready for next season? The recovery time for said procedure sounds like three-to-six weeks following therapy, which is plenty of time for Mejia to be ready for Spring Training even if he were to finish out ‘14, but why not let him get a head start? I don’t have an answer for that, but I don’t want to be holding onto the Mets’ closer if-and-when they do decide to let him get it taken care of soon. If your trade deadline hasn’t passed, I’d be shopping him to an owner he needs just a few more saves.
-Pat Neshek is surely owned in holds and solds (saves + holds) leagues. But we’re at the point where the discussion for mixed league relevance should be taking place. Well, this conversation shouldn’t have taken this long to have, but for many reasons, middle and set-up arms tend to get overlooked in standard mixers. At any rate, Neshek is now 5-0 on the year, with four saves and 18 holds. He owns an impressive 0.88 ERA (2.18 FIP), 0.58 WHIP and a 27% K-BB% in 55 trips to the hill this season. Neshek is using what looks like a three-pitch mix (sinker, slider, change) to pound the zone (54.8% Zone%) and secure first-pitch strikes (67% F-Strike%) more than he has over his career. He continues to miss bats (12.5% SwStr%) and induce weak contact (22.6% IFFB%) while holding opposing batters to a career best .136 average. If by chance Neshek’s .178 average on balls in play and 97.1% LOB% regresses, the impact on your team’s ratios should be minimal due to the fact he pitches in short spurts.
After all that praise for the Cardinals’ set-up man, I guess it’s worth noting that he surrendered a homer last night — the second allowed by the righty this season — during a 22-pitch, ninth-inning effort to secure his fourth save of the year. Two of the five earned runs allowed by Neshek this season have come via the longball. He’s available in 78% of Y! leagues.
Francisco Rodriguez and Greg Holland each picked up their 37th saves of the season, which leads the league. Huston Street notched his eighth save since being traded to the Angels and the 32nd of ‘14. He’s now 32-of-33 in save chances this year between San Diego and Anaheim. Addison Reed (29), Jonathan Papelbon (28) and Aroldis Chapman (26) also picked up saves Friday evening.
Quick Hitters: Scott Atchison pitched two frames of relief in extras last evening against the Orioles and was handsomely rewarded for his efforts with his sixth victory of ‘14. Logan Ondrusek reported to Louisville of the International League to dish an inning of rehab for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate. The righty tossed a clean first inning for the Bats, surrendering two hits on 14 pitches (eight strikes). Ondrusek may be a name to throw on the watch list in deeper leagues that reward holds.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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