Sergio Romo needed just 11 pitches in the home half of the final frame to notch his 30th save of the twenty-thirteen campaign. Romo fanned one — giving the right-hander only three strikeouts in his last seven outings — and induced a couple of pop ups to finish off the Marlins, 6-4. The Giants’ closer continues to rack up saves while limiting free passes (4.4% BB%), but fantasy owners were likely hoping for a few more strikeouts from the 30-year-old this season. His whiff rate (26.2% K%) is down for the second consecutive year — Romo rocked a 40% K% in 48 frames in 2011 followed by a 29.3% K% in just over 55 innings in 2012 — partially because he’s missing fewer bats (13.3% SwStr%) over that same time frame and also the fact that opponents are making better contact on his offerings. Strikeouts or not, Romo continues to get those all important saves for his fantasy owners as we head down the home stretch.
Addison Reed also saved his 30th game of the year tonight, but he only needed seven pitches to do so. Reed is now 30-of-35 on the season in save chances with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. The velocity on his fastball and changeup appear to be down a tick since last year, but he’s been using those offerings less while increasing the use of his slider. Despite the slight dip in velo, the lanky right-hander is striking out more and walking less opponents (24.2% K%, 5.7% BB%) than he did during his rookie campaign (22.7% K%, 7.6% BB%).
An emergency appendectomy shelved Rafael Betancourt late in in July, but after a month of recovery, he appears headed back to his regular ninth-inning role. The Colorado Rockies activated veteran right-hander Rafael Betancourt from the disabled list on Saturday and skipper Walt Weiss indicated he would get the call in the ninth should the Rockies be in a save situation. However, there was some hesitation from Weiss when he was asked that question and he did suggest that Rex Brothers could see some save opportunities in matchup situations. Seems like some hedging to me, so I’d be owning both Brothers and Betancourt for the foreseeable future if your roster will allow you to do so. I switched Colorado to “yellow” for the short-term while we see how this all shakes out.
Quick Hitters: Dan Haren collected his first career save in tonight’s Nationals victory over the Braves in extras. Jim Henderson picked up his 18th save of the season. Joaquin Benoit snuck in a “W” for his fantasy owners thanks to a Miguel Cabrera homer in the Tigers’ half of the ninth. And lastly, the only pitchers who have more blown saves than Rafael Soriano this season are Fernando Rodney, James Russell and Jim Johnson (h/t Amanda Comack).
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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