Bullpen Report: August 26, 2014

• Up 4-3 heading into the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon was called on for the save tonight and he converted it for his 33rd of the year. However, of more interest as this point is setup man Ken Giles, who struck out three in a perfect frame while earning a win in the process. On the year Giles has 47 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched with a 1.38/1.48/2.00 ERA/FIP/xFIP. Regardless if Papelbon remains in Philadelphia this year and next, Giles is worth owning and he’s certainly worth noting for next year as he’ll be one of the top non-save relievers in the league who could even see some saves if a few things shake out in his favor.

Jenrry Mejia has battled various ailments and some sub par performances recently, but he threw a scoreless inning tonight allowing one hit and recording a strikeout for his 19th save of the year. There has been some chatter about Mejia being shutdown at some point this season, and it’s not completely misguided given his injury history and his hernia that will require offseason surgery, but nothing has come from the Mets camp so I’d continue to expect Mejia to close from here on out. Of course, with that said Jeurys Familia remains a necessary handicap for Mejia owners.

• Nothing comes easy for Joe Nathan these days but he was able the throw a perfect ninth tonight for his 28th save. Joakim Soria isn’t due back immediately but he should return soon from his oblique injury and when he returns, Nathan will have to have a few more outings like tonight to avoid losing his hold on the ninth inning.

• No save situation for the Royals, but Wade Davis got his seventh win and with an ERA well under one (0.78) and 86 strikeouts, Davis is making the James Shields trade somewhat palatable right now for Royals fans. Davis was able to get the win because Glen Perkins blew the save for the Twins in the ninth, his fifth of the season after a two-run homer from Alex Gordon.

• Rough night for Casey Janssen as he allowed four runs against the Red Sox. He actually threw a scoreless 10th inning but fell apart in the top of the 11th. Janssen had a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings over the first half of the season but since then has been very hittable. In 14.2 innings in the second half thus far, Janssen has allowed 20 hits and 14 runs. I wouldn’t say his job is in danger over the final month for the Jays, but if his struggles persist, the Jays could look to shut his season down given his injury history as well.

• Quick Hits: Mark Melancon notched his 23rd save for the Pirates tonight, putting up zeros against the Cardinals. Zach Britton threw a perfect ninth for his 28th save lowering his ERA under two to 1.98. Hector Rondon recorded save number 22 for the Cubs and overall has had a nice season for them. With the young cavalry coming for the Cubs and the potential for them to open up their wallets this offseason, Rondon should be a solid closing option again next year with a likely more formidable team around him. There have been some Chad Qualls trade rumors floating around, but right now he’s still on the Astros and got his 15th save for them this evening against the A’s, after Luke Gregerson blew the lead in the eighth.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Brad Ziegler Oliver Perez
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden David Carpenter Shae Simmons
Baltimore Zach Britton Tommy Hunter Andrew Miller
Boston Koji Uehara Edward Mujica Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Neil Ramirez Kyuji Fujikawa
CHI (AL) Jacob Petricka Zach Putnam Matt Lindstom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Scott Atchison
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino Rex Brothers
Detroit Joe Nathan Joba Chamberlain Al Alburquerque Joakim Soria
Houston Chad Qualls Tony Sipp Josh Fields
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Jason Frasor
LAA Huston Street Joe Smith Jason Grilli
LAD Kenley Jansen Brian Wilson Brandon League
Miami Steve Cishek Bryan Morris A.J. Ramos
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Will Smith Brandon Kintzler Jim Henderson
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jenrry Mejia Jeurys Familia Vic Black Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Dellin Betances Adam Warren
Oakland Eric O’Flaherty Luke Gregerson Dan Otero Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Jake Diekman Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Jared Hughes
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Pat Neshek Seth Maness Jason Motte
SD Joaquin Benoit Kevin Quackenbush Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt Sergio Romo
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Dominic Leone
TB Jake McGee Brad Boxberger Grant Balfour
Texas Neftali Feliz Neal Cotts Shawn Tolleson
Toronto Casey Janssen Aaron Loup Brett Cecil
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

[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

8 Responses to “Bullpen Report: August 26, 2014”

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  1. B. Darkhorse says:

    Is Cishek really that safe? As of yesterday, 18 hits in last 10 innings. And it’s not like they all happened in an outing or two. Would be great to see an in-depth look at him….

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    • Cishek’s struggles seem to be more of the batted ball luck variety. He has a .560 BABIP in August but a 2.98 xFIP during that span as well. A .560 BABIP is obviously not sustainable, Cishek is still safe.

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  2. Dalman says:

    Same question on Janssen. He has been on a pretty ugly run for quite a while now and only has one save to show for August with two blown saves and a loss. Any chance they’ll try out someone else in the role over the last month as their playoff hopes fade away?

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    • Unlike Cishek, Janssen’s struggles are more legitimate as he’s simply been pedestrian in the last two months or so. Splits can often be arbitrary but a 4.89 xFIP in the second half is just bad for Janssen. There hasn’t been any news about Janssen being pulled from the gig, but given his recent performance, injury history and the Jays playoff hopes, someone else could receive a look. Unfortunately, the other options aren’t too exciting.

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      • Mike Wimmer says:

        I could see them giving Aaron Sanchez a shot. Who knows, if Sergio Santos figured something out when he was in AAA and comes up and throws some nice innings he might also get another shot.

        Probably a total coincidence, but Jannsen hasnt been anywhere near the same since he came down with food poising over the All-Star break. I remember reports that he lost like 10 pounds or so over a couple days and maybe he is still fighting back. Total shot in the dark, but the timing lines up.

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  3. tylerzx2002 says:

    Any idea if Nathan will keep the ninth if Qualls moves to Detroit?

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    • The Tigers brought in Soria when Nathan was struggling and he kept the job, so I don’t think Qualls on Detroit immediately makes him closer there. It’s still Nathan’s job to lose with his performance, not a matter of who they bring in. If Qualls is setting up for the Tigers and Nathan’s struggles persist, Qualls could certainly be moved in for saves, but it’s not his job as soon as he’s there, in my opinion.

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  4. Baroque6 says:

    White Sox can’t continue to let Petricka blow games, right? Is Putnam really the guy to get if Petricka is displaced? Not doubting the chart because I don’t follow the CWS closely, but my gut tells me Lindstrom would be the guy.

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