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Bullpen Report: August 4, 2013

Hard to believe we’re already into August…

• Well now look who is getting saves in Seattle. A few nights after Tom Wilhelmsen imploded in a non-save situation against the Boston Red Sox, Danny Farquhar earned save number two as (apparently) the Mariners’ new closer du jour. Farquhar has actually been quite impressive this year once you look past the abysmal 5.09 ERA; a “unlucky” .359 BABIP and 53% LOB% are what is keeping that number so far away from his sparkling 2.13 xFIP.

Dave Cameron put together a great piece on Farquhar just a few days ago (eerie premonition?), so I urge you to go check it out. Interestingly, while we don’t have a ton of data points on the diminutive (sub 6-foot, at least) righty, his velocity is up almost four mph from his first go-around in the big leagues two years ago (although some of that may be classification issues as BIS now breaks his repertoire into fastball, cutter, curveball as opposed to fastball, slider). Needless to say, Farquhar needs to be owned in all leagues; he almost certainly isn’t going to continue putting up a 2.13 xFIP, but if he keeps pitching like he has been, he could conceivably hold onto the ninth inning for the remainder of 2013.

• The Blue Jays gain a reliever, the Blue Jays lose a reliever. A few days after getting Sergio Santos back on the active roster, news hit that feel-good-story Steve Delabar was hitting the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. His velocity had been trending down over his last few outings, so it’s unlikely this was an acute issue. The all-star righty had been enjoying a brilliant 2013, posting a 3.11 xFIP with a 35% K%. Any arm injury is a concern with him, but at least it isn’t his elbow. While I’d try and hold him in holds leagues if you have the room, shoulder injuries are tricky, so he’s droppable in redraft leagues if you need stats now.

Santos rejoined the team Thursday and quickly was thrust into action, tossing two innings while allowing a run (no strikeouts, no walks). Of note, his velocity was pretty off (93 mph on the fastball after working 95-97 the last three years). Even though he supposedly has a clean bill of health, he bears watching going forward. He’s also solidly behind Casey Janssen for the ninth, so we’re a ways away from a controversy north of the border. Plenty of other handcuffs I’d rather have than him.

• It may be a bit of a surprise to see Drew Smyly took a blown save in Detroit this afternoon. Jim Leyland gave usual closer Joaquin Benoit the day off after he appeared in back-to-back games. Biggest point of interest here for fantasy owners may be that Jose Veras isn’t the slam dunk number two behind Benoit. This was also just a hiccup for Smyly; he actually posted his best month (peripherally) in July (1.98 xFIP, 32% K%, no walks).

Bobby Parnell remains unavailable with what essentially appears to be a stiff neck. The team clearly doesn’t believe this to be a disabled list type of injury, but David Aardsma (who blew a save Friday covering for Parnell) or LaTroy Hawkins may get a shot at a save or two early in the week if the Mets’ closer’s injury doesn’t subside.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler J.J. Putz David Hernandez
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden Scott Downs
Baltimore Jim Johnson Francisco Rodriguez Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Craig Breslow Andrew Bailey
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg Pedro Strop Blake Parker
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Nate Jones Matt Lindstrom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Sam LeCure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Joe Smith Cody Allen Vinnie Pestano
Colorado Rex Brothers Matt Belisle Mitchell Boggs Rafael Betancourt
Detroit Joaquin Benoit Jose Veras Drew Smyly
Houston Jose Cisnero Wesley Wright Josh Zeid
KC Greg Holland Aaron Crow Kelvin Herrera
LAA Ernesto Frieri Dane de la Rosa Kevin Jepsen Ryan Madson
LAD Kenley Jansen Ronald Belisario Paco Rodriguez Brian Wilson
Miami Steve Cishek Mike Dunn Chad Qualls
Milwaukee Jim Henderson John Axford Michael Gonzalez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell LaTroy Hawkins David Aardsma Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Joba Chamberlain
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Justin De Fratus Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Justin Wilson Tony Watson Jason Grilli
St. Louis Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal Randy Choate Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Santiago Casilla
Seattle Danny Farquhar Tom Wilhelmsen Yoervis Medina Carter Capps
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee Jesse Crain
Texas Joe Nathan Tanner Scheppers Jason Frasor
Toronto Casey Janssen Sergio Santos Brett Cecil Steve Delabar
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Craig Stammen Drew Storen

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