• The Biogenesis fallout today didn’t have too much of an effect on the Bullpen Report but it did snag one victim of note, Philadelphia Phillies lefty and set up man Antonio Bastardo. Bastardo wasn’t in the initial Biogenesis rumors but he was handed a 50 game suspension today, effectively ending his season. Bastardo was gaining some traction as Papelbon has been more pedestrian this year but any hopes of him sneaking saves for the Phillies will have to wait until 2014 now.
It’s slim pickings as far as Bastardo’s replacements are concerned but one name to keep an eye on is fellow lefty Jake Diekman. Diekman’s numbers (3.72/4.13 FIP/xFIP; 7.11 K/9) aren’t great, but as a lefty in the late innings for Philly, he could be in line for a holds boost.
• Colin mentioned Parnell’s neck discomfort last night but it seems as though it’s worse than expected and a DL stint is likely. The usual suspects, David Aardsma and LaTroy Hawkins should fill in for Parnell. David Aardsma’s blown save last night might give Mr. Hawkins the next shot. Although Hawkins might feel like old news (he’s 40 years old), he’s actually been quite effective this year with a 2.98/3.47/3.25 ERA/FIP/xFIP line, keeping the ball on the ground with a 52.3% ground ball percentage. Aardsma can generate a few more swings and misses than Hawkins (8.14 K/9) but he’s generally been pretty lousy this year (4.65 xFIP) and his leash for saves might only extend to the one try he had. Lastly, I wouldn’t expect Scott Rice to see consistent chances if Parnell hits the DL but he could see a save opp or two against a lefty heavy ninth.
• Chris Perez entered the ninth inning tonight looking for his 18th save of the year but four batters and four earned runs later, Perez left with a blown save but without recording an out. Perez’ job isn’t in imminent danger but his 4.11 xFIP is certainly less than impressive. If Perez were to continue to stumble or miss any time with injury expect Joe Smith and Cody Allen to move up the chain.
• Craig Kimbrel had pitched on three consecutive days so Jordan Walden was called upon in the ninth and recorded his first save of the year. Kimbrel’s peripheral stats have gone down a tad but with a 13.92 K/9 and a 2.09 FIP, he’s still a premier fantasy closer, if not the best. Walden has been a little lucky with balls leaving the yard this year (only a 2.1% HR/FB) but with a 10.46 K/9 and 2.12/3.53 FIP/xFIP, he’s making himself rosterable in leagues to help your ratios and certainly a must own in any saves plus holds leagues.
• Ryan Madson was released by the Angels tonight. If healthy, it wouldn’t take much for Madson to take saves away from Ernesto Frieri at the moment but clearly that’s not the case as he hasn’t pitched since 2011 with the Phillies. I don’t expect anything from Madson this year but his name should resurface again this offseason. My guess is that some rebuilding team will take a flier on him returning to form, hoping to flip him at the trading deadline.
• With a bunch of lefties due up in the ninth, Paco Rodriguez stayed in for a second inning and notched his second save of the year. Kenley Jansen is still the Dodgers closer but depending on the matchup, Paco could steal a save or two from here on out.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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