Bullpen Report: August 6, 2012

• The Royals decided to let lefty reliever Jose Mijares go as the Giants picked him up on a waiver claim today. Jose Mijares is a solid matchup against left-handed hitters (.273 wOBA against lefties compared to .358 wOBA against righties) but he doesn’t figure to enter the closer discussion on San Francisco. However, the Mijares addition allows the Giants to use him as a lefty specialist and let Jeremy Affeldt be part of a closer-by-committee approach at least while Santiago Casilla heals from a recurring blister according to manager Bruce Bochy. Casilla, Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt should all receive opportunities in the upcoming weeks, and all should be owned at least until the situation starts to sort itself out more clearly.

Addison Reed recorded his 20th save tonight against the Royals and while he hasn’t particularly wowed anyone this year (4.10 xFIP/8.71 K/9), he’s been a solid closer for the White Sox and even with the addition of Brett Myers, Reed maintains a strong hold on the closer role in the South Side of Chicago.

• While there are some legitimate concerns about Ryan Cook, as of now he is still the closer for the A’s. Cook has blown his last two saves, and his work may have to be monitored a little more closely, but he will retain ninth inning duties for the time being. A’s manager Bob Melvin might have given him a vote of confidence but it would still be worthwhile to pick up Grant Balfour if your team is in need of saves.  Balfour may have a similar less-than-impressive xFIP (4.23) as Ryan Cook (4.32), but he also has the hotter hand while Cook has been struggling. We’ll make sure to keep a close eye on this situation, as each save situation in Oakland could have some implications.

For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here is a matchup you may be able to exploit.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Craig Kimbrel (ATL) @ PHI

It’s never a bad decision to choose Craig Kimbrel and with three days of rest playing against the Phillies, Kimbrel stands as a good bet to receive a save opportunity and a chance to rack up a few strikeouts, something he does better than anyone in the league that never called Cuba home. Aroldis Chapman is certainly having a relief season for the ages but Kimbrel’s numbers are just as jaw-dropping: 15.64 K/9 and a 1.13 xFIP, even lower than Chapman’s!

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second Off 25-Man
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Takashi Saito
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jonny Venters
Baltimore Jim Johnson Pedro Strop Darren O’Day
Boston Alfredo Aceves Andrew Miller Mark Melancon Andrew Bailey
Chicago (NL) Carlos Marmol James Russell Shawn Camp
Chicago (AL) Addison Reed Brett Myers Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Rex Brothers
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel
Houston Wilton Lopez Francisco Cordero Wesley Wright
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Kevin Jepsen LaTroy Hawkins Jordan Walden
LAD Kenley Jansen Brandon League Javy Guerra
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Mike Dunn
Milwaukee John Axford Francisco Rodriguez Kameron Loe
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Alex Burnett Matt Capps
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch Ramon Ramirez Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Rafael Soriano David Robertson Boone Logan
Oakland Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle Grant Balfour
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Josh Lindblom
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Jared Hughes
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Edward Mujica
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Shawn Kelley Stephen Pryor
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Kyle Farnsworth Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Robbie Ross
Toronto Casey Janssen Brandon Lyon Darren Oliver
Wash. Tyler Clippard Drew Storen Sean Burnett

[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

4 Responses to “Bullpen Report: August 6, 2012”

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  1. Happened just after publication, but Tyler Clippard just blew a save for the Nationals. Clippard won’t be able to continue to blow saves and hold onto his job with Drew Storen lurking, but Storen looked shaky himself this evening, walking two in 1/3 of an inning, and will have to string together a few solid appearances before really knock knock knocking on Clippard’s door.

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    • Dave says:

      I agree. I own clippard and if Storen didn’t look so shaky I’d be nervous. Storen not only walked 2, but in doing so loaded the bases. He then fell behind 3-0 to his final batter, before throwing 3 pitches down the middle to avoid walking in the tying run. He got lucky as whoever the batter was lined out to center.

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      • GoHabsGo says:

        I think it was J.D. Martinez, but still, as a Nat fan, I think it’s time to flip their respective roles back. They both shined last year abnd it seems as if the luster is wearing off on the bullpen.

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  2. Wesley says:

    Thankfully, your info on the Mets situation is a bit stale. I was worried that you knew something I didn’t about Frank Francisco. In fact, I’m still worried that you do!

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