• Bobby Parnell and his ailing neck have been placed on the 15-day DL. It was initially not expected to be too serious, but at the moment there isn’t necessarily a timeline for Parnell’s return and surgery remains an option as well. As we mentioned last night, David Aardsma and LaTroy Hawkins are expected to get looks for saves as the Mets mix and match at closer. After Aardsma blew the Mets last save chance, Hawkins was called on for the save tonight and he delivered, pitching around two hits for his first save of the year. Hawkins hasn’t been anointed closer but expect him to receive the next opportunities until he gives the Mets a reason to make a change.
If the Mets are to mix and match, the matchup may dictate a Scott Rice opportunity in the ninth. Rice walks way too many batters (5.18 BB/9) but he kills worms at a fantastic rate (58.6% ground ball rate) and he holds lefties to a .222 wOBA. That number rises to an absurd .418 wOBA against right handed hitters making the chances of Rice seeing extended time at closer likely nil (especially if Hawkins keeps converting his chances) but Parnell’s injury certainly makes Rice an intriguing saves + holds option in deep or NL-Only leagues.
• With Tom Wilhelmsen sent to the minors, Carter Capps is coming to Seattle. Capps was a sneaky preseason pick for saves in but the season hasn’t quite gone according to plan as a 6.37 ERA in 35.1 innings brought him a ticket to Tacoma. Capps’ 6.37 ERA is quite unsightly but with a .388 BABIP and 19.6% HR/FB his 3.56 xFIP illustrates he wasn’t pitching quite that terribly. Capps allowed only two earned runs in 11 innings in AAA but actually had worse ratios there than he did struggling in the majors. Capps is currently low on the Mariners bullpen totem pole but he certainly has a chance to make some noise and pitch in more higher leverage innings.
• Josh Fields hasn’t had much success at the major league level thus far in his career, but he looked quite impressive last night recording his first save of the year for Houston. The Astros’ closer situation is very fluid right now but striking out all four batters you see for the save is a good way to receive the next opportunity. Josh Fields is likely the man right now but Jose Cisnero is still lurking behind.
• Not a bad evening for the back of the Braves bullpen. Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel each tossed a perfect inning while striking out the side. Even without Johnny Venters the Braves pen has remained top notch with the best bullpen ERA in baseball (2.41).
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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