• Last night Nationals closer Tyler Clippard blew the save against the Astros, but Drew Storen also looked shaky issuing two walks while only getting one out in the inning. Nationals manager Davey Johnson indicated that Tyler Clippard will remain the closer, but said he will also use Storen as needed and is “real confident right now in either Clip or Storen closing.” Expect Tyler Clippard to still receive save opportunities but if Storen pitches well, Clippard won’t have the luxury of many more blown saves to keep his job.
• Greg Holland recorded his second save of the year tonight pitching a perfect inning against the White Sox. Greg Holland was worthy of ownership before he replaced Jonathan Broxton as closer for the Royals due to his strikeout ability (11.89 K/9) and now that he’s getting saves he’s a must own. While he might struggle with his control occasionally, he also has a chance to be one of the better fantasy closers in the league.
• Steve Cishek closed the door in the ninth tonight against Mets for his seventh save of the year. Although Heath Bell has pitched better of late, it looks more and more like Cishek will hold on to the job for the remainder of the season. Cishek has the ability to miss some bats (8.67 K/9) but his high walk rate and 3.99 xFIP leave a lot to be desired. Still, with Heath Bell not receiving a save opportunity since July 8th, Cishek’s job as closer looks relatively secure.
• John Axford and Francisco Cordero‘s struggles have made the Brewers closing situation very murky and tonight, 29 year old rookie Jim Henderson recorded the first save of his career. Henderson exhibited solid strikeout totals in his time in triple-a this year (10.50 K/9) albeit with a less than spectacular walk rate (4.13 BB/9). Henderson has only six innings pitched at the major league level in his career but he’s worth keeping an eye on – if nobody else steps up in the Brewers pen, somebody has to save games.
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: David Robertson (NYY) @ DET
With CC Sabathia taking the hill tomorrow against the Tigers, there’s a solid chance that Robertson will have a chance to pitch and an opportunity to receive a hold. Also, Robertson has been very effective of late, striking 13 batters out in his last 11 innings while only giving up one run. Overall, he’s having a great season this year, pitching to a 2.61 xFIP while striking out over 36% of the batters he’s faced this year and should continue that trend against Detroit.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]