Zach Britton notched his 24th save of the season in a 14-pitch effort tonight in Toronto. The southpaw did so by inducing three consecutive worm burners off the bats of Juan Francisco, Danny Valencia and Colby Rasmus to seal the 2-1 victory for the Orioles. Britton is now 24-of-27 in save chances on the season and owns a 1.56 ERA (2.95 FIP). Britton continues to be successful in the ninth-inning thanks to his league-leading ~76% GB% (entering tonight). His 16.1% K-BB% fails to provide fantasy owners with the strikeouts they would hope for, but his ratios and save conversion rate make up for it.
Jonathan Papelbon needed just 14 pitches in the ninth-inning, while facing the minimum, en route to his 27th save conversion of the 2014 season. The veteran right-hander is now 27-of-30 on the year with a 1.56 ERA (2.56 FIP) and a ~24% K%. Papelbon’s velocity has been on the decline since 2011, but it appears as if his ability to nail the first pitch for a strike, induce swinging strikes and making batters chase his offerings more reflect the 2011 Papelbon as of late. Despite what appears to be some recent success from the Phillies’ closer, he cleared waivers today without a team putting in a claim for him. But that’s likely due ot the fact that team’s don’t want to have to pay the guy. At any rate, the Phillies are allowed to negotiate a trade for Papelbon to any of the 29 other teams. And there are obviously some teams that could use the bullpen help, so let’s see what happens.
The White Sox could activate late-inning reliever Zach Putnam off the disabled list on Friday (tomorrow). Putnam landed on the shelf with shoulder inflammation on July 24th, and since then, Jake Petricka converted 3-of-4 saves in six appearances with a 5:0 K:BB. Skipper Robin Ventura admitted his bullpen has been all out of whack with the recent injuries, so there’s no guarantee where he slots Putnam upon his return, b
Quick Hitters: Pat Neshek picked up his third save of the season with Trevor Rosenthal seemingly unavailable tonight. David Robertson surrendered a leadoff free pass, but induced a double play ball and a pop out to escape unharmed. Robertson is now 31-of-33 in save chances with a 2.62 ERA (1.97). Francisco Rodriguez picked up his 34th save of the season and the 338th of his career.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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