It’s been a pretty slow day in bullpen country, so here is what I was able to scrape together for tonight:
In today’s “Scheming For Relief” column that I use to rant about middle relievers for holds leagues, LaTroy Hawkins earned a slot in the third tier based on his past thirty days of performance. In the past thirty day prior to this evening’s outing, Hawkins owned a 2.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP with seven holds and one save in 12 trips to the bump. He seemed like a solid option to continue gathering holds despite the awful strikeout rate (9.3% K%) over the last month. But with Bobby Parnell on the disabled list, the Mets signaled for the gritty veteran to do away with the Rockies in the top half of the ninth-inning with another save chance on the line. Hawkins needed just 11 pitches to induce a fly out and two ground outs to earn his second save in four chances this season. If you’re chasing saves to finish out the season, you may as well add “old man river” to your squad to see if you can scrape together a few more.
A reader hit me up on Twitter today suggesting that I move Luke Hochevar into a higher tier on my middle reliever rankings based on the superb season he’s put together. I initially hesitated due to the fact that he’s notched just two holds in the past thirty days despite posting a 0.00 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP with a 21.1% K% over that same time frame. Well, just for that, and despite giving up an RBI single to Stephen Drew, Hochevar picked up the fancy four-out save tonight in a 5-1 Royals victory over the Red Sox. The save was Hochevar’s second successful save conversion in four opportunities this season. I’m not sure many more chances will come his way from here on out, but if you’re into streaming relievers to try to gather some holds, strikeouts or improve your ratios, he’s not a bad option to consider.
Jason Grilli will start playing catch this weekend with the hope of returning to the Pirates roster by the end of the month, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pirates closer hit the disabled list at the end of July with what Dr. James Andrews called a strained flexor tendon that could keep the right-hander out for an estimated four-to-eight weeks. At this point, it appears as if Grilli’s rest and rehabilitation will take him closer to the eight week mark if all goes well between now and the end of August. Prior to hitting the disabled list, Grilli earned 30 saves in 31 opportunities while posting career bests in ERA (2.34, 1.63 FIP), WHIP (0.92), K% (39.3) and batting average against (.185). Mark Melancon, who’s been equally as brilliant as Grilli this season, will continue to hold down the ninth frame until further notice. There is no reason Melancon should still available in 30% of Yahoo! leagues.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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