• Glen Perkins didn’t have the prettiest of saves tonight as he gave up two hits, but he still pitched a scoreless inning for his third save of the season. Perkins’ fellow bullpen mate, Jared Burton, has two saves on the year and has been solid himself (3.58 xFIP) this season but I see Perkins picking up the majority of save chances for the Twins. Jared Burton is still worth owning for owners in need for saves though, since he’ll give you a solid ERA and Whip due to his low walk rate (1.91 BB/9) and solid strikeout rate (8.45 K/9).
• The Fernando Rodney Experience™ continues to bear fruit for the Rays with Rodney pitching a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout tonight against the New York Yankees, recording his 23rd save this year. We now know Rodney will keep the job even when Kyle Farnsworth returns from the DL, and its hard to fault the Rays for making that decision. Rodney’s improved control (1.26 BB/9 this year; career 4.6 BB/9) has enabled him to be on the most consistent and dominant relief pitchers in 2012. Even though Rodney’s been a little fortunate with balls hit in play (.223 BABIP) and fly balls turning into home runs ( 3.8% HR/FB%), his 2.64 xFIP is more than respectable and Rodney should continue to get save opportunities for the Rays all season.
• After pitching in three consecutive games, Carlos Marmol rested tonight and James Russell came on to complete his second save of the season. James Russell and fellow setup man Shawn Camp can expect to receive some action in the eighth inning for the Cubs, but it is Marmol who will be receiving the ninth inning duty consistently from now on. Marmol did have a disastrous April and May but he’s turned his season around a bit since returning from the DL in late May, recording a respectable 3.73 xFIP in June, compared to his 5.47 xFIP on the year. A 3.73 xFIP isn’t anything to write home about, and in Marmol’s relative successes he still struggles with control (6.10 BB/9 in June) but saves are saves and Marmol will continue to get them for the Cubs.
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: Sergio Romo (SF) at WAS
Tim Lincecum is coming off of his best performance of the season and his disappointing season is largely a victim of poor luck (3.70 xFIP/5.60 ERA), so I expect tomorrow’s matchup with the Giants and Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann starting) to be a low scoring affair. Santiago Casilla has struggled lately and while Romo won’t necessarily be closing for the Giants he should have a chance to show off his elite strikeout ability (11.51 K/9/ 17.1% SwStr%) in a close game tomorrow night.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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