• Casey Janssen struggled this evening and Brett Cecil came on for the one-out save, his fourth of the year. In spite of Janssen’s struggles in his last couple of outings, his job is still fully secure. Rather than have Janssen labor in a tough outing, taking him out earlier tonight might actually give him a chance to pitch in tomorrow’s game. I wouldn’t rush to pick up Cecil, but along with Aaron Loup he’s a primary setup man in Toronto’s pen.
• Steve Cishek nailed down save 23 tonight against the Braves, allowing one hit while striking out two. The Marlins haven’t indicated that they are throwing in the towel, making some pieces available but scouts have been watching Cishek and lefty reliever Mike Dunn nonetheless. I’d be inclined to say that the Marlins will hold onto Cishek but if they could get the kind of haul that the Angels gave up for Street, they might have to consider moving him. In that scenario, look for A.J. Ramos to receive save opportunities.
• Jonathan Papelbon, who has been involved in a few trade rumors himself (albeit with “little interest“), blew the save today, allowing a home run to Buster Posey in the ninth inning tonight in a tie game. It doesn’t seem likely at this point but if Paps is traded Ken Giles and Jake Diekman would be in line for saves.
• Zach Britton bounced back from a terrible outing recently with saves in his last two appearances but he’s battling some “numbness“on his non pitching arm after a comebacker in last night’s game. This injury doesn’t seem serious, Britton was able to finish the game after getting hit but Tommy Hunter or Darren O’Day could see a save this week if Britton is unable to go right away.
• Chris Perez had a night to forget this evening and his ERA now stands at 5.35 with peripherals suggesting he’s just that bad of a pitcher right now. We previously had him as second in line behind Jansen but I’d confidently place Brian Wilson and Brandon League above Perez in the pecking order in LA right now. As the Dodgers fight for the division, I would expect them to upgrade the bullpen, likely acquiring a reliever that would be a primary set up option for Don Mattingly, but until then it’s still the ex-closers Wilson/League/Perez fighting for position behind Jansen.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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