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Bullpen Report: July 24, 2012

• Ken Rosenthal said that the Royals have made Johnathan Broxton, Jose Mijares and others available. While Broxton’s 2.34 ERA isn’t necessarily supported by his actual skill (1.71 K/BB; 4.04 xFIP), he’s still a useful reliever and there are several teams that could use an extra one of those including the Giants and Cardinals. If Broxton is traded, and he should be, look for Greg Holland to take over the closing duties for the Royals. Aaron Crow and Kelvin Herrera are other dark horses to get saves but I’m still not sure the Royals know what they want to do with Crow, and Holland has more experience than Herrera. Holland’s ERA (3.93) and WHIP (1.61) certainly don’t look too impressive, but he’s been unlucky with a .411 BABIP and his 2.80 xFIP and 13.25 K/9 illustrate the skill he has to close games for the Royals in the future.

Additionally, Rosenthal says that the Marlins will try hard to move Heath Bell. However, as noted yesterday, Bell’s contract will make any deal difficult. Still, with Cishek currently getting saves for the Marlins and Bell being aggressively shopped around the league, I wonder if Bell will receive another chance to close games to increase his value before the trading deadline.

• As cool as it would be to see Mariano Rivera pitch again this season in September and October, it doesn’t look like it will happen as Brian Cashman said Mariano isn’t come back this year. We won’t be seeing Mariano pitch again in 2012, but his return in 2013 gives the Yankees a big surplus in set up men with Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain. Assuming Mo is handed the closing role it will be interesting to see how the Yankees offseason will go with their excess of bullpen arms.

• Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said that they always planned to move John Axford back to close, and with Francisco Rodriguez coming off of a terrible outing, that decision might be made soon.  K-Rod was in some trade rumors earlier, so it’s possible that the Brewers were trying to kill two birds with one stone in giving Axford a chance to get himself straight while also propping up K-Rod’s trade value. Unfortunately for the Brewers, K-Rod has been a mess at closer and with his expensive price tag ($8 million), it looks like he will stay on the team, likely as a set up in the near future, especially considering Axford is signed long term.

• In his three appearances since returning from the DL, Drew Storen hasn’t been overly effective and the Nationals plan to ease him back in until Storen is able to find his comfort zone. For the rest of this season, whether Storen’s comfort zone means a closer or set up man remains to be seen but manager Davey Johnson said “I’m looking for him to be fairly quick as the backup closer to Clip. It’s all gonna be on how he comes along.”  For now, Tyler Clippard should remain closing games and he looked good tonight pitching a perfect ninth while striking out two batters to record his 17th save against the Mets. If he starts to flounder while Storen finds his groove however, the Nationals may make a switch, but so long as Clippard is doing his job he should hold on to it.

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: Brett Myers (CHI) vs. MIN

Brett Myers experienced his first taste of the American League yesterday retiring the only batter he faced and with Jake Peavy on the mound against Nick Blackburn and the lowly Twins tomorrow, I expect him to have another chance to pitch with a lead for a hold.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second Off 25-Man
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Bryan Shaw
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jonny Venters
Baltimore Jim Johnson Pedro Strop Darren O’Day
Boston Alfredo Aceves Andrew Miller Mark Melancon Andrew Bailey
Chicago (NL) Carlos Marmol James Russell Shawn Camp
Chicago (AL) Addison Reed Brett Myers Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Sean Marshall Jose Arredondo
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Rex Brothers
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel
Houston Francisco Cordero Wilton Lopez Wesley Wright
KC Jonathan Broxton Greg Holland Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Kevin Jepsen Jordan Walden
LAD Kenley Jansen Javy Guerra Ronald Bellisario
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Edward Mujica
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez John Axford Jose Veras
Minnesota Jared Burton Glen Perkins Alex Burnett Matt Capps
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch Ramon Ramirez Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Rafael Soriano David Robertson Boone Logan
Oakland Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle Grant Balfour
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Jake Diekman
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Jared Hughes
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Marc Rzepczynski
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Javier Lopez
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Brandon League Charlie Furbush
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Kyle Farnsworth Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Robbie Ross
Toronto Casey Janssen Brandon Lyon Darren Oliver
Wash. Tyler Clippard Drew Storen Sean Burnett

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]