Just a few bullpen notes from this evening…
Huston Street embarked on his annual journey to the disabled list today, and for the second time in two years, his left calf appears to be the culprit. Prior to hitting the shelf, Street converted 11-of-12 save chances with a 4.43 ERA (7.44 FIP) and a 1.63 K/BB in 21 appearances. But despite the successful save conversion rate, the veteran closer is failing to miss bats (8.6% SwStr%) like he’s been able to in the past (13.4% career SwStr%). Bud Black indicated that both Luke Gregerson and Dale Thayer would close games in Street’s absence, but tonight, Thayer took the hill with two out in the seventh while Gregerson earned the call in the ninth. Gregerson surrendered three hits and one earned run during his first save opportunity this season, but in the end, notched the saves. Gregerson should be considered in all relevant formats for those chasing saves.
Rafael Betancourt also landed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday due to a nagging groin injury. In his stead, manager Walt Weiss will look for left-hander Rex Brothers in the ninth frame in save situations. Admittedly, I initially anointed Wilton Lopez as the heir apparent to Betancourt based on his previous experience in Houston — and to a lesser extent, the fact that Brothers is a southpaw — but, the lefty’s 0.38 ERA proved to be too good to pass up. Like Gregerson, Brothers should be an immediate target for those in need of saves.
Francisco Rodriguez locked down his third save of the twenty-thirteen campaign this evening — the 240th of his career — as the Brewers clipped the Phillies, 4-3. K-Rod yielded a leadoff longball to Freddy Galvis, but pulled a few rabbits out of his hat to walk off the diamond with a handshake. With Jim Henderson reportedly out “a while,” Rodriguez deserves to be owned in more than just 37% of Yahoo leagues.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]