• So… David Robertson probably killed this week’s ERA/WHIP categories for a few head-to-head teams today. The New York righty blew his second save of 2014 in impressive fashion, giving up five runs. Five runs to the Twins, the fourth-most inept offense in the American League. After giving up a leadoff homer, Robertson struck out a pair but they were mixed in among three walks (one intentional) and a double. After his yanking Matt Daley and Matt Thornton promptly allowed all his inherited runners to trot around the bases, sending the Yankees to a loss against former farmhand Phil Hughes.
Perhaps most shocking about the meltdown is how otherwise dominant the 29-year-old has been this season. His xFIP today came out to an ugly 12.51. That brings his season mark all the way up to… 1.54. Coming into today his 0.98 SIERA was better than, well, everyone (or at least every reliever with 10+ innings). Better than Craig Kimbrel, better than Koji Uehara, better than Greg Holland. If anyone is nervous after today’s hiccup, I only have one piece of advice. Keep calm and Robertson on.
• Sean Doolittle notched save number five, striking out the side and helping the A’s complete a three-game sweep over the Angels. It may be somewhat overdue, but we’re moving him to green light status. Jim Johnson had his chance to bounce back into the ninth inning role a few weeks ago and did not capitalize. Meanwhile, the converted first baseman (that’s Doolittle!) is now the owner of an absurd 38/1 K/BB. That’s right, his BB% is just a hair over 1%. Belated kudos to Ryan Hanigan for acquiring (on May 20th) something nearly 100 major leaguers count not get from the Oakland lefty. A free pass. Doolittle may be a lefty and he may throw a fastball 85 times out of 100, but he’s been one of baseball’s best relievers the last couple years.
• The Colorado situation remains red thanks to LaTroy Hawkins‘ complete inability to push a fastball past a batter at 41 years of age. However, his two potential replacements did not acquit themselves the last few days. Yesterday, last year’s part-time closer Rex Brothers allowed the go-ahead (and eventually winning) run to cross the plate in the eighth inning. Today, it was Adam Ottavino‘s turn, as the righty served up a two-run, walk-off tater to Michael Bourn (pitching the bottom of the 9th in a tie game in Cleveland). I still maintain that both relievers need to be owned in all leagues. Brothers because of his experience in the ninth and Ottavino because of his still-sexy 2.24 SIERA (and 28% K% with a 3% BB%!). I can’t imagine Hawkins finishing June as the Rockies everyday closer.
• Quick hits: Steve Cishek gave up a two-run shot to Evan Gattis today to take the loss against Atlanta. No reason to panic, the sidearming righty has actually improved his numbers from a year ago. Figuring out how to get out lefties at a decent clip has been a boom to his late-inning ability. Speaking of the Braves, Craig Kimbrel was given the day off after working the previous three games. Interestingly, rookie Shae Simmons got the save. Simmons has had some trouble with walks in the minor leagues, but Rotographer Nathaniel Stoltz likes what he sees. I still would rather have a guy like David Carpenter as a Kimbrel handcuff, though.
• Quicker hits: Aroldis Chapman continued to show 100+ mph average velocity in racking up another save today. It’s safe to say that liner off his face isn’t a concern anymore. Jenrry Mejía wrapped up another save on Sunday after Jeurys Familia blew one on Saturday. Familia’s usage appeared to be part Mejia losing Friday’s game and part Mejia working Thursday/Friday so I’m not sure it’s indicative of the Mets being coy with their closer situation. Own Mejia going forward.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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