TWIB – This Weekend In Bullpens:
• Things are getting very interesting in Detroit. After Jim Leyland previously stated that Jose Valverde was their closer, Joaquin Benoit got the four-out save today, his fourth of the year. This time Jim Leyland said “I’m going to do whatever I think it takes for the Tigers to win the game, and today I felt like my best option was Benoit.” I’m sure all of Detroit and Benoit owners everywhere would agree Benoit was the best option, but whether or not Leyland will think Benoit is the best option next time, nobody really knows. If Leyland is going to do whatever it takes for the Tigers to win, Benoit will be the guy but he has a love affair with Valverde. There relationship is on the rocks and the moment and Leyland could look Benoit’s way but without an official word, we can’t say Valverde is out of the picture. I’d run to pick up Benoit and would consider this an unofficial closer-by-committee until we hear more from Leyland or can see how the next few games play out.
• Kenley Jansen blew his first save of the year since taking over for Brandon League last week on Saturday. However, no closer is perfect (duh) and with Jansen a far better option than both League and anyone else in the Dodgers pen, his job isn’t in jeopardy. Expect continued save opportunities as they arise for Mr. Jansen and loads of Ks as well.
• Vinnie Pestano recorded his first save of the year against the Nationals, a day after receiving a loss against them. Although he’s clearly not the relief ace that he was in years past (5.38 FIP) the ninth inning remains Pestano’s job while Chris Perez is recovering from injury. I’d argue that Joe Smith (3.64 FIP) and Cody Allen (2.43 FIP) are better options but Francona has chosen to stay with Pestano in lieu of Perez. Speaking of Perez, when he’s not busy pleading not guilty to marijuana possession charges, he can be found focusing on his return to the mound in Cleveland which could be by next week. It doesn’t sound like he’ll need a lengthy rehab stint and barring a set back I’d expect to see Perez replace Pestano as closer as soon as he’s able.
• Two batters reached base, but Rodney was able to shoot his invisible arrow in the sky yesterday for his 14th save of the year. His up and down season continues, and while Joel Peralta is seemingly eternally a solid speculative add for saves it’s Rodney’s job. Still, a 7.06 BB/9 for ‘Nando doesn’t lend itself to continued success, or in this case continued maintaining of the closing job, so on the radar Peralta shall remain.
• Kevin Gregg had pitched in the previous four games so the Cubs went with Marmol in the ninth to close out the game against the Mets. Marmol proceeded to confirm his reputation, blowing the game and receiving the loss after giving up four runs off of two home runs. Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless ninth down by three and was the lucky recipient of a win, his fifth of the year.
• Mariano Rivera made things interesting by allowing three bloop hits and a walk in relief of David Robertson, but the Yankees held on as Mo breathed a sigh of relief, striking out Albert Pujols for his 24th save of the year. Rivera now has a 1.80 ERA and 2.50 FIP on the season and one could actually argue he’s been a tad unlucky with a .360 BABIP. Rivera’s looked slightly un-Mo like of late, allowing a slew of base hits and a walk in each of his last four appearances but it’s just the ebbs and flows of a baseball season and Mo is still likely the best closer in fantasy after the likes of Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel.
• Greg Holland is on some kind of tear right now. Say what you will about arbitrary end points, since May 12th in 13 appearances Holland has thrown 13 innings allowing one run with 18 strikeouts against just three walks while converting seven saves. Holland’s FIP is now at 1.70 with a 14.40 K/9. A tip of the cap to any Holland owner that bought low during his early season struggles.
• Back off the DL, Huston Street picked up two saves over the weekend. Street is in the middle of the worst year of his career with a 7.05 FIP suggesting that he’s been lucky to have his poor 4.43 ERA. Street has routinely posted Swinging-Strike Rates in the 13-14% range throughout his career but this year it’s dropped all the way down to a 8.2% SwStr% affecting his strikeout rate which is a less-than-mediocre 5.24 K/9. Needless to say, Street isn’t the best pitcher in the Padres bullpen but he’s still owner of the ninth and he should have a decent leash with a $7M price tag this year and next. Street’s always been a good reliever who’s main question was his health. This year his health is still in question and he’s not a great reliever, Luke Gregerson is back to his familiar set up role with Street back but he’s still worth owning for holds, ratios and the inevitable save chance again due to Street’s health and/or struggles.
• Carter Capps pitched the ninth inning today except he entered with a seven run deficit and gave up two home runs. I never thought I’d say this, but while Tom Wilhelmsen is getting a temporary break from closing, you should be sure to pick up Oliver Perez. Yes, Oliver Perez. Normally I would say Ollie would get looks against lefties in the ninth but on Friday when he got the save he faced righy heavy lineup. Anywho, on the year Ollie now has a 1.11 ERA with a 2.90 FIP and 12.21 K/9 that support his comeback as a legitimate reliever. Perez still struggles with control as a 4.44 BB/9 is less than ideal but he’s managed a .263 wOBA against right-handed hitters this year and with Capps fumbling a bit, Perez should see the ninth for however long Wedge decides Wilhelmsen needs a break.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
Print This Post