Bullpen Report: June 17, 2014

Koji Uehara had a day off after throwing on three consecutive days and Edward Mujica came on for his second save of the year. Mujica has had a largely forgettable year and after tonight’s perfect inning his ERA dropped all the way to 6.04. Although I’d still say Junichi Tazawa or Andrew Miller could see saves if Uehara were to suddenly get hurt, it’s worth noting that Mujica could be in the mix. Also worth noting, even on his off day, is Uehara’s outstanding season with a 33% K-BB% and only two earned runs in 31.2 innings pitched. Uehara has somehow managed to maybe be even better than his phenomenal 2013. Unreal.

• Some of the comments in previous reports called me and others out on continually sounding the Papelbon alarm while he continues to get saves and maybe they’re right as Jonathan Papelbon nailed his 16th save of the season, lowering his ERA to 1.59. Of course this is after blowing his last save chance and I can still point to his just OK peripherals and expect regression but he’s also a seemingly unmovable contract that will continue to get saves this year and next, even if his ERA starts to rise on an aging team.

Steve Cishek gave up an earned run but also struck out two for his 16th save of the year. Cishek was a little vulnerable to left handed hitters last season but in 12.1 innings this year he’s held them to an impressive .195 wOBA. With a 2.05/1.78/2.25 ERA/FIP/xFIP line. On a better than expected Marlins team, Cishek profiles as a sneaky good closer this year. If you’re looking to acquire saves, instead of paying ace closer prices, you might be able to get similar production at a fraction of the cost with Cishek, especially if his success against lefties is more than just an exercise in small sample sizes.

Zach Britton threw his 7th consecutive scoreless appearance for his eighth save this evening, earning his green status on the closer grid. Since blowing a save on May 27th, Britton has thrown eight scoreless, racking up five saves with a 4/1 K/BB.Tommy Hunter isn’t getting his old job back anytime soon.

• Quick hits: Tyler Clippard blew up for four runs and although Soriano (14th save) is locked in, Storen might be the next in line. Ernesto Frieri gave up a couple of hits and a run in a non-save situation win tonight and as Colin mentioned, Joe Smith could see some saves along with Frieri moving forward. David Robertson did his thing striking out two for his 17th save. Pat Neshek‘s awesome season continued as he threw a scoreless ninth for his second save of the year. Rosenthal’s job is safe but Neshek could be biting into Motte and Martinez’ role on the team.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Brad Ziegler J.J. Putz
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Shae Simmons Jordan Walden
Baltimore Zach Britton Tommy Hunter Darren O’Day
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Andrew Miller
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Neil Ramirez Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) Ronald Belisario Zach Putnam Jacob Petricka Matt Lindstrom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw John Axford
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Rex Brothers Adam Ottavino
Detroit Joe Nathan Joba Chamberlain Al Alburquerque Joel Hanrahan
Houston Chad Qualls Kyle Farnsworth Tony Sipp Josh Fields
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Joe Smith Michael Kohn
LAD Kenley Jansen Chris Perez Brian Wilson
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Will Smith Brandon Kintzler Jim Henderson
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jenrry Mejia Jeurys Familia Vic Black Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Dellin Betances Shawn Kelley
Oakland Sean Doolittle Luke Gregerson Jim Johnson
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Jake Diekman Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Carlos Martinez Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Joaquin Benoit Alex Torres
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Jean Machi Santiago Casilla
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Dominic Leone
TB Grant Balfour Jake McGee Joel Peralta
Texas Joakim Soria Jason Frasor Neal Cotts Neftali Feliz
Toronto Casey Janssen Brett Cecil Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

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

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When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias

10 Responses to “Bullpen Report: June 17, 2014”

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  1. Dave Cameroon says:

    Zach Britton had seven saves this evening alone?!

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  2. mg says:

    Good recap, as always. Thoughts on Ken Giles?

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    • Chris R says:

      Papelbon is pitching well and I don’t think his contract is unmoveable. In fact I’d say a trade is about a 50-50 proposition. If it happens, I would expect Giles (R) and Diekmann (l) to split closing duties the rest of the season based on matchups. Long-term, the job will be Giles’s.

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    • mattmaison says:

      I think Giles is ahead of Diekmann. Aren’t they planning Diekmann for the rotation long-term?

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  3. SKob says:

    I think you’re selling Mujica’s bounce back a bit short. He has only given up runs in 3 games since the end of April. It was a really bad April, but he’s the closer if Uehara is out and maybe for next year too after his 2 year deal. If Koji retires, Mujica’s the man!

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  4. Big Zeke says:

    How do you see the Cubs and Rays shaking out?

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  5. Jairo Garcia says:

    FWIW, Santiago Casilla has been activated.

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  6. mymaus says:

    Surprised Belisario isn’t a yellow. He isn’t great but one else has gotten even a sniff of a save in the last month. That makes him more sure than all of the guys in red and Mejia and Frieri, don’t you think?

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  7. Belle of the League says:

    I know the mindset with RP’s is “What did you do for me lately?” but Clippard’s outing isn’t that big of a concern.
    He gets a lot of appearances and these were the first runs he’s given up in over 5 weeks.

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