• So it looks like the horrible rehab outing by Chris Perez last night might affect his timetable to return as he won’t be activated off of the disabled list Friday anymore. Perez will need another rehab appearance but it still shouldn’t be too long until he’s closing in Cleveland. In his place of course is currently Vinnie Pestano, who has two saves in place of Perez but has not been without his own troubles this year.
• Heath Bell notched his 13th save of the year but not before allowing a home run, a single and a walk to the Miami Marlins. In his last four appearances hes allowed five runs and with JJ Putz starting a rehab assignment this week, Bell’s days of closing in Arizona might be numbered. Similarly to Chris Perez in Cleveland, if their are no setbacks, Putz will be back to his familiar place in ninth inning once he’s activated off of the DL. Bullpen mate David Hernandez, pitched a scoreless eighth inning tonight picking up his fourth win of the year. Hernandez hasn’t been without his faults this year either (4.62 FIP in 2013 after a 2.08 FIP in 2012) but he remains a top set up option in Arizona for holds and if Bell continues to struggle he could become a preferred back-up option for saves in the desert.
• Valverde’s chances of seeing saves might be gone after today’s outing: 1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. I fully expect Joaquin Benoit to receive the next opportunities in Detroit, with Drew Smyly as a sneaky option. Bruce Rondon has been solid in AAA, with a 1.93 FIP and 12.83 K/9 in 26.2 innings pitched and remains an option to help out the pen at some point this year and Detroit could certainly look outside the organization as well. Either way, in the meantime make sure you have Benoit in your lineup.
• Oliver Perez entered the game in the seventh inning last night while Yoervis Medina recorded the first save of his career. Tom Wilhelmsen was initially supposed to only leave the ninth inning briefly but after blowing the lead in the eighth inning tonight and continuing his struggles, his temporary leave of absence might become more permanent. In his place Seattle could play the matchups, with Medina getting the bulk of the opportunities and Ollie having a chance to get out any tough lefties. Carter Capps was initially thought to be in the closer mix but he’s struggled of late as well particularly with the long ball, falling behind Perez and Medina on the depth chart. Medina has a fastball/slider combo that gets a fair share of strikeouts (9.51 K/9) and keeps the ball on the ground and in the yard, but like many a hard-thrower, Medina struggles a bit with his control (5.32 BB/9). The door has opened due to Wilhelmsen’s struggles and if Medina can keep his walks in check, he could be an adequate option.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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