A relatively quiet Sunday in the world of bullpens…
• Phillies heading into the ninth with a three-run lead and out trots… Antonio Bastardo? Bastardo ended up nailing down the save (a little present for his holds owners!) although he wasn’t terribly sharp, giving up an earned run amid four baserunners. Bastardo’s 2.25 ERA certainly is nice and tidy, but with a low BABIP (.269) and a high strand rate (88.2% LOB%), his xFIP is a less delicious 4.95. His career xFIP is 3.77, so he’s probably not this bad, but if I had to own a non-Jonathan Papelbon reliever in Philadelphia, it would be Mike Adams. Oh, by the way, don’t fear Papelbon owners, he is merely battling some sort of illness. Day-to-day.
• Hector Ambriz closed out a one-run Astros victory? Is this a changing of the guard in Houston? Not really, Jose Veras had pitched five of the last six games and Bo Porter decided to steer clear so his arm stayed attached to his torso. Porter actually left Brad Peacock in to start the ninth before he gave up a two-run tater to everyone’s favorite all-stick, eh-field catching prospect Hank Conger. Ambriz came in and was able to record the last three outs. Ambriz’s 7% BB% shows he has decent control for a late-inning reliever, but his sub-20% K% also means he doesn’t miss a ton of bats, either. Him and Wesley Wright are behind Veras, but I wouldn’t be in too much of a rush to roster either of them. Neither have elite ratios nor are they high on the “closer potential” list thanks to Houston’s inability to — well — win a lot of games.
• Over the last week or so, Carlos Marmol was spotted creeping up on “most added” lists in deeper leagues thanks to 3.48 ERA in May. Unfortunately for those who tried to stream him, he had a pretty Marmol-like inning today, giving up a run thanks to three walks (Carlos Marmol: WHIP killer). Marmol’s May xFIP (4.66) was only slightly better than April (5.43) and 2013 is the fourth straight year his xFIP has risen (rising xFIP is bad). At this point, it’s unlikely that another team will take Marmol’s contract off the Cubs’ hands, so there is little impetus for the team to try him in the ninth inning again this season. I wouldn’t touch him in pretty much any league format.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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