Bullpen Report: June 26, 2013

• It took a while, but Koji Uehara finally got his first save since being anointed Boston’s fourth closer of the year last week. Uehara spun a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a pair of Rockies looking to polish off a John Lackey victory. While there remains some question as to how frequently Uehara can work back-to-back days, he continues to flaunt otherworldly peripherals; even if his BB% has “jumped” to 6% so far this season. He doesn’t have the prototypical mid-90’s gas, but his 16.1% SwStr% shows he doesn’t need it. If he hasn’t been picked up in your league already (maybe everyone is following that Aaron Hernandez saga too closely?), stop reading and grab him.

• Jim Johnson took a BS against the Indians tonight, giving up a pair of earned runs after walking two and yielding a double to the aging Jason Giambi. Johnson’s xFIP has jumped to 3.91, which is not terrible, but is also far from elite. Both his K% and BB% are up slightly, but he’s essentially the same guy as he was last year — just without the .251 BABIP. His job remains safe, but given the lack of punchouts and the regressed stats, he’s nowhere near my top-10 relief pitchers going forward. I’d honestly sell if I can get good (top-15) value and only buy if I’m desperate for saves. Of note, it was also Jim Johnson’s third game in a row, so expect Darren O’Day (or darkhorse Tommy Hunter) to get the save chance tomorrow should one arise.

In the same game, Vinnie Pestano whiffed two (including the now-god-like Chris Davis) en route to save number five. While he hasn’t been a total disappointment in the ninth inning, he still is the same “bad” Pestano he was early in the season; his June xFIP is still 4.47 thanks to a double-digit BB% and a strikeout rate that is well off his career highs. Unfortunately for him, he is not long for the ninth inning anyway, as Chris Perez is on track to return Thursday.

• Ben hit on this last night, but after a brief period of time where Miami looked to move towards a committee, Steve Cishek appears to have regained a relatively strong hold on the game’s final inning, nabbing save number 14 tonight. The fact he worked back-to-back days and has lowered his xFIP to 3.54 only cement that notion, and, while I still worry about his platoon splits, he’s probably the only guy in the Miami pen worth owning in even deeper standard leagues that don’t count holds.

• Jason Grilli got yet another night off after his Sunday meltdown, with Mark Melancon picking up the save instead. I wrote about this a couple days ago, but with Grilli on pace for 75+ innings, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Pirates give him a breather or two over the next couple months to try and make sure his arm can hold up for the remainder of the year. Don’t panic and sell him off for $0.50 on the dollar, but don’t expect him to be ridden like a 27-year-old horse either. He’s still at the back end of my top-10, but I can’t project him in the top-5 like he’s been to date.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Heath Bell David Hernandez Matt Reynolds J.J. Putz
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden Cory Gearrin
Baltimore Jim Johnson Darren O’Day Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Andrew Bailey
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg James Russell Blake Parker
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Jesse Crain Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Sam LeCure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Vinnie Pestano Joe Smith Bryan Shaw Chris Perez
Colorado Rex Brothers Wilton Lopez Matt Belisle Rafael Betancourt
Detroit Joaquin Benoit Drew Smyly Al Alburquerque
Houston Jose Veras Hector Ambriz Wesley Wright
KC Greg Holland Aaron Crow Kelvin Herrera
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Robert Coello Ryan Madson
LAD Kenley Jansen Brandon League Ronald Belisario
Miami Steve Cishek Mike Dunn Chad Qualls
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jim Henderson John Axford
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Brandon Lyon LaTroy Hawkins Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Joba Chamberlain
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Justin De Fratus Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal Fernando Salas Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Jean Machi Santiago Casilla
Seattle Yoervis Medina Oliver Perez Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Tanner Scheppers Jason Frasor
Toronto Casey Janssen Steve Delabar Brett Cecil Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Drew Storen Tyler Clippard

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

Print This Post

There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.

17 Responses to “Bullpen Report: June 26, 2013”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. make it a double says:

    Is The Bartender back in business after throwing well the last two nights?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Travis L says:

    Yoervis Medina is at the front of the Seattle line?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Dodger fan says:

    Kenley Jansen is a boss.

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Another Dodger fan says:

    I second that.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. UdUpLaYeR says:

    I, uh… third it. KKKenley is the best!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. deezy333op says:

    Im losing Pestano tomorrow when Brody…err Chris Perez comes back. Off the top of your head, what are the best speculative closer options to snag. Medina is still out there but haven’t seen him mentioned as the closer anywhere. A save opportunity would obviously help clear that up. Is he the best add or someone else a better option.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Depends on who is available in your league.

      One guy I stashed in a couple deeper leagues is David Hernandez. He got dropped when Heath Bell got the job, but we know A) Bell has struggled recently and B) Putz is coming back.

      With Putz’s elbow supposedly barely hanging on, it wouldn’t shock me to see the DBacks turn to Henando at some point.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Name says:

    Oh noez… My team has 6 relievers and only five slots in a 12-team standard roto. Kimbrel, Janssen, Jensen, Mujica, Parnell, Uehara, and my team isn’t first. What do I do?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • SleepNowInTheFire says:

      Trade Uehara or Kimbrell? Uehara is the most likely to lose his role and/or have his save ops limited, while Kimbrell has the best name-recognition value. I’d go one of those two routes.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • FeslenR says:

      it sounds like you’ve got saves handed down…trade Kimbrel for a top flight hitter/sp

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Both commenters above have the right idea.

      I’d look at moving Mujica or Kimbrel myself (Uehara’s value is likely not high to get any worthwhile piece and he has the potential to be the 2nd/3rd best CL on that list), but it depends on what kind of value you can get. If you get a top-4 round hitter for Kimbrel, for example, you take that deal.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • pudieron89 says:

        yep, best to trade mujica while his value is at its highest. he showed insane peripherals that are incredibly unsustainable through the first 1/3 of the season and has had a few miscues in june. he will probably still be good going forward but best to sell high on his great first few months with the anticipation that more struggles could lead to Rosenthal taking over the 9th with the more prototypical closer profile.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. murphym45 says:

    Uehara has already pitched back-to-back days six times this year, and didn’t give up a run any of those six times. Kimbrel, for comparison, has gone back-to-back six times and three in a row once. Meanwhile, Casey Janssen has only pitched back-to-back days three times all season. Think the worry about Uehara’s usage is a bit overblown, plus he’ll strike out so many guys when he does pitch that he can still match the strikeout totals of many other closers, even if he pitches 10 or so fewer innings over the course of the season.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Rye Rye says:

    Thoughts on replacements for Gregg and Papelbon if they get traded? I’m leaning toward the way the list states as well, but will that actually happen? Do you think the Cubs would try Marmol once again?

    Any other trades of closers forthcoming IYO that could be wise to stash a backup just in case?

    Vote -1 Vote +1