• As I write this, another rough outing for Trevor Rosenthal. He’ll technically take a BS in the box score, but he wasn’t given a clean ninth inning to worth with as Mike Matheny tried to stretch Adam Wainwright‘s potential shutout all the way through. Rosenthal gave up a hit and a walk, which, combined with a fielder’s choice, allowed both inherited runners to cross the plate. This makes back-to-back hiccup-type outings for the righty, but I remain relatively unconcerned given his velocity (96 mph, 0.5 mph off last year), swinging strike rate (14%, near career norms), and 51% Zone% (which implies his 12.7% BB% in 2014 is probably due to drop a bit).
The guy that most own as a potential Rosenthal handcuff has scuffled a bit, too. Carlos Martinez owns a 19% K%, which is a far cry from some of the lofty expectations owners had after watching his wiffle-ball slider during St. Louis’ playoff run in 2013. Martinez’s 12% SwStr% is above average, and implies more punchouts are to be had but his 44% Zone% tells us he may be better served challenging hitters a bit. His velocity is right where it was last year and he continues to induce groundballs at a decent (53%) rate. It would be nice to see the 19% line drive rate come down a touch, but I’m still a buyer in both redraft leagues where I need holds/rates and keeper leagues.
• Sergio Romo tossed a 1-2-3 inning today to polish off the Reds. He now has a whopping 18 saves on the season which is obviously a big reward for his owners. However, some red flags do exist in the peripherals. For the fourth consecutive year, Romo’s strikeout rate is down and walk rate is up. Gone are the good ol’ days of the 37% K%-BB% (2011) and here are the days where his xFIP is an “eh” 3.86. His fastball velocity and swinging strike rate aren’t too far off where they generally have been so it’s tough to pinpoint exactly what’s up. Of note is that the percentage of his pitches swung at which are out of the strike zone is down 10% this season so it’s possible hitters are just being more selective with Romo. This may mean working more walks and putting more balls in play. Regardless, while I do think there is some marginal room for improvement from his current marks, it is not a terrible idea to sell “EIGHTEEN SAVES!” and see if you can get an owner to bite.
• Quick hits: Sean Doolittle with another save. An outing without a strikeout may qualify as a disappointment for him these days, underscoring how good he’s been so far this year. Glen Perkins picked up save number 16 today and lowered his already-awesome 1.89 SIERA in the process. Ride the wave. Old Bullpen Report fave Alfredo Aceves has been DFA’ed by the Yankees. I miss the days when Bobby Valentine was convinced he could close. Well, not really.
• Waiting for the light to change: Zach Britton was able to work around a couple hits to pick up another save in Baltimore tonight. I’m still not 100% convinced he holds the job for the remainder of the year, but he gets the green light for now. My personal 2014 dark horse man-crush Hector Rondon tossed an impressive ninth, blowing away David Wright and saving Edwin Jackson‘s win versus the Mets tonight. Hopefully you were like me and snagged him across the board in April. Time to upgrade his color, too.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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